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Clever web app obscures your browsing activity by visiting random pages

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You know those spy movies where a character is being tailed in their car, and decides to make a bunch of seemingly illogical detours down back alleys and the wrong way up one-direction roads in order to throw off their pursuers? That’s kind of what a new internet privacy web app called Internet Noise aims to do.

In the aftermath of the United States House of Representatives’ decision to gut internet privacy rules, and allow companies to sell their customers’ personal information, programmer and activist Dan Schultz decided to do something about it — and set about coding.

His web app Internet Noise’s big unique selling point are its “noisemaker” buttons, which obscure your meaningful search history by diluting the useful (from an eavesdropper point of view) signal from the meaningless noise that surrounds it.

“The buttons search Google with random two-word phrases, and pull up the occasional random website via google’s ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ feature,” Schultz told Digital Trends.

Between the five tabs it opens and their 10 second refresh rate (each time with a different nonsense search), it won’t be long before your search history is virtually unrecognizable.

Schultz noted that there is only so much the buttons can do, however, which is why he describes Internet Noise as a “protest page” as much as a serious app. The website doesn’t stop there, though. It also features other information on how internet users can protect themselves.

“The most important thing to understand about this project is that although noise is a fine way to protest, these buttons will not do much to keep you safe from snooping,” Schultz continued. “In the same way that a person can still make out the melody of a song in a crowded bar, sophisticated advertisers and ISPs will be able to figure out your unencrypted browsing habits even if you try to throw them off. However, if you take the recommended steps listed out on the Internet Noise page — [such as] install HTTPS everywhere, Privacy Badger, explore Tor and VPNs, and check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation — you will be in incredibly good shape and your data will be essentially hidden from sight.”

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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