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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Isolation Barrage  
  Device prevents eavesdropping.  

Very early example of this idea.

In the dim metal room of Orentino, the Red Spark's manager, where Foley was waiting for us, a barrage was up. We could hear it faintly humming, and see the little line of blue-yellow sparks snapping along the angles of the walls. Now we could talk.
From Wandl, The Invader, by Ray Cummings.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1939
Additional resources -

It worked both ways:

Halsey killed our barrage to let the outside connections get through to us. We all crowded around the mirror-grid which stood here on Orentino's desk.

It works on video as well as audio:

...upon our horrified gaze the insulated door of the room slid closed a blank rectangle of darkness, with the silence and invisibility of the barrage upon it!

Compare to the cone of silence From Cease Fire (1958) by Frank Herbert, hush corner by Robert Heinlein in Double Star and the Fenton Silencer from an early Arthur C. Clarke story. Also, the anti-spying device from from Foundation (1951) by Isaac Asimov.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Wandl, The Invader
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Cummings
  Tech news articles related to Wandl, The Invader
  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Cummings

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