Is Alexa eavesdropping on you? While the producers of smart home assistants claim that their devices respect your privacy, most of the time it’s impossible to look inside the black box of modern tech. As customers we end up in a passive role without much control or autonomy. In an effort to reestablish the boundaries and relationships between consumers and technology Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen have created Alias: a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, both when it comes to customisation and privacy. Users can train Alias to react to a custom wake word and while not in use, Alias will paralyse the assistant and interrupt its microphones. The creators have made instructions for building an Alias available online and were awarded the STARTS Prize for offering a poetic yet concrete DIY intervention that allows anyone to make smart assistants less invasive and turning the metaphor of the parasite into an applicable political tool. Join us for a look inside the ways in which we can hack surveillance technologies and beat them with their own weapons.