Snowden Designs a Device to Warn If Your iPhone's Radios Are Snitching

WIRED

When Edward Snowden met with reporters in a Hong Kong hotel room to spill the NSA's secrets, he famously asked them put their phones in the fridge to block any radio signals that might be used to silently activate the devices' microphones or cameras. So it's fitting that three years later, he's returned to that smartphone radio surveillance problem. Now Snowden's attempting to build a solution that's far more compact than a hotel mini-bar. On Thursday at the MIT Media Lab, Snowden and well-known hardware hacker Andrew "Bunnie" Huang plan to present designs for a case-like device that wires into your iPhone's guts to monitor the electrical signals sent to its internal antennas. The aim of that add-on, Huang and Snowden say, is to offer a constant check on whether your phone's radios are transmitting.


Captured battlefield cellphones, computers help U.S. target and kill Islamic State's leaders

Los Angeles Times

U .S. military officers watched grainy video feeds at a small operations center in Baghdad on Tuesday as Predator drones tracked and killed three reputed Islamic State leaders -- one after another -- in the offensive on Mosul. The targeted air strikes were due in large part to intelligence extracted from cellphones, computer hard drives, memory cards and hand-written ledgers recovered from battlefields and towns taken from Islamic State fighters. Recently captured intelligence also has proved useful in providing clues to detecting potential terrorist plots, tracking foreign fighters and identifying Islamic State supporters around the globe, U.S. officials said. The largest data trove was recovered when U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces recaptured Manbij, an Islamic State stronghold in northern Syria, in mid-August. Intelligence agencies recovered more than 120,000 documents, nearly 1,200 devices and more than 20 terabytes of digital information, officials said.


Captured battlefield cellphones, computers are helping the U.S. target and kill Islamic State's leaders

Los Angeles Times

U .S. military officers watched grainy video feeds at a small operations center in Baghdad on Tuesday as Predator drones tracked and killed three reputed Islamic State leaders -- one after another -- in the offensive on Mosul. The targeted air strikes were due in large part to intelligence extracted from cellphones, computer hard drives, memory cards and hand-written ledgers recovered from battlefields and towns taken from Islamic State fighters. Recently captured intelligence also has proved useful in providing clues to detecting potential terrorist plots, tracking foreign fighters and identifying Islamic State supporters around the globe, U.S. officials said. The largest data trove was recovered when U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces recaptured Manbij, an Islamic State stronghold in northern Syria, in mid-August. Intelligence agencies recovered more than 120,000 documents, nearly 1,200 devices and more than 20 terabytes of digital information, officials said.


iPhone 8 might finally bring wireless charging that works, report claims

The Independent - Tech

Apple is trying to introduce wireless charging into the next iPhone, according to reports. Rumours have long swirled around the iPhone 8 – even before the iPhone 7 was released this year. Reports have suggested that Apple is planning a major redesign for the new handset, which will mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, which might include an entirely glass body and a screen that takes up all of the front of the phone. And new reports suggest that Apple is currently exploring the possibility of adding wireless charging modules to the next phone, too. That would mean that it would just need to be set down on a special surface to charge it – in keeping with Apple's commitment to keep moving towards a wireless future, which it stressed when it dropped the headphone jack from the iPhone.


Have smartphone, will travel: How far can you get with just passport, wallet and phone?

The Independent - Tech

Sure, you know your mobile phone is essential, but exactly how much can you rely on it? A few days ago in Japan, Google threw down a gauntlet: how far can you get in a foreign country, where you can't be sure of finding an English speaker, where the words, even the alphabet, are unfamiliar, and where the address system is notoriously tricky? So there I was, in Tokyo, charged with solving a series of puzzles using a smartphone and nothing more. First, I had to get myself from bustling Tokyo (where English speakers are plentiful and, because they are Japanese, endlessly helpful) to the distant city of Kanazawa. I had a JR train pass, which is the best way to get around Japan for a foreigner and which offers fantastic value, though you must buy it before you arrive in the country.