‘Open Informant’ turns your private messages into public protest

Given the widespread surveillance of groups like the National Security Agency, it’s easy to feel like your private digital life isn’t all that private — and a new art project aims to make that feeling a bit more obvious by turning your body into “an instrument for protest.” Called “Open Informant,” the project is a simple badge with an e-ink display. The badge is coupled with an app on your smartphone, which searches your phone’s messages and communications for NSA trigger words like “assassination” or “bomb.” It then displays those words on the badge in bold for everyone to see.

“By openly displaying what is currently taken by forceful stealth,” the creators explain, “we question the intrusive forms of mass surveillance adopted by…

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