New spy lamp can secretly tweet conversations

  • PTI, New York
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 27, 2014 15:11 IST

Next time you lean against a lamppost while having a private conversation, think twice! Two US artists have developed a creepy new lamp that secretly records people's conversations and live tweets them.

The lamp dubbed Conversnitch surreptitiously listens in on nearby conversations and posts snippets of transcribed audio on-line. New-York based artists Kyle McDonald and Brian House hope to raise questions about the nature of public and private spaces in an era when anything can be broadcast by ubiquitous, Internet-connected listening devices, '' reported.

The surveillance gadget is constructed using a microphone, an LED and a plastic flower pot. The $100 lamp screws into and draws power from any standard bulb socket.

It then uploads captured audio through the nearest open Wi-Fi network to Amazon's Mechanical Turk crowd-sourcing platform. The audio and post lines of conversation are then transcribed to Conversnitch's Twitter account.

The lamp was first tested at an art exhibition in Manhattan in October last year. McDonald and House, however, have not disclosed where else they have planted the device, citing legal issues, the report said. "We recognise that this device can be used in an illegal way, and we will not admit to using it in that way," McDonald said. "It has potentially been deployed in various places," said McDonald.


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