The Transparency Grenade

The Transparency Grenade by Julian Oliver is a “weapon” for radical transparency. A case modeld after a Soviet F1 hand grenade contains a gumstick linux computer with wifi and an integrated microphone. The gumstick packet sniffs the wireless network while simultaneously streaming the ambient audio to a remote server for analysis. (Essentially, the gumstick is running DriftNet or EtherPEG.) In an interview with We-Make-Money-Not-Art, Oliver says that he wanted to make the “information war” a bit more visual and iconic.

The Transparency Grenade was made for Weise 7, an artist collective in Berlin, and their Labor 8 exhibition. The exhibition features a the nexus of technology and surveillance.

The grenade reminds me the Bluetooth Sniper Rifle, both in form and function. In case you don’t remember the bluetooth sniper, it is/was a high gain directional antenna connected to the bluetooth pins of a gumstick computer, all mounted on a rifle stock. The “gun” was able to capture the bluetooth packets of syncing mobile devices from three-quarters of a mile away. Also