The Transparency Grenade

A beautiful new weapon for leakers.



It's usually not a good idea to pull the pin out of a grenade in the middle of a meeting. But this resin and sterling silver replica of a Soviet F1 hand grenade isn't ordinary ordnance. 

Designed to instantly and anonymously publicize what's going on in closed-door meetings or other secret confabs, the hardware-stuffed Transparency Grenade releases a burst of data when activated. Audio files, network traffic, and location information are streamed to a dedicated server, where useful fragments like email messages and voice recordings are harvested and displayed on a map. The idea, creator and artist Julian Oliver told the blog We Make Money Not Art, is to enable "network-leveraged leaking" by deploying a "functional weapon in a symbolically representative container."

This gorgeous grenade is a one-off, unfortunately. But Oliver is hard at work on an application that will run discretely on Android phones and tablets, mimicking the capture and streaming functions of the original. "Naturally," he explains on the project's website, "this is a little more practical than walking into a meeting with a grenade in your jacket pocket."