9 Gadgets To Help You Avoid Surveillance

I stumbled across this tech tidbit while reading the Huff Post, it was in a slide show and thought, hmm….this could be interesting. Living in Sin City you get use to an overwhelming amount of surveillance in your life. If you work for any of the casinos in town, overwhelming doesn’t even begin….then I read through these and nearly choked I laughed so hard, and I imagined a Cubs game at Wrigley would do it right.

The first gadget up to bat was a gooey thing called, “Fingerprint Gel.” Apparently the Japanese government counter-terrorism practice of fingerprinting foreigners who enter the country may have inspired Doctor Tsutomu Matsumoto to invent “fingerprinting gels”, a way of faking fingerprints for scanners. Cher says: (What they are saying is, the technology or know-how, if you will, is out there to make fake fingerprints that could access your super secret stuff. Oh my! And no-I don’t want to know what that is! Covers eyes)
Second batter up and one on second base is a white noise generator. (Of course my eyebrows shot up at this one.) If you are worried someone is recording you, there is a low tech way to jam such things. These tiny devices use good ol’ white noise to blur the sound picked up by hidden microphones and other surreptitious recording devices. Portable audio jammers produce white noise that block out any attempts to secretly record you. Cher says: (Oh boy! I’m speechless, and grabs a beer vendor in the aisle.) 
Third up to base and looking like he wants a home run is a cute little thing called Phonekerchief. (Scratches head and hails peanut vendor.) MIT’sTechnology Review calls it the newest, hottest Thanksgiving accessory — but you can use phone-size “Faraday cages” like this (sold by uncommongoods) to block your cellphone’s call signal, WiFi and GPS. Handy now that federal courts are ruling that cops can track suspects via cellphone sans warrant, and Apple can remotely disable your phone camera with a click. As security researcher Jacob Appelbaum said in an interview with N+1 back in April, “Cell phones are tracking devices that make phone calls.” So shouldn’t you be prepared for when you don’t want to be tracked? Cher says: (Oh wow! My take on this is, if you have to evade the law, don’t stop to tell me-please. Just pull out the phone battery, for heavens sake! Duh!)
The fourth up and bases loaded is LED-Lined Hat. (Seriously?) Hidden cameras got you down? Blind them all with a simple baseball cap lined with infrared LEDs. Amie,a hacker on WonderHowTo, shows the world how to make one, while this German art exhibition lays out how these ingenious devices work. Cher says: (Oh for fuck sake.)
Fifth and a new batter up and the next inning, (Come on Blue-get your foul-ball calls straight,) is a Bug Detector. These receivers reveal the telltale electronic crackle of hidden mics and cameras. Strangely enough, they were around long before “surveillance culture” became a common phrase. Today they’re sold in all sorts of shops for surveillance paranoids. Cher says: ( Ummmm….they have meds for this too.)
Sixth in this strange lineup and a strike out is, Camera Map. Sometimes hiding your face isn’t enough; sometimes you don’t want to be seen at all. For those days, there’s camera maps. The NYC Surveillance Camera Project is currently working to document the location of and working status of every security camera in New York City. This project has been replicated by others in Boston, Chicago and Bloomington, Indiana. Notbored.orghas even published a guide to making your own surveillance camera maps. Cher says: (If you can’t see the cameras you need to up your prescription, if you need to hide because it’s going to be a bad hair day, I don’t know what to tell you. Wait a minute…. Bloomington Indiana? WTF?)
Number seven up and we need to change the pitcher is Dazzle Camouflage. Credit to artist Adam Harvey for this one. Inspired by the “dazzle camouflage” used on submarines and warships during World War I, he designed a series of face paint principles meant to fool the facial recognition schemas of security cameras. Check out The Perilous Glamour of Life Under Surveillance for some tips on designing your own camera-fooling face paint. Cher says: (OMFG!! I am soooo not walking around town with white/black triangle spots pasted on my face, and if you are this desperate to hide-find a plastic surgeon and do us all a favor.)
Okay, the eighth is something everyone knows. (And grab that beer vendor.) Throwaway Cellphone. Walmart may be the premier symbol of corporate America, but its disposable cellphone selection can help you start a thoroughly maverick lifestyle. $10 Tracfones work on most major networks, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon, and come with minutes prepaid so you can dispose of the devices when you’re done. Cher says: (I’m sure promoting Wallymart is right up my alley, no seriously, if you are currently rehabbing in Cheater’s Anon this could work for you. Shrug)
Ninth inning stretch and a run to the little girls room before they hit home plate is RFID-Blocking Wallet. (Say what?) Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) chips are nowregularly implanted in passports, ID cards, credit cards and travel papers. These tiny chips make machine-reading your documents easier — but could also let anyone with the right type of scanner scrape your information and track your whereabouts. Luckily, gadget geeks have come to the rescue again, this time with RFID-blocking wallets. Working on the same principle as the “phonekerchief”, (snort) these wallets create a Faraday cage around your items, keeping their data secure until you take them out to be scanned where they’re supposed to be scanned. Destroying the chip is simpler: just nuke it in the microwave for five seconds. Of course, whatever you’re microwaving might burst into flames first…Cher says: (Holy shit! A Faraday in your shorts? Bwahahaah. I’ll buy you a hot dog if you let me see a Faraday on your ass.)
Now wasn’t that a fun Cubs game and you betcha- they won! Burp-oops. Excuse me.

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