Mind Chasers Inc.

Private Island

An Open Source FPGA-based Network Processor for Internet Privacy & Security

Note: Live update at ESC Boston this April. Please join us to find out more and fill out the form below to stay updated on when new content related to this project is posted.

Demonstration and walk through of an open source project for Gigabit Ethernet networking focusing on Internet Privacy and Security applications. Utilize this low cost, open FPGA-based platform to achieve an unprecedented level of network visibility & control and turn your Raspberry Pi or other hobby board into a powerful network processor. Walk throughs include review of the open source Verilog and ARM micro-controller software as well as demonstrations of various network applications. See packets and sessions captured and displayed in real-time. Learn about the necessary attributes of a network processing architecture and ways to deal with the inherent complexities and high data rates of Gigabit Ethernet networking.

Attendees will see live data captured across a Gigabit network that will be displayed in an easy to understand format. They will gain a deep understanding of Ethernet frames, higher layer protocols, and the complexities and requirements for processing a full-duplex Gigabit data stream on low-cost, open hardware.

Private Island's Project Tenets:

  • The right of a service or gadget provider to snoop and collect data is null & void and any un-permitted attempts to do so must be thwarted.
  • Technology in a home or business must work exclusively for the owner. Our robots must serve us, alone.
  • Full network visibility and control are essential to protect privacy and security.
  • We must be able to access & visualize the data that enters and exits our private network at the wire level.

To achieve our project goals, we utilize an FPGA in order to build an open, trustworthy, and extensible foundation for packet processing.

When we set out to block certain addresses, ports, and / or protocols, we are able to confirm at the hardware layer that this has been accomplished rather than making assumptions of lower layers being free of bugs, back doors, and resident spies / spyware.

Private Island Block Diagram
FPGA microcontroller PHY PHY PHY debug expansion PWR Internet InternalNetwork SystemController hide show all


Internal development is in progress. We intend to post a repository of the project's source accompanied by an open source license shortly after the show. Also, we're actively publishing "how to" type technical articles related to the project on this site.

[ Page last updated: February 28, 2018]

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