Edward Snowden just released his proposal for a counter-surveillance iPhone case. Per Snowden, there are several individuals who are particularly vulnerable to tracking and surveillance attacks: “Front-line journalists are high-value targets, and their enemies will spare no expense to silence them. Unfortunately, journalists can be betrayed by their own tools. Their smartphones are also the perfect tracking device,” stated Snowden in the blog released this week. “Governments and powerful political institutions are gaining access to comprehensive records of phone emissions unwittingly broadcast by device owners. This leaves journalists, activists, and rights workers in a position of vulnerability.”
The design, build especially for the iPhone 6 will look like a standard third party battery pack. In addition to providing extra power, the case will contain a self-contained computer and have a small screen to display real-time readings of the phone’s cellular, GPS, wi-fi and Bluetooth status. “This physical isolation of CPU cores minimizes the chance of malware from the phone infecting the introspection engine,” said the report. “This work aims to give journalists the tools to know when their smart phones are tracking or disclosing their location when the devices are supposed to be in airplane mode. We propose to accomplish this via direct introspection of signals controlling the phone’s radio hardware. “
Information about the phones signals are read from test points on a phone’s circuit board through the devices sim card slot. He conceded that this type of devices would require the assistance of a trained technician. Snowden is now working on turning this proposal into a working prototype that should be ready within 12 months.