Although he’s still in exile in Russia after leaking thousands of confidential national security documents, Edward Snowden hasn’t stopped trying to wage a one-man war against an individual’s right to privacy.
At an MIT Media Lab presentation this week, Snowden announced plans to develop an iPhone attachment that will be able to tell users when the device’s radio transmitters are active. The goal? To make sure it’s not being used as a tracking device.
According to Snowden, hackers working for large government institutions are able to access microphones and cameras even when the phone appears to be turned off or in “airplane mode.” By monitoring the status of the radio transmitters, users will be able to see if any data is being directed out of the phone and confirm it’s been deactivated when desired. It’s believed the accessory will appeal to journalists who visit high-risk areas where Snowden claims cell phone privacy is more likely to be compromised—and where journalists, like those in Syria or Iraq, are more likely to be the target of hostility.
The case, which plugs into a SIM card slot and fits over a portion of the phone, is being designed in collaboration with prominent hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang. Snowden hopes to have a prototype ready in the near future.