Conversnitch is an inconspicuous recording device that automatically tweets snippets of overheard conversations onto twitter. Disguised as a light bulb or a lamp, the Conversnitch works anywhere that has wifi — a restaurant, library, or home, for instance — and uses a Raspberry Pi and a microphone to record audio.

Project creators, Kyle McDonald and Brian House built the device for about a hundred dollars and then pay to have the audio transcribed through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform. Although it’s creators admit that the art project could be used for a variety of illegal activities, they intended it to raises questions about the nature of public and private spaces in an era where anything can be broadcast by ubiquitous, Internet-connected listening devices. (Via)

At Newark Airport, The Lights Are On, And They’re Watching You


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Hound Dog Bug Detector And Phone Sweep Unit, 1950’s/1960’s

The Hound Dog Bug Detector And Phone Sweep was state of the art portable countermeasures for the 1960’s. If you owned a set, almost every detective agency in town wanted to see it and “barrow them.” They were made by R. B. Clifton and cost what would be about $2000.00 for the set by today’s standards. The Hound Dog was a portable RF bug detector which is shown on the left. The Phone Sweep was a tone sweeper that would let you remotely sweep a phone to turn on any hidden microphones which the unit could then detect. This was state-of-the-art countermeasures for the 1960’s. There were many countermeasures services that offered remote tone sweeping of telephone lines in these days. There were some agencies that even offered monthly remote tone phone sweeping services for a monthly fee.

Via Spy & Private-Eye Museum.