Can you believe your internet? Newst Week is a physical device that gets implanted by pranksters in a specific location, a coffee shop, for example. After connecting to the internet through a local router, the device intercepts wireless signals going to computers and edits the headlines on news websites. US Wants Julian Assange as Head of Department of Defense!?
The video (a little long, but totally worth it) shows an innocuous looking gray block getting plugged into a convenient outlet. At first, everything seems normal, the BBC homepage loads normally. But after some warm-up time and a refresh of the site, the headline changes from “US Wants Details of Wikileaks Twitter Activists” to “US wants Assange as head of Defence Department”. It’s extremely creepy that just a simple external device could distort the internet media we’ve all come to rely on.
Newst Week’s site is similar to the device itself, a parody of a news website. But poke around a bit and you’ll find this satirical article, explaining how Newst Week is “essentially manipulating public perception of world events and facts, as reported by dedicated journalists, and there’s not much we can do about it.” The article also explains exactly how the device works in terms I definitely don’t fully understand, but find a diagram below.