A number of recent efforts aim to bridge the global digital divide,
particularly with respect to Internet access. We take this endeavor one step
further and argue that Internet access and web security go hand in glove in the
developing world. To remedy the situation, we explore whether low-cost
platforms, such as Raspberry Pi (\$35) and Cubieboard (\$59), can be used to
implement security mechanisms. Using a firewall as a motivating security
application we benchmark its performance on these platforms to test our thesis.
Our results show that these platforms can indeed serve as enablers of security
functions for small sized deployments in the developing world, while only
consuming less than $2.5 worth of electricity per device per annum. In
addition, we argue that the use of these platforms also addresses maintenance
challenges such as update roll-out and distribution. Furthermore, a number of
additional network functions, such as caching and WAN acceleration can also be
implemented atop this simple infrastructure. Finally, we posit that this
deployment can be used for in-network monitoring to facilitate ICT4D research.