We think this looks really useful, it’s a new and free service to help you get your laptop back if it is lost or stolen. Free and private solution, Adeona launched today, put together by researchers at Washington and California (San Diego) univerisites.

This is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop (Mac, Linux and Windows) that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go – there’s no need to rely on a single third party. What’s more, Adeona addresses a critical privacy goal different from existing commercial offerings. It is privacy-preserving. This means that no one besides the owner (or an agent of the owner’s choosing) can use Adeona to track a laptop. 

Adeona is designed to use the Open Source OpenDHT distributed storage service to store location updates sent by a small software client installed on an owner’s laptop. The client continually monitors the current location of the laptop, gathering information (such as IP addresses and local network topology) that can be used to identify its current location. The client then uses strong cryptographic mechanisms to not only encrypt the location data, but also ensure that the ciphertexts stored within OpenDHT are anonymous and unlinkable. At the same time, it is easy for an owner to retrieve location information.

The Mac OS X version also has an option to capture pictures of the laptop user or thief using the built-in iSight camera and the freeware tool isightcapture. Like your location information, these images are privacy-protected so that only the laptop owner (or an agent of the owner’s choosing) can access them.

 

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