Edward Snowden designs iPhone case to stop snooping

Manny Pham
July 22, 2016

Edward Snowden is working on an iPhone case that will monitor electrical signals and prompt users when their device is being hacked. 

Famous whistleblower Snowden is carrying on his fight in security surveillance, this time with a compact peripheral that resembles a battery case. Snowden will work with hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang to create the case-like peripheral.

In a mock-up of the privacy peripheral it will feature a mono-colour screen, showing the status of an iPhone’s electrical signal. The peripheral will connect deep into an iPhone’s internal, to monitor signals from the antenna. Signals such as GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile data will be analysed. When a hack is being detected the peripheral will send messages of warning.

To make it even more secure, Snowden intends to include a SIM card slot, where users should place their respective SIM to increase security.

Edward Snowden: “one good journalist in the right place at the right time can change history”

Snowden expressed the need for such a peripheral via a video stream to MIT Media Lab.

“One good journalist in the right place at the right time can change history, this makes them a target, and increasingly tools of their trade are being used against them.

“They’re overseas, in Syria or Iraq, and those [governments] have exploits that cause their phones to do things they don’t expect them to do,” Huang elaborated to WIRED in an interview ahead of the MIT presentation. “You can think your phone’s radios are off, and not telling your location to anyone, but actually still be at risk.

“Our approach is: state-level adversaries are powerful, assume the phone is compromised.

“Let’s look at hardware-related signals that are extremely difficult to fake. We want to give a you-bet-your-life assurance that the phone actually has its radios off when it says it does.”

The peripheral is designed for a small niche, seemingly not for retail profit, but to keep those who need it from danger. It’s still in the works with no inclination of availability.

Edward Snowden has not kept a mobile phone with him since his whistleblowing antics, for fear of being located at his unknown location in Russia. He has not even met his collaborator Huang in person.

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Via Wired.


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