This debunked Kickstarter project may be the biggest crowdfunding fail to date

AboxCaitlin Dewey | Washington Post | October 16, 2014 – When it launched on Oct. 11, the Anonabox was hailed as a revolution in Internet browsing, a cheap, easy-to-use tool that could help users evade everything from NSA snooping to web censorship.

Four days later, the highly hyped gadget is looking like something far different: One of the most dramatic, and most high-profile, Kickstarter fails of all time.

Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that previously brought you Pebble, Oculus Rift and one really tricked-out cooler, is no stranger to this type of controversy, of course. Whenever you donate money to an unproven idea, there’s some inherent acceptance of risk — which is why the site indemnifies itself against lawsuits or other damages, right in its terms of service.

But the Anonabox, which has raised more than $600,000 from 9,000 people since going online four days ago, is a curious case. Most Kickstarter controversies erupt after the fact, when a project has been funded and the creator fails to deliver. (Earlier this year, in fact, Washington’s attorney general sued a Tennessee-based project that did just that.)

But funders began to notice problems with the Anonabox — a tiny, affordable Internet router that anonymizes your online activity — long before that point. There were glaring discrepancies, they noted, between creator August Germar’s original description of the Anonabox and actual pictures of the device online. Germar claimed that he had designed the hardware from scratch, when, in fact, the primary components were bought almost off-the-shelf from China.

How Anonabox works (Anonabox)
He had also claimed, on Kickstarter and in interviews, that the hardware and software in Anonabox were both “open-source,” meaning that there’s no copyright on them — anyone can tinker with the code and the circuit board, a critical feature to wide swaths of the geek and development communities. But since Germar didn’t make the hardware himself, it likely isn’t open-source. And while the software may very well be, Germar hasn’t yet released it … and many critics, citing details Germar has previously leaked in interviews, don’t believe it will be secure.

In other words, Anonabox may indeed anonymize your web traffic — but it won’t necessarily do it any differently from other, similar gadgets already on the market, and it might not do it to the degree it promises. Which is, presumably, what backers were paying for.
read more:


Redding Record SearchlightCrowdfunding isn't about buying but about donatingRedding Record SearchlightImagine you're an innovator with a big idea but not a lot of cash to bring the idea to fruition. You spend some of your own money up front to design a cool demo, and then yo [...]

TechCrunchSnopes seeks crowdfunding in ownership battleTechCrunchHow many times have you heard some urban legend, chain letter or misleading bit of news repeated and immediately found a thorough, fact-based debunking on Snopes? Like every damn day for the last 20 years or so, right? S [...]

Vermont Public RadioAs Regulations Change, Interest In Equity Crowdfunding GrowsVermont Public RadioWhat's often called 'equity crowdfunding' is giving businesses, especially start-ups, a way to raise money when they can't access capital from traditional sources, l [...]

Can-Do Playground featured in national park crowdfunding campaignnews.delaware.govWILMINGTON – On the heels of its 10th anniversary celebration, the Can-Do Playground at Alapocas Run State Park has been selected to be featured on the national crowdfunding site, “Fund Your Park,” by th [...]

MashableStudy shows women are way better than men at crowdfundingMashableMale investors often don't fully understand the value of ideas women entrepreneurs pitch them. They throw capital at food delivery service after food delivery service, but ignore ideas that cater to groups t [...]

BBC NewsCrowdfunding bid to save Brighton's seafront terracesBBC NewsA crowdfunding campaign is being launched to kick-start the repair and regeneration of a section of crumbling Victorian seafront arches. The entire Grade II listed cast iron structure that forms Brighton's [...]

YouCaring Selected as Preferred Crowdfunding Platform for Major League BaseballMarkets InsiderSAN FRANCISCO, July 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- YouCaring today announced that it has entered into a partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) to bring crowdfunding to the Big Leagues. Throug [...]

Friday Hack Chat: Crowd SupplyHackadayCrowdfunding is a mixed bag, at best. On one hand, you have fantastically successful products like Pebble, Oculus, and the Kano personal computer that managed to take in money, turn out a product, and become a successful company. (If even just for [...]

State College NewsMillbrook Marsh Selected for National Crowdfunding CampaignState College NewsMillbrook Marsh Nature Center in College Township has been selected to participate in the National Recreation and Park Association's "Fund Your Park," crowdfunding campaign. C [...]

American Banker (subscription)Crowdfunding platform expands into small-business lendingAmerican Banker (subscription)CircleUp, which runs an online platform where institutional investors provide equity capital to small businesses, is expanding into lending. The San Francisco-based com [...]

CFB Finance


  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdfund
  • Peer to Peer Lending
  • FinTech
  • Reg A+
  • Reg CF
  • Crowdfunding USA

Press Release

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |