Edward Snowden Teaches You How To Make Your Smartphone Spy-Proof
Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor and a serial whistleblower, has been in the news for the past few years for his famous leak of thousands of documents that disclosed the extent of the National Security Agency’s electronic spying programs. His leaks opened the world’s eyes to government snooping and surveillance programs.
While he is constantly seen endorsing services that provide users with a secure communications platform, he is now is teaching users how to make your smartphone spy-proof.
This is actually a preview of an upcoming episode of Vice on HBO, where Snowden teaches Vice’s Shane Smith, and subsequently anyone else watching as to how we can “Go Black” with our smartphone. In other words, he teaches how to avoid being spied on through our smartphones by hackers or government agencies. Snowden’s fix for this is extreme, yet effective, measures anyone can take if they fear that someone might tap into their phone’s camera and microphone system.
“If you know you’re actively under threat,” says Snowden. “If you know your phone has been hacked, these are ways that you can ensure that your phone works for you rather than working for somebody else. You might have bought the phone, but whoever hacked it, they’re the one who owns it.”
However, these measures will require some hardware skills. Check out Vice on HBO guide to going black where Snowden is seen physically removing the smartphone’s microphone and cameras.
While you cannot do anything photo or video related without a camera, it’s still possible to use the phone for making and receiving calls even if the internal microphone has been taken out. You are good to go by just plugging in a headset that has a microphone.
Unless you disable internet, Bluetooth, etc., none of these measure will protect you against someone hacking into the device and doing away with any and all important files and information that you may have on it.
While this may not be applicable to most of us, as the NSA and U.S. government is not behind us like it was after Snowden. However, but if you are obsessed about keeping your smartphone, then these are just a few of the steps you need to follow.
However, going by remarks made by U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the U.S. government has already started looking past tapping into mobile devices and could be exploring connected devices now.
“In the future, intelligence services might use the [Internet of Things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper said during a senate hearing on cybersecurity.