Secret Service Confiscates Brooklyn Artist’s Computers Over Tumblr Project

07/08/2011 2:02 PM |

People staring at a computer, from People Staring at Computers.

Last month Brooklyn-based artist Kyle McDonald installed an app on about 100 computers in the Soho and Meatpacking District Apple Stores that automatically took a photo every 60 seconds for three days, resulting in the hilarious (and still online after a brief outage) Tumblr People Staring at Computers. That project was apparently so funny that yesterday the humorless Secret Service visited McDonald and confiscated his computer.

Yesterday McDonald tweeted: “@secretservice just stopped by to investigate and took my laptop. please assume they’re reading any emails you send me.” And then: “warrant says violates 18 USC section 1030. if you’re familiar w this law, contact me. i just asked @EFF for advice too.” In the meantime, the site was down earlier this afternoon and has since reappeared, but here’s how the application worked.