Quantcast
Connect with us

Edward Snowden invents phone case protecting reporters against surveillance

Published

on

NSA whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden announced today that he is working on inventing a case-like device that will warn iPhone users if the government is tracking them.

Wired reported that Snowden and hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang told an audience at the MIT Media Lab today that they are preparing to present designs for the device that accesses an iPhone’s inner workings in order to monitor electrical signals sent to the phone’s internal antennas. In this way, Wired writes, the gadget can offer users constant check-ins on whether their phones’ radios are transmitting signals. The inventors hope to allow smartphone users to be safeguarded against government-funded surveillance, particularly journalists who are trying to carry their phones into hostile foreign countries.

ADVERTISEMENT

Speaking to the MIT audience via video stream, Wired writes, Snowden explained that “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,” he said.

Wired explains that Huang and Snowden plan to modify the iPhone 6 by installing an “introspection engine.” Although it would appear to be just an external battery, the introspection engine would actually “snake into the iPhone’s innards through its SIM-card slot to attach to test points on the phone’s circuit board.”

The wires would then read the signals from the phones antennas that are used by its radios, including its GPS, Bluetooth and WIFI. This would in turn allow the iPhone to warn the user if its radios are transmitting any signals when the phone is off.

ADVERTISEMENT

In an interview with Wired, Snowden stressed that the new invention is not just to protect journalists in the field, but also to shed a public light on governments’ use of techniques to spy on people via their smartphones.

 

“You need to be able to increase the costs of getting caught,” Snowden said in a video call with Wired following the presentation. “All we have to do is get one or two or three big cases where we catch someone red-handed, and suddenly the targeting policies at these intelligence agencies will start to change.”

ADVERTISEMENT

PC World also reported that the introspection engine could also activate a “kill switch” that would disconnect power to the phone, ensuring no signals are sent out.

But although the anti-spying device could benefit any concerned citizen, Snowden and Huang designed it with the 2012 death of American journalist Marie Colvin in Syria by an Assad regime airstrike.

The Intercept writes that despite the New York Times reporter’s efforts to sneak into the city of Homs via a “smuggler’s route,” “Syrian forces still managed to get to Colvin; under orders to ‘kill any journalist that set foot on Syrian soil,’ they bombed the makeshift media center she was working in, killing her and one other journalist and injuring two others.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Snowden and Huang hope top use their invention to lessen the likelihood that journalists and human rights activists will be harmed by hostile governments.

For now, the introspection engine is merely an idea on a research paper, but Wired notes Snowden and Huang hope to develop a prototype next year. Eventually, the two privacy advocates would like to create a Chinese supply chain of modified iPhones to offer to reporters.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Former George W. Bush aide reveals why Republican talking points on Syria are complete crap

Published

on

During the weekend news shows, President Donald Trump's aides and allies took to televisions to justify the United States allowing Turkey to kill U.S. Kurdish allies.

"New Trumpist talking point," former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum began. "The only way to stop Turkey['s] massacre of Kurds is to go to war against Turkey."

That's an inaccurate framing, Frum explained.

"Turkey never believed that: that's why they asked Trump's permission to invade," he said. "All he had to do was say No. He said, Yes. Why? All the plausible answers are corrupt."

https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1183446682492637184

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

John Dean laments Trump probably should be registered as a foreign agent

Published

on

While many of President Donald Trump's campaign staffers, advisers or friends have been outed for doing foreign work while being an unregistered foreign agent, one former White House counsel thinks Trump should also probably register.

"In addition to other impeachable offenses, Trump should be charged with failing to register as a foreign agent under FARA," said Twitter user Connie Gruen.

Dean noticed the tweet and retweeted with his own note that it's "sadly" probably true.

"Sadly, this is probably true," agreed Dean. "Mueller did not investigate if Trump is, in fact, a Russian agent. Barr does not believe a POTUS can be investigated for anything, so the FBI is not. Because he acts like a RU agent Congress should be investigating his consistently pro-RU behavior!"

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Kanye ripped for latest Trump defense: Always someone willing to write a check to ‘a black person defending white supremacy’

Published

on

Kanye West hugging Trump

A panel discussion on recent concerts put on by Kanye West in Salt Lake City and Howard University turned to his new recent comments he made defending his support for Donald Trump -- with one panelist saying the rapper is getting paid on the side for siding with the president.

Speaking with host Kendis Gibson, guests Danielle Moodie-Mills and Clay Cane were harshly critical of West trying to drum up black support for the president as well as his recent comments on slavery.

"What is going on here?" Gibson began. "So you saw the pictures of Kanye West in the middle of Salt Lake City. He drew about 10,000 people here at Howard University, it was a smaller crowd because they didn't get the e-mail about it until 6:00 a.m. on homecoming weekend. Largely, a lot of people who are going to these shows are black folks. These are some of the scenes in Salt Lake City, so people are wondering: is he sort of like Trump's secret weapon, a secret outreach to the black community? "

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image