NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has helped design a cover case for the iPhone 6. And no, he isn’t building a startup for profit. Instead, he’s trying to put more people out of the unknown surveillance of governments.
As reported online, including this from The Guardian, the new concept product was announced at the Bunnie Studios of Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, a known American hacker. In case you’re wondering, Huang became popular for hacking the Microsoft Xbox and legally challenging the DMCA act.
The concept iPhone 6 cover case has one goal, as mentioned in the study titled ‘Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance’, and that is to protect media people, rights people and activists from intended government surveillance and out-of-the-government hackers as well.
“Front-line journalists are high-value targets, and their enemies will spare no expense to silence them,” say Snowden and Huang in the first paragraph of the paper. “Unfortunately, journalists can be betrayed by their own tools.”
In other words, the duo underlines the risks of using devices that are connected with the internet. Therefore, the case, they say, is the barrier against such invasion of privacy.
They were able to design the case after visiting the Hua Qiang electronics market in Shenzhen, China where they have collected samples and documentations. These markets, they revealed, are ‘ground zero’ for the practice and trade of iPhone repairs in which spare parts and repair manuals are abundant.
The Snowden and Huang case has probe wires that will attach with the device’s circuit board, and the antennae via the SIM slot. It will monitor the device’s signal transmission as the display on the case will inform the user about the phone’s status.
On Thursday, Snowden spoke with the crowd at the MIT Media Lab where he–via video stream–and partner Huang publicly unveiled the iPhone case. “One good journalist in the right place at the right time can change history,” he said. “This makes them a target, and increasingly tools of their trade are being used against them.”
It was of course about the Guardian newspaper leak of him with the help of then Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald in 2013.
No clear word yet about the price and retail availability of the iPhone case. In the meantime, you can read more about its coming to fruition via the PubPub.