“Icebox: Internet Security for Everyone” presented by Wong and Crowe

  • ©ISEA2016: 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art, Ashley Lee Wong and Andrew Crowe, Icebox: Internet Security for Everyone
  • ICEBOX first prototype, 2015, Andrew Crowe, textured 3D printed case with Raspberry Pi


Session Title:

  • Digital Identity, Surveillance, Cyberactivism

Presentation Title:

  • Icebox: Internet Security for Everyone




  • ICEBOX is a device that makes internet security easy-to-use and accessible for the everyday internet user. Currently in the prototyping phase, ICEBOX was started in response to the revelations of Edward Snowden and the risks against government surveillance and corporate use of our data for advertising. ICEBOX aims to provide easy solutions for the everyday internet-user to protect themselves from the day-today risks and threats of navigating the net.

    From ad blocking to acting as a TOR router to setting up a VPN (virtual private network), ICEOBOX puts power and control to freely surf the net back into the peoples’ hands. ICEBOX aims to create a platform for educating people about the risks prevalent today and understand the processes happening in the backend and to train them how to take more control of their data. The project hopes to engage artists working on issues of mass surveillance to also create a creative and discursive platform on internet security through art.

    Internet Security for Everyone
    ICEBOX is a multi-purpose internet security device that is easy-to-use and accessible to the everyday user. The name, ICEBOX, is inspired by cyberpunk novelist William Gibson’s ‘Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics’ (ICE) [1] and plays on the need for transparency of government instutions on their mass surveillance activities. ICEBOX is a tool to help put internet security back into the people’s hands in an environment where we see the increasing tracking of and use of data for surveillance by governments and for advertising and market research by corporations.

    ICEBOX brings together a bundle of open souce tools and makes them easy-to-use with a clean and simple interface with pre-configured applications for a quick and easy installation that can be applied by your everyday internet user. One does not need to be a programmer or tech genius to use ICEBOX. The project aims to educate people of the risks while surfing the net and help bring to light some of the activities that are happening in the backend without our knowing. ICEBOX helps us take more control of what is happening to our data and to take a more secure means of using the internet in our everyday.

    Key Features
    ICEBOX has many uses and functions that brings together a set of tools to allow users to surf the net securely in their day-to-day. ICEBOX can work on any computer, tablet, smartphone.

    Primary uses of ICEBOX allows users to securely surf the net particulrarly while using unsecured open WiFi hotspots. Features include:
    • Ad blocking to avoid unwanted ads
    • Cookie, script and plugin blocking to avoid unwanted tracking and dangerous scripts
    • TOR router to allow users to browse the internet anonymously using an onion router
    • VPN router and server to create a secure and reliable network to surf the net and bypassing unsecured networks
    • Firewall to control network traffic and block any incoming or outgoing requests
    • Net activity monitor to track hidden activity
    • Extra battery for smartphones
    • 3G hotspot
    • Personal cloud storage and webhosting for more advanced users.

    Platform for Art
    ICEBOX is also a platform to educate people about the risks of surfing the net and to train people to use the device effectively. Through talks and workshops particularly in line with CryptoParty and hackerspaces, ICEBOX seeks to participate and generate discussions around internet security that is accessible and open to the public. ICEBOX aims help people understand risks prevalent today and to breakdown the use of the tools to empower people to take more control of their data and to create a civic defense again mass surveillance and corporate tracking.

    By working collaboratively with artists creating work on issues of mass surveillance, ICEBOX also aims to create a platform and dialogue around internet security. Potential artist collaborations include working with people like James Bridle, Paolo Cirio, Yuri Pattinson, Jake Appelbaum, Metahaven and NOME Gallery in Berlin. ICEBOX is currently in its prototyping phase where we are developing the tools and seeking partnerships and support for the project. As an independent project, welcome any suggestions and support.