The Sunlight Foundation has created an app that it says
allows iPhone and Android phone users to identify the source and funding of
campaign TV and radio ads.
The app, dubbed Ad Hawk, "listens"
to the ad and then lists info on who placed the ad -- issue ad, campaign ad or
Super PAC ad -- their Sunlight campaign finance profile and other info.
"When you see a political ad on TV or hear one on the radio, open the app
to have Ad Hawk start listening to the ad. In less than 30 seconds, Ad
Hawk will create an audio fingerprint and start searching our database for a
match," says Sunlight.
The app, which uses an open source audio fingerprint
technology, Echoprint, is free via the Apple App Store and Google Play, says
In the wake of the Supreme 2010 Court's Citizens United
decision allowing direct corporate and union funding of campaign ads, there
have been various unsuccessful legislative pushes to increase disclosures of the
source of funding of those ads beyond simply the names of the PACs purchasing
them. Sunlight is looking to give the power to the people to learn "who is
spending money to influence their votes."