Why What Preorder FAQ Team

Your defense against wireless surveillance

Cyborg Unplug detects and kicks surveillance devices from wireless networks, breaking uploads and streams.

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Plug to unplug

wireless surveillance

Cyborg Unplug is an anti wireless-surveillance system for the home and workplace. It detects and kicks selected devices known to pose a risk to personal privacy from your wireless network, breaking uploads and streams.

Detected wireless devices currently include: wearable 'spy' cameras and microphones, Google Glass and Dropcam, small drones/copters and a variety of popular spy devices disguised as familiar objects.

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Wireless surveillance is
becoming ubiquitous.

For those concerned about privacy, today's technology brings new challenges: companies big and small are building pervasive product lines around tiny, network-enabled computers with powerful cameras, sensors and microphones. Battery powered and free of cables they can be hidden inside other objects or form the basis for whole new lines of consumer technology, such as Google Glass or camera carrying drones.
Hidden cameras
'Smoke detectors'

Which devices bug you the most?

Tell us!


Detect and disconnect

Cyborg Unplug hits wireless surveillance devices where it hurts: network connectivity. 'Plug to unplug', it sniffs the air for wireless signatures from devices you don't want around, sending an alert to your phone when detected. Should the target device connect to a network you've chosen to defend, Cyborg Unplug will immediately disconnect them, stopping them from streaming video, audio and data to the Internet.

Convenient and easy to use, simply plug in your Cyborg Unplug and connect to it with your laptop or smartphone. In just a few screens select which classes of device you'd like to block and the networks you'd like to protect. Keep your Cyborg Unplug up-to-date with the latest threats by plugging it into your router: each night it'll anonymously and securely check for updated lists of wireless surveillance devices as they enter the market.

How to Unplug

A practical guide to wireless privacy

Step 1

Plug Cyborg Unplug in an area you'd like to defend. Optionally connect it to your router with a cable to ensure it receives updates.

Step 2

Wirelessly connect to it with your smartphone, tablet or laptop computer.

Step 3

Select the devices you wish to detect and choose which networks you'd like to defend (Territory Mode). Optionally, tell Cyborg Unplug to block all network connections from any prohibited device (All Out Mode) or only alert you when a device is detected.

Step 4

Install the Cyborg Unplug Alert app on your Android smartphone (iPhone/iPad users receive emails instead) to ensure you receive alerts when a device you've banned is detected.

Illustrations by Julian Kücklich

Preorder Unplug

Buy now, disconnect later

Our premiere model is Little Snipper, capable of detecting and disconnecting most WiFi surveillance and surveillance-capable devices in your environment. Little Snipper  ships to you in a custom designed box with an illustrated booklet and two stickers, one to customise and the other to disguise.

Little Snipper

Preorder Now

€52.- (ca. $66.-)

2.4Ghz detector and disconnector
Detects and disables most common classes of wireless surveillance device
LED alert
Anonymously sends emails (iOS) and alerts to smartphone app (Android). Free App.
EU and US plug standards

Home Bake

Coming soon

Expected Dec 2014

Install our firmware on your compatible hardware
Free and Open Source.
Study, modify and redistribute the code

The Axe

In development


2.4Ghz and 5Ghz dual-band (concurrent) detector and disconnector
Detects and disables bluetooth connections (optional, with USB dongle)
Detects and disables both high and low end wireless surveillance devices
Audio alert via audio jack
LED alert
Anonymously sends emails (iOS) and alerts to smartphone app (Android). Free App.
EU and US plug standards

Limited Time Sympathy Discount

10% refund on all devices for customers from Mountain View & Bay Area, California, USA.

Support the cause

Stop the cyborgs was founded in response to the combination of wearable technology with ‘big data’. The aim of the movement is to stop a future in which privacy is impossible and where the iron cage of surveillance and control pervades every aspect of life. Add a donation using the pre-order interface to help keep Stop the Cyborgs running.
Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. Add a donation using the pre-order interface to help keep the EFF running.

Tactical Tech is an organisation dedicated to the use of information in activism. They work hard to advance the skills, tools and techniques of human rights advocates, empowering them to use information and communications to help marginalised communities understand and effect progressive social, environmental and political change. Add a donation using the pre-order interface to help keep Tactical Tech running.
OpenWrt OpenWrt is the giant on whose shoulders Cyborg Unplug stands; a finely crafted Free and Open Source toolkit for building high quality GNU/Linux firmware for a vast array of wireless router hardware. Without OpenWrt, Cyborg Unplug would be very expensive and difficult to develop. Add a donation using the pre-order interface to help the OpenWrt team with their running costs.

Frequently asked questions


Every wireless (WiFi) device has a unique hardware signature assigned to it by the manufacturer. These signatures are broadcast by wireless devices as they probe for, connect to and use wireless networks.

Cyborg Unplug sniffs the air for these signatures, looking for devices its owner has selected to ban. If a device selected to be banned is discovered, an alarm is triggered (LED, audio or message*). Further, if that device is found to be connected to a network that Cyborg Unplug is trained to guard, a stream of special 'de-authentication' signals (packets) are sent to disconnect it. It does this automatically without any interaction required from its owner.

* Due to technical limitations, alarm features may be restricted to the high-priced model.


We don't.

We do however recognise that technology can be used to empower or dis-empower people. The use of covert technology by spies, some governments and voyeurs dis-empowers those it targets; the rights of one are abused for the gain of another. At the same time, the race to embrace new gadgets within a broader narrative of progress can result in an uncritical relationship with new technology, one that can have adverse, rights-reducing effects on others.

