Privacy Takes Yet Another Hit With ‘Conversnitch’
Next time you head to New York or soon probably anywhere you might want to watch what you say in public, your conversation may be being tweeted for the world to see thank to Conversnitch lamps.
This stupid thing costs less than $100.00 to construct and like many annoying things can be made from items easily found in stores. What your victim will see is an innocuous-looking light fixture and what they won’t know is that it is capable of listening to what you say and then live tweeting every single sentence. Yikes! I can see many a mother in law in tears already.
. The technology, unveiled yesterday, is the brainchild of New York-based Kyle McDonald and Brian House who wanted to make people think more about privacy issues in society. The lamp was recently tested at an art exhibition in Manhattan when a lamp-turned-spy began covertly listening in on conversations
Conversnitch, according to its creators, takes only took a few hours to put together. It consists of a Raspberry Pi mini-computer, a microphone, an LED and a plastic flower pot. The device screws into a standard bulb socket from where it also draws power.
The system can upload any secretly captured audio via the nearest open Wi-Fi network, and sends it to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform.
Creators McDonald and House pay the users there to transcribe the audio and post lines of conversation to Conversnitch’s Twitter account.
The Conversnitch lamp – its current location unknown – has been active for several months and has its own Twitter account @conversnitch where it posts snippets of what it has heard.
McDonald and House are quotes, ‘We hope that Conversnitch helps people remember the feeling of frustration and powerless we used to have before we got used to Snowden announcing a new secret NSA mass-surveillance program every week’ ‘What happens when people are not only listening to your conversations, or watching your actions, but can comment on or favorite them?’