Thursday, September 13, 2007

"CIA Cell Tower" Art Project in Williamsburg

Yesterday, we noted the Conflux Festival in Williamsburg, which kicks off today. Well, we came across some promotion for a "CIA Cell Tower" being put up by a Williamsburg art gallery to "capture, monitor and rebroadcast wireless signals in the internet-savvy neighborhood of Williamsburg Brooklyn." The location is 121 Roebling.

The release says:
Possible terrorist cells close to the east river are targeted as candidates for Wi-Fi "eavesdropping" to ensure our safety. Proponents of the tower point to the August 3rd scare of a homemade submarine coming within striking distance of The Queen Mary 2 which was docked on the Brooklyn side of the East River.

"Though they are not involved in the construction or operation of the tower, government agencies such as the NSA and the CIA can benefit from its use," said John Leo from Capla Kesting Fine Art whose gallery contracted the construction of the tower based on illustrations and paintings from their exhibiting artist Travis Lindquist. "It is not an invasion of privacy but, a symbol of how far our government is willing to go to ensure our private space is an extension of their ability to protect us."

Local developers competing for rental and loft sale revenue have been offering free wireless internet services as an attractive addition to their properties, unknowingly exposing themselves and their users to potential snooping.

"Developers are prime candidates for assisting in the use of this tower, they will provide a broad spectrum of internet users to spy on and the unsecured wireless signal in which to use," said David Kesting, director of the Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery.

Congress' recently approved changes to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the NSA to monitor domestic conversations and e-mails and provides the legal standing for the cell tower's construction.

"The tower allows groups like the NSA to collect data intercepted through e-mails and internet traffic on unsecured Wi-Fi connections without having to approach internet service providers such as AT&T Inc. This will eliminate the U.S. government's alleged complicity in current class-action lawsuits filed by consumers who feel their privacy has been violated," explained John Leo.
We have no idea whether it will be clever, funny or lame, but the publicity certainly got our attention.

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Blogger Mista said...

If you get to test their wirless, let us know. Free wireless is always great, and such a 'nice' thing to do as a piece of real estate. But safety first.

1:02 AM  

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