Edward Snowden values the security of phones which is why together with hacker Andrew Huang he announced an attachment for iPhone, at the MIT Media Lab. The case-like attachment will aid you in monitoring any active radio devices transmitting within the area. Huang is famous for laptop “Novena” and for reverse engineering parts of original Xbox.

Snowden argues that switching off a smartphone, turning off radios, going on airplane mode or sealing with a Faraday cage does not serve the purpose if encountered with a government receded opposition.

Snowden and Huang’s "Introspection Engine"
Snowden and Huang’s “Introspection Engine”

Their device is specifically designed for reporters and journalists who travel to high-level hacking method areas where governments could use feats to trick you into thinking your device is off while in reality, they watch your location and discussions.

Snowden and Huang’s device will offer security to journalists who are operating in high-risk locations by inhibiting the monitoring and tracking of smartphones and to make sure that a journalist can irrefutably shut down radio connectivity and continue using their phones.

Huang and Snowden Refer to The Device as Introspection Engine

Huang and Snowden refer to the device as “Introspection Engine” which comprises of an attachment to an iPhone which manually wires into antennae within the phone for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS connectivity via the SIM card slot. The device then openly monitors any unauthorized output if the radios are meant to be switched off and also offers a kill switch to shut down the device immediately.

Snowden and Huang’s device is still at the testing stage; they hope to make a prototype slowly and then move to work with producers in China who could create modified devices for the reporters. In order to maintain the originality of the product so the device is not compromised while its manufacture a final model would be both open-source and open hardware.

Huang’s experience with hardware design makes it likely for “Introspection Engine” to become an actual device someday.


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