That’s all it took for Brendan O’Connor to create a private, personalized NSA-like Internet spying device. He only used them on himself, but quickly he could record the websites he’d visit while using public WiFi. With this came the realization that he could find a wealth of information, such as his email address and his photo, simply by monitoring this Internet activity.
Raspberry Pi has given the DIY-er the power to create some cool tech, such as this talking microwave. But it also has the power to create devices that fall on the darker side of things. O’Connor, a security researcher, simply took a tiny Raspberry Pi Model A computer and a few over-the-counter sensors and placed this into a small plastic box, one that could easily be placed anywhere throughout a city.
He could even “spy” on himself if he wasn’t online, through Wi-Fi “pings.” The device, which he calls “creepyDOL,” could inconspicuously be placed in a strategic location around a city. How long before someone would notice? The New York Times points out some frightening implications. “You could spy on your ex-lover, by placing the sensor boxes near the places the person frequents, or your teenage child, or the residents of a particular neighborhood.”
Technology can always be misappropriated, but this seems particularly frightening, especially in a country increasingly obsessed with privacy.