OpenVizsla, a proposal to develop an open source device that would sniff out data entering or leaving any USB port, has gotten the funding to go forward.
The site's Kickstarter page asked for $17,500 to start work. So far 304 pledges totaling $36,414 have come in.
The leader of the project, who goes by the name Bushing, is a founding member of both Team Twizzlers and the iPhone Dev Team. The name is a pseudonym "so that my employers don't get too annoyed with me."
Bushing's own Web site is called HackMii, and produced The Homebrew Channel (HBC), which claims to allow hacking of the Wii game machine and to have been installed 600,000 times.
The credibility gained by developing HBC has shown Kickstarter users Bushing can deliver.
The proposed OpenVizsla device would consist of an XMOS processor, a Xilinx Spartan 3E chip and software that would intercept USB data and leave other interfaces exposed.
Why? Collecting data this way would leave proprietary systems of all kinds using USB, like the Apple iOS iPhone and the Microsoft Kinect, open to jailbreaks, unlocks and syncing apps of all kinds, and allow all proprietary operating systems to be reverse-engineered.
Two questions. Is this open source being used for good or for evil? And with the government now fully engaged on behalf of the copyright industries how long before they turn their attention here?