Edward Snowden the ex- NSA whistle blower has been working on a project to stop smartphones from revealing the location of people in dangerous places.On Thursday he unveiled that he is working on a de-facto tin foil hat for Apple iPhone devices to prevent information leaks and location tracking through harnessed GPS technology.
Snowden describes a sleeve that slips over the bottom of an iPhone, connects to the SIM card port, and watches for outbound signals. An alarm would chime if it detects an unwanted signal, plus it provides extra battery juice.
“Front-line journalists are high-value targets, and their enemies will spare no expense to silence them,” Snowden wrote. “Unfortunately, journalists can be betrayed by their own tools. Their smartphones, an essential tool for communicating with sources and the outside world — as well as for taking photos and authoring articles — are also the perfect tracking device.”
Snowden worked on this project with Andrew Huang, an American hacker living in Singapore.
The project, still in the concept stage, aims to use hardware solutions to create a protective barrier around mobile devices. However, the case will do more than that by alerting users “when their smart phones are tracking or disclosing their location when the devices are supposed to be in airplane mode,” according to the project’s white paper.
The case, dubbed the introspection engine, is being designed with journalists working in unstable countries or conflicts in mind, but will also cater for the average citizen who wants to prevent government snooping on their private lives.
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