As former NSA director Michael Hayden learned on an Amtrak train last year, anyone with a phone can become a livetweeting snoop.

But why use a person when you can use a lamo? 

Two artists, Kyle McDonald and Brian House, have built Conversnitch for less than $100. It resembles a lightbulb or lamp and listens in on nearby conversations and posts snippets of transcribed audio to Twitter.

The components of Conversnitch, including a Raspberry Pi miniature computer, an LED light source and a plastic flower pot. Photo: Kyle McDonald. Link: Wired

What does it take? A Raspberry Pi miniature computer, a microphone, an LED and a plastic flower pot. It uploads captured audio via the nearest open Wi-Fi network to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform, which McDonald and House pay small fees to transcribe the audio and post lines of conversation to Conversnitch’s Twitter account.

An Eavesdropping Lamp That Livetweets Private Conversations By Andy Greenberg, Wired