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Digital Spying for the Citizen: Available and Cheap

NYTimes article highlights the relative ease with which a citizen can monitor the digital activities of other citizens.  It's not that this is necessarily legal, and can easily cross the line into the (US) Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  But, it does demonstrate how easily and inexspensively it can be accomplished.

A Cheap Spying Tool With a High Creepy Factor - NYTimes.com:

Brendan O’Connor is a security researcher. How easy would it be, he recently wondered, to monitor the movement of everyone on the street – not by a government intelligence agency, but by a private citizen with a few hundred dollars to spare?
Mr. O’Connor, 27, bought some plastic boxes and stuffed them with a $25, credit-card size Raspberry Pi Model A computer and a few over-the-counter sensors, including Wi-Fi adapters. He connected each of those boxes to a command and control system, and he built a data visualization system to monitor what the sensors picked up: all the wireless traffic emitted by every nearby wireless device, including smartphones. …


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