What is Dowse?

Dowse is a software designed by dyne.org to build into a small inexpensive computer.
It can be a board such as a Raspberry Pi, an OlinuXino, or just any computer you have standing around.

It allows you to see what kind of events are happening on your network in real-time. Dowse shades your
DNS traffic to your Internet Service Provider. Dowse becomes the digital equivalent of a door and a curtain.

After it allows you to recognise and name every appliance you have in your home

Not only by a name but also adds an INTERNET ACCESS ON/OFF button.
If something does not seem right you can switch off-line a device or all the Internet connections, while you eventually investigate or ask for help.

Dowse is also implementing a simple way to sanitize your traffic by being able to detect most malware and
spyware sites and make it visible: then is up for you to see who you trust.

Why do I even want to know?

Internet of Things machines might be calling home (often their producer, often for unknown reasons). Or they could have been infected by a virus or malware, or some software that spies on you.

They could be spamming, or participating without your knowledge in a botnet and used for a DDOS attack. They could be doing damages. And all without you being conscious.

Even when you don’t care that this can happen, you should be aware,  since you can be held
accountable when your machines are infected and participate in damages. And worst of all, you could be held responsible.

You are accountable if your device causes damages or break the law.

If I dowse my home network am I spying on the other people living in my house?

Living together implies to give away a certain amount of privacy. Dowse mechanisms of
awareness and control are thought to be an invitation to discuss, not a tool for censorship. Dowse is not made to inspect messages or sneakingly reveal your secrets. On the contrary, it encourages polite behaviour and transparency but also a secure and private behaviour when it matters.

Especially in the case that there is something really wrong – you should know.

If you enter a room and someone is screaming in a corner, you will notice. A more or less equivalent behaviour over the network is to pass unnoticed to the rest of the users, human, animal, and digital. for months. Until it’s too late…

What kind of security dangers there are in IoT? Can you give me an example?

Devices are supposed to be reasonably safe to use. And home devices to be non-operative when unsupervised.
For example, before leaving your house for holidays you close the gas mains.

Imagine devices having open flames (your barbecue) or propelled by powerful motors that are attached to your water pipe systems and that can be activated remotely. Does it sounds like a safe home of the future?

Dangerous sites on the network can install software intended to do harm, corporations can infer from your usage patterns to sell you more goods, or to profile your habits to sell this information to third parties. Even if is prohibited by EU law. Small pain all that SPAM?

No one really wants all this poisoning of his attention span.

These corporations do not need to know how you use your devices, they can leak information about you simply by a lack of technical skills or consideration. Is full of cases like such. They could not know and simply leak them by mistake. Or even worse: sell them and make money by something you give to them unaware.

But don’t just believe us.

Check for yourself 🙂 duckduck.go around…

And happy dowsing!