A new Operating System, called “Avatar”, is in Alpha launch and looking to build a subscriber base, dedicated to the idea that the Internet should be open to everyone without being analyzed or monitored by advertisers – or worse.
What makes it different?
According to its own promotional text, Avatar is “a vision where the Internet is again a world where you can access information beyond borders, be as anonymous as you want to be and not have to worry about being constantly analyzed and monitored.”
This kind of project has been attempted before, with varying degrees of success, but, in this age of user anxiety over governmental privacy abuse, it’s like paraphrasing a famous slogan, “What happens in Avatar, stays in Avatar.”
How will the new site assure this Internet “invisibility cloak?”
Apparently, every keystroke originated by a subscriber is given its own unique ID, which can only be opened by other users who have already been granted access to your private network.
As described on the FAQ page, interacting on the system “happens with encrypted JSON objects. All messages, files and basically everything you produce with Avatar OS are Objects. These Objects are stored either locally or in the Network. To access any Object, even the locally stored, you need to know the unique id (UID), the access key (AKEY) and the key for encryption (EKEY).”
That makes encryption virtually guaranteed and about as secure as missile launch codes in secret nuclear bunkers.
But, these assurances have been promised before, particularly by The Onion Router (TOR) which relies on anonymous volunteer users to route message packets around the web.
But, all too often, the weakest link in a security system are the humans safeguarding it.
So, it remains to be seen if this new, privacy promising browser lives up to its stated mission. But, relying on robots might just be the way to go.
At least until SkyNet falls…