Cyborg Unplug has been created to help level that imbalance, using a 'direct action' strategy of detect-and-disconnect.


It is perfectly legal to block any device you choose from a wireless network you own and/or administer.

Many wireless routers allow an administrator to create blacklists, although generally they are limited to specific devices rather than an entire product. Cyborg Unplug (using FCC (US) and CE (EU) approved hardware) is just as legal, differing only in that it takes a 'direct action' approach to wireless defense: a detect-and-disconnect routine, alarm system and an automatically updated list of devices able to be banned.

NOTE: Detecting and disconnecting devices you prohibit from using your network using Cyborg Unplug is known as Territory Mode, and is the recommended mode for using the device. Disconnecting devices from using networks that are not yours (All Out Mode) may not be legal in your jurisdiction however. As such this mode is not recommended. Please be sure you are aware of local legal restrictions and the risks involved and understand that we take no responsibility for your choice to use this mode.

A screwdriver can be used as a weapon and it can also be used to fix your stereo; if Cyborg Unplug is used irresponsibly, to cause undue harm of any sort, it's no responsibility of ours!


No, not in any stretch of the definition.

A jammer disrupts communications within a given (radio) band by flooding it with noise. Using FCC approved router hardware, Cyborg Unplug does not and can not do this. Rather, it detects and targets a specific device and disconnects (only) it in turn by sending the same, legal, de-authentication packets any router sends when it needs to disconnect an offending device.


It doesn't and it can't. It only stops them streaming what they record to a device or service on the Internet (Skype running on a laptop or a cloud service). Sadly, this is the case for most wireless devices used for surveillance; streaming to a machine on the Internet or in a nearby room allows for remote backups and surveillance while ensuring the offending device contains no evidence (files) of the abuse.


Cyborg Unplug isn't designed for use in those cases where there is already strict control over who uses the local wireless network. Rather, it's for those with networks used by many people (school, office, library, bar, cafe) that either give out the password or provide an open network.

Wireless devices used to spy and stream images/video/audio/data to the Internet using that network (Territory Mode) or via any network (All Out Mode, which includes tethered connections to phones) will be detected. An alarm is then signalled and the detected device is disconnected by Cyborg Unplug (please see CAN IT BE USED TO DISCONNECT DEVICES FROM ANY NETWORK? below for more information).

Importantly, no encryption of any kind is a hindrance to the detection and disconnection of wireless (WiFi and Bluetooth) devices by Cyborg Unplug: it operates at a level below the IP network (specifically at Layer 2 of the OSI stack).


Naturally there are many reasons you'd like to allow some devices while disallowing others. You may for instance own a Google Glass but want to detect and disallow spy cameras hidden in clothing or objects, like wrist watches and smoke detectors.

Cyborg Unplug has no bias: its owner selects the devices to disconnect, leaving others to freely connect and use your network.


If your Cyborg Unplug is connected to the Internet (via an Ethernet cable to your router) it will anonymously (using Tor) and securely download lists of wireless devices known to be used to threaten your privacy soon after they hit the market. This means that as detectable hardware addresses change, your Cyborg Unplug will automatically become aware of them.


In short yes. But be sure to read on to understand the implications...

Disconnecting devices from using networks that are not yours (All Out Mode) may not be legal in your jurisdiction however. As such this mode is not recommended. Please be sure you are aware of local legal restrictions and the risks involved and understand that we take no responsibility for your choice to use this mode. Cyborg Unplug can be operated in two modes. The recommended mode is Territory Mode, disconnecting target devices from selected network(s) owned and operated by the user. The other mode is All Out Mode, which disconnects all detected target devices from any network they connect to, including paired connections with smartphones. Please note that using this latter mode may not be legal within your jurisdiction, so be sure to check the law beforehand and understand the risks. We take absolutely no responsibility for any disputes, legal issues or damage of any sort if you choose to deploy your Cyborg Unplug in this mode.


Yes it would. For this to happen however the device used for spying would have to be 'rooted' or running alternative firmware. This is not only often very difficult (in some cases practically impossible on tiny embedded devices), it's also something hardware manufacturers generally discourage, voiding warranty. As such we consider altered hardware addresses to be a fringe case.


We're currently looking into sniffing and breaking Bluetooth connections with the same degree of accuracy as connections using WiFi. This would be made possible on Cyborg Unplug with the purchase of an additional Bluetooth USB dongle. Please note that detecting and disconnecting select Bluetooth devices may not be legal within your jurisdiction.


We ship just about anywhere. Please note we only initially have options for EU and US plug fixtures.


Yes indeed. Free and Open Source. The code will be made publicly available under the GNU General Public License the day the plugs ship. A firmware download will also be made available such that the more intrepid person can flash it onto a select range of compatible hardware targets.


Cyborg Unplug comes hot on the heels of glasshole.sh, a script written by Julian Oliver to detect and disconnect Google's Glass device from a locally owned and administered network. Following broad coverage in the press, the script struck a chord with countless people all over the world that felt either frustrated or threatened by the growing abuse of covert, camera-enabled computer technology. The call was clear: build it into a device and we'll buy it.

And Cyborg Unplug was born.


We are a group of artists, technologist and designers based in Berlin, Germany - sharing a deep interest in privacy in an age of ubiquitous machines. We are 100% self funded, with no external institutional affiliations.

Julian Oliver - Project Lead, Developer.
Samim Winiger - Branding, Site Design, Conspirator.
Stop The Cyborgs - Conspirator, Inspiration.

Follow us on Twitter.

"Privacy is the power to selectively reveal yourself to the world"

A Cypherpunk's Manifesto, 1993