Surya Mattu


SKYLIFT is a geolocation emulator that virtually relocates visitors to Julian Assange’s residence at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The device was made for !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s Assange room (currently at Zoo Galerie) and works by broadcasting WiFi signals that exploit a smartphone’s reliance on using nearby MAC addresses for location services.


This piece focuses on exposing the novel ways in which we are now tracked through our geolocation. While traditionally geolocation was only done using GPS, since the early teens smartphone have relied on GPS and Wi-Fi information to accurately geolocate devices. In order to spoof a devices location we only needed to generate Wi-Fi beacons that were captured from somewhere, in this case, Julian Assannges residence at the Ecudorian Embassy. This was done using a raspberry pi.

Collecting data in London. Photo: !Mediengruppe Bitnik

Tweet from Wikileaks | source

Also works with FindMyPhone (iOS). Adam Harvey

Thanks to a web-residency grant from Schloss Solitude SkyLift now runs on the ESP8266, a low-cost Arduino-compatible WiFi microcontroller, and is open source. Full code and documentation on

Check local WiFi transmission power regulations and set your device's TX power accordingly. Acceptable WiFi TX power varies by country. Specific mW values are listed here though the list may not be up-to-date.