What is wrong with the ‘Bracelet of Silence’

Moral questions on Wearable Microphone Jamming and Frequency Jamming in general

“We engineered a wearable microphone jammer that is capable of disabling microphones in its user’s surroundings, including hidden microphones. Our device is based on a recent exploit that leverages the fact that when exposed to ultrasonic noise, commodity microphones will leak the noise into the audible range. Moreover, our device exploits a synergy between ultrasonic jamming and the naturally occurring movements that users induce on their wearable devices (e.g., bracelets) as they gesture or walk. We demonstrate that these movements can blur jamming blind spots and increase jamming coverage. Lastly, our wearable bracelet is built in a ring-layout that allows it to jam in multiple directions. This is beneficial in that it allows our jammer to protect against microphones hidden out of sight. “— Yuxin Chen, Huiying Li, Shan-Yuan Teng, Steven Nagels, Zhijing Li, Pedro Lopes, Ben Y. Zhao, and Haitao Zheng

This provides a gist of the research. Let’s break down each line one by one.
We engineered a wearable microphone jammer …”, they have built a cool device, as expected, next. “Our work is based on a recent exploit” I think they mean various recent papers published by researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Just an assumption.

Me ready to build a counter proof-of-concept
Simulations depicting how different transducer layouts radiate around the simulated device, when moving in space, a wearable jammer outperforms stationary jammers.
Mind==blown — Check it out!

With great power comes great responsibility

While this and all related research around “Jamming for Privacy” may sound great, I think it is not the solution, at least until we get hit by a dystopian future.

Jamming Audio as well as many (most?) other frequency bands such as WiFi, GSM, 3G, LTE, etc. are very simple and very illegal.

What’s the problem in jamming?

Do we thought how will this research impact our surroundings?

During a phone interview, Mr. Lopes turned on the bracelet, resulting in static-like white noise for the listener on the other end. — nytimes

Do we thought what will happen to people attached with accessibility devices, say, cochlear implants, hearing aids etc.?

Any other concerns?

Likely, the device will confuse the dogs, most likely hinder bats as they use echolocation of their prey and many other animals. Maybe, the only positive thing will be the less likeliness of rodents to nest near us.

Is this the last resort?

Is that the case? Or can we find a middle way out?

I redefined the original problem statement and came up with new ideas and prototypes which I am currently working upon.

I’ll update my status over socials — LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram

Social Jazz.

Google Code-In C. Winner. GsOCer ‘19. Independent Security Researcher. Have hacked Medium, Mozilla, Opera & many more. Personal Website: https://0x48piraj.com