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Sketchy crowdfunded privacy router gets a new corporate master (update)

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 11, 2015
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Remember Anonabox, the internet privacy router that was outed as a rebranded Chinese device and booted off of Kickstarter for fraud before it headed to Indiegogo? Well, it's getting another lease on life. Sochule, which is best known for its social hotel app HelloTel, tells us that it has snapped up the Anonabox team. The new parent company won't say much about what's happening next until a South by Southwest event on Friday. However, it's stressing that Anonabox founder August Germar is maintaining a similar role -- it apparently doesn't mind the controversies surrounding Germar and his networking gadget.

The Anonabox crew is promising to clear the air surrounding its "issues" at the event, by explaining why Kickstarter cancelled its campaign and showing off real live demo units. Indiegogo orders are already shipping, the company says. It's good to see the company taking those concerns head-on rather than staying silent on the matter. With that said, it's not certain that you'll get straightforward answers. Germar was caught claiming to be more involved in Tor (the anonymizing network that makes Anonabox possible) than he actually was, and this was after the Kickstarter fiasco -- it's not certain that he and his team are ready to tell the whole story.

Update: We've since been in touch with Sochule, which claims that it conducted "thorough vetting" before the acquisition. It also maintains that Tor executive director Andrew Lewman confirmed Germar's role at the privacy project.

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