Privacy concerns are rising with the advancement of technology. Today, we need to be a lot more careful about online browsing than we needed to a few years back despite that we have come far ahead with technology. Tor browser and VPNs are generally believed to protect our privacy online, but what if they are also maintaining records of our online activities?
Perhaps, we need to protect our online privacy from VPNs and ISPs too. That’s exactly what Brass Horns Communications, UK’s grassroots ISP, believes in. This non-profit ISP has been focusing on anti-surveillance and privacy services and is currently beta-testing a 3G SIM card. Reportedly, this SIM card, dubbed as Onion3G, will route your data automatically via Tor and prevent online surveillance.
Tor is a well-known anonymity network that can now be used on our mobile phones. But the fact is that this kind of software is best suited for web browsing and not for accessing apps like Twitter as there is a chance of your IP address being leaked.
The data only SIM card will be capable of blocking any non-Tor traffic from leaving the phone and will offer a robust way of using Tor on your mobile phone. Gareth Llewelyn, Brass Horn Communications founder told Motherboard that:
“This is about sticking a middle finger up to mobile filtering, mass surveillance,” Horn said. “The key point is that it is a failsafe, if you don’t have Tor up then nothing can get to the internet.”
This means, the SIM card will offer a more restricted solution to secure your online privacy in the event when other options fail to do so. The company is already offering a Tor-only service at the ISP level, which makes it impossible for Brass Horn to record the subscribers’ web browsing activities.
To use the SIM card the user will have to create a brand new access point name on their mobile device so that it could connect to the new network. The SIM will also need Orbot installed on the device. It will work only in the UK for the time being. It won’t be used by everyone though as some users may have to use some apps via a non-Tor connection such as Twitter that doesn’t allow Tor connection. The SIM may only be useful for those who want to hide their traffic and web movements while on the go.
The Onion3G SIM card will offer 3G connectivity and will work with apps that offer a proxy feature. It must be noted that it is compatible with Android devices only and is available for £2.00 per month for a prepaid account. Additionally, it will cost £0.025 per MB transferred over the network. The card can be recharged using a credit card such as Mastercard or Visa and even cryptocurrencies like ZCash, Monero, and Bitcoin. The Tor-SIM card will be officially available for the public in 2019.