Spy-Proof, Open-Source Laptop Can Be Built At Home [Pics]

Spy-Proof, Open-Source Laptop Can Be Built At Home [Pics]

Make sure your computer hardware is NSA-free with these transparent building plans.

Ross Brooks
  • 21 january 2014

With growing concern about government agencies such as the NSA, open-source software has stepped into the spotlight as a way to ensure complete transparency. While this has so far only applied to software, there could soon be a way for you to take complete control of your hardware as well, all thanks to Project Novena.

Project Novena is the brainchild of Sean “xobs” Cross and Bunnie Huang, an effort to build a homemade laptop with open source hardware that has specifications freely available to everyone. It was also their attempt to try and “learn new things while making something we would actually use on a daily basis.”


What Novena lacks in modernity, it makes up for in transparency.

If you see something suspicious in the hardware, you have the opportunity to look it up in the reference schematics and see if it really is a cause for concern

Not every piece of hardware inside the Novena is open source; the screen, keyboard, hard drive, power supply, and processor were all purchased off the shelf, and it’s powered by a hacked RC car battery pack – but it’s light years ahead of anything that exists on the market today. So if you’re main concern is privacy, Novena could be a great way to test your building skills, and get the control you’ve always wanted.


Images: Bunnie Huang

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