Julian Oliver has created an easy to use physical data mine that demonstrates how easy it is to monitor and share ‘private’ online interactions.
The transparency grenade, based off of the classic Soviet F1 grenade, is an art project turned data collection device. By pulling the pin the grenade uses a small processor and microphone to capture local wireless network traffic and audio. Then it takes the data and streams it to a server where emails, HTML code, images and audio material are mined. Users can access and leak the information through an online public map.
An article on Gizmag describes the technical make up of the grenade:
The hardware components include a Gumstix computer fitted with an ARM Cortex-A8 processor and running a modified Angstrom OS. An Arduino Nano platform is used to handle the embedded display, and the spy work is handled by a powerful 802.11 antenna and a 5 mm microphone. The collected data is stored on an 8GB MicroSD card. A 3.7 volt battery powers the whole rig, including a 64 x 32 pixel LCD display and a LED Bargraph to show the wireless signal level.
Engineer Julian Oliver designed the transparency grenade, a 3D printer was used to create the outer shell and designer Susanne Stauch handcrafted the some of the metal parts.
Check out the gallery below to see more images of the grenade:
Image credits via Gizmag