The Transparency Grenade by Julian Oliver – Design Fiction for Leaking Data

Provocations within The Critical Engineering Manifesto (2011) state that reliance on specific technologies are "both a challenge and a threat" and that "the exploit is the most desirable form of exposure". Julian Oliver is one of the authors of this manifesto and on reviewing his body of work, one can see that the mandate is clearly at the heart of his practice. The Transparency Grenade, Oliver's most recent endeavour, reimagines the iconic Soviet F1 hand grenade as the chassis for a personal data-leaking device. A concerned individual with physical access to site shrouded in secrecy could simply wait for an opportune moment, pull the pin and create a 'detonation' of related data that would be instantly published to the web. The statement for the project describes the operation of the prototype:

"Equipped with a tiny computer, microphone and powerful wireless antenna, The Transparency Grenade captures network traffic and audio at the site and securely and anonymously streams it to a dedicated server where it is mined for information. Email fragments, HTML pages, images and voice extracted from this data are then presented on an online, public map, shown at the location of the detonation."

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