New Version! See: A better Stylish Smartphone Faraday Box
With the release of WikiLeak’s “Year Zero” information on the CIA’s capabilities, you might be forgiven if you’re worried about your privacy.
Of course, those capabilities were always there, whether you knew about them or not.
Still, it’s a bit annoying to think that some bozo is remotely activating your smartphone’s mic to spy on your extremely dramatic dinnertime conversations.
You could buy some overly expensive “Faraday Bag” to stick your phone in when you’re not using it, but who wants an ugly black overpriced lunch bag?
Instead, just make your own Faraday Box. It’s stylish, it’s hip, and it only takes about 10 minutes to make!
Michael Faraday was an English scientist who contributed some seriously cool discoveries to the study of electromagnetism.
A Faraday cage (or bag, or box) is a shield or some kind of enclosure that blocks electromagnetic fields – like radio waves from your phone, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.
No waves in or out means no spying!
Yessir, right now for the low-low price of $58, you could have your very own professional quality law enforcement-approved extremely modern “Rugged Forensic Faraday Bag”:
Why do I want one?
Well, if you’d like to be safe, you could remove your phone’s battery when you’re not using it. But not all phones have removable batteries these days.
When you put your phone in a Faraday Bag or Box, the radio emissions to and from the device are blocked. Okay – technically, these signals are hugely attenuated, so effectively the phone is blocked from sending or receiving anything to anyone.
Maybe we should call it the “Anti-Alphabet Soup Box”. Nah, kinda wordy…
Is Scottie’s Faraday Box really hip and stylish?
Judge for yourself:
How to build your very own Sassy Faraday Box
You need to either find a nice box that your smartphone(s) fit inside, or buy one on Amazon. Like this one (click image to view on Amazon):
If you need a larger box for more gizmos, try the Store Indya Wooden Trinket Box.
Right. While you’re on Amazon, grab some aluminum HVAC tape, like this stuff:
Once your goodies arrive, you just need to line the inside of your fancy box with this conductive aluminum tape.
To see how to apply the tape, check out the pics below of my box.
Note also the corners and inside edges of the box: the tape should overlap so there are no gaps. Be careful not to tear the aluminum tape when you’re sticking it down!
Here you can see better how the strips of aluminum tape are folded over the lip. When the cover is closed, the metal tape inside the lid will overlap the lip on the outside, ensuring there are no gaps in the conductive metal “cage”.
Here we have the lid. The tape doesn’t have to go to the very inside edges of the lid, as long as there is enough tape on the outside lip edges so that there are no gaps in the metal once the box is closed.
Once the aluminum tape is stuck down nicely, it’s less likely to tear. But for added durability, I cut a small piece of plexiglass and stuck some felt feet on the bottom. This adds a touch of whimsy, and it prevents any sharp edges on my phone from scraping up the tape on the bottom of the box.
Does it actually work?
Yes. I took my 4G phone to the place where I usually get the strongest signal. I then plopped it inside the box, and closed the lid.
After a few minutes, I opened the box, and presto! No signal.
I repeated the experiment several times in this and other locations, just to be sure. The Faraday Box also blocks WiFi and Bluetooth signals.
Did I mention that it’s also quite stylish?
If you’re worried about your Smart TV spying on you, you don’t have to get a large Faraday box. Just unplug/disconnect it from your wired/wireless network when you’re done using it.
Also, don’t use WiFi. Just don’t. I know, that’s annoying. But with a wired ethernet network, you automatically make yourself less of a target. Magical waves flying through the air can and will be intercepted, even if they are encrypted.
And as for your smartphone, save some money and build your own Faraday Box… And then the CIA will call you a “paranoid bastard” too!
Which is funny… If you’re spying on me, by definition I’m not paranoid for thinking you’re spying on me, because you ARE spying on me.
Well, at least the CIA and NSA are good at hacking things even if their brains don’t function very well when it comes to things like logic and reason. 😛