Anti-tracking smartphone pouch is a sign of the times

Are you the type the tapes over the camera on your MacBook? If so, you might also want to store your iPhone in a radio-free pouch when it's not in use. Big brother is watching.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor
Anti-tracking smartphone pouch is a sign of the times - Jason O'Grady

With the recent revelation that the NSA can remotely enable the microphone on your Android phone and laptop and that the Feds are believed to be behind the recent malware attack that exposes the identity of Tor users, the privacy news gets worse every day. 

If you're concerned about the Fed (or anyone for that matter) tracking your whereabouts, you're going to have to do more than put a piece of gaffer's tape over your MacBook's built-in camera. Your smartphone is the world's best spying device, and most people willing take them everywhere they go.  

A new Kickstarter project is a sign of the times: the OFF Pocket. Billed as a "privacy accessory for mobile phones," the simple black pouch claims to be able to shield over 100dB (which is better than other methods, like sticking your smartphone in a cocktail shaker (~90dB) or in a refrigerator (~85dB). Seriously, people do this. 

OFF Pocket blocks frequencies between 800MHz – 2.4 GHz, CDMA/GSM/DCS/PHS/3G/4G, WiFi (2.4GHz), Bluetooth (2.4Ghz), and GPS (1-2GHz) and is carrier, hardware, and OS agnostic.

If your phone has a removable battery, taking it out is your best way to stay off the grid, but iPhone users don't have that luxury thanks to its fixed battery design. If you're in the tinfoil hat camp, the OFF Pocket may be just what you're looking for. (And no, turning off your phone isn't enough). 

Since the $75 pledge level is already sold out, it'll take $85 (only 53 left) to snag an OFF Pocket in October. The Kickstarter project will be funded if $35,000 is pledged by August 27, 2013, and it has already raised around $21,000 in its first three days. Which tells a story of its own.

Here's the obligatory demo video from the Kickstarter project:

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