A security researcher has abruptly cancelled next month's scheduled unveiling of a privacy device designed to mask Internet users' physical locations. It's a move that has both disappointed privacy advocates and aroused suspicions.
Ben Caudill, a researcher with Rhino Security Labs, took the unusual step of saying he no longer plans to release the software or hardware schematics for his so-called ProxyHam box. He said the devices already created have been destroyed. Caudill has offered no explanation for the killing of the project, but he has reportedly ruled out both intellectual property disputes and Federal Communications Commission licensing concerns.
That has left some people to speculate a secret government subpoena known as a National Security Letter is at play in the decision to kill the project. That speculation seems unlikely because NSLs are a very specific legal process typically served on e-mail providers, phone companies, or the like for specific information, Electronic Frontier Foundation General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director Kurt Opsahl said.