Well known National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden is into developing a unique solution to thwart government spying mission, a case that when slipped onto an iPhone will prevent the device from leaking any unwanted radio signals.
The plastic case is being developed in collaboration with a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) based researcher Andrew Huang. It will be an external add-on sort of thing but with the right sensors built into it to keep a tab on all signals emitted or received by the iPhone.
This makes it a foolproof solution against all efforts to hack the operating system of the device. The case is also designed to let off an alarm if it detects an unusual activity. It will have a ‘kill’ switch as well to shut the iPhone off in case there are unusual radio activities detected.
Edward Snowden said having an external case monitoring the phone’s radio signals can easily alert the user even if the device might have been infected with malware to keep the phone’s radio in operation. That’s the usual ploy of secret service around the world to snoop on a targeted device.
The case will also prove handy in situations where the user might have left the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on by mistake. However, with the case in place, users can be rest assured there won’t be any unauthorized data exchanges. “The technical goal here is to make sure that the radios are off. Think of the thing we’re doing as like a designated driver for the phone,” said Huang.
The biggest challenge with smartphones is that it leaves a trail that is easy for government agencies to pick up. That, in turn, can pose a threat to journalists, or activists and such. However, in the wrong hands, such a case that can deny any sort of surveillance can also prove counter-productive as it would aid in criminals on the run. Nevertheless, the case is expected to be ready by next year.