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"Bureaucracies hide their mistakes, because people's careers are tied to those mistakes. Therefore, bureaucracies are a perfect mechanism for perpetuating mistakes."
- Frank Herbert

Eavesdropper  
  Device to detect the presence of recording devices.  

"...Should I discuss it in a restaurant?"

Anne turned the small, compact-like object around, so that he could see that it was in fact a meter of some sort. Its needle was in uncertain motion, but near the zero-point. "There's no mike close enough to pick you up," Anne said, snapping the device shut and restoring it to her purse. "Go ahead."

"All right. Some day you're going to have to explain to me why you allowed yourself to get into that first fight with me here, when you had that Eavesdropper with you all the time."

From Cities in Flight, by James Blish.
Published by Avon in 1957
Additional resources -

Consider also anti-spying device from Isaac Asimov's 1951 novel Foundation or the vibration screen from Nat Schachner's 1937 story The Shiny One. Would Ray Cumming's eavesdropping ray from his 1931 novel Brigands of the Moon be able to counteract the Eavesdropper?

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Cities in Flight
  More Ideas and Technology by James Blish
  Tech news articles related to Cities in Flight
  Tech news articles related to works by James Blish

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