The Latest NSA Ally: A Bag of Chips

If you were paranoid about the NSA spying on Americans and internationals alike, you may need to know that the NSA may have a little help – with your bag of potato chips.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers placed a cell phone beside a bag of chips, with someone on the other end of the cell phone saying the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Then, they stood in a soundproof room and recorded the audio that was heard. Using the vibration waves from the bag of chips that they saw on-screen, the researchers were able to reproduce every word of the phone conversation.

According to MIT Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Graduate Student Abe Davis, even a bag of chips can transmit vibrations and sound: “When sound hits an object, it causes the object to vibrate. The motion of this vibration creates a very subtle visual signal that’s usually invisible to the naked eye. People didn’t realize that this information was there,” Davis said.

What this means is that even the vibrations from a bag of chips may just be the next spy tool in the NSA’s attempts to know more about you. The NSA already has iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems under its thumb already.

Watch what you say around a bag of chips – and watch your bag of chips.

Go here to see how the MIT team did the same thing with a plant: