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"We are all repositories for genetically-encoded information that we're all spreading back and forth amongst each other, all the time. We're just lousy with information."
- Neal Stephenson

Ferretscope  
  A counter-surveillance tool to detect the presence of listening devices.  

The woman took my arm and urged me down the corridor. I glanced back and saw Zeb silhouetted in in the portal, covering our rear. My guide paused and pushed me into an almost pitchblack alcove, then she took from the folds of her robes a small object which I took to be a pocket ferretscope, from the small dial that glowed faintly on its side. She ran it up and down and around, snapped it off and returned it to her person.

"Now you can talk," she said softly. "It's safe."

I felt a gentle touch at my sleeve. "Judith?" I whispered.

"Yes," she answered, so softly I could hardly hear her.

From If This Goes On..., by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1940
Additional resources -

Compare to the eavesdropper from James Blish's 1957 novel Cities in Flight.

Thanks to Connor Lawrence for submitting this item.

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  More Ideas and Technology from If This Goes On...
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
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