Monday, May 18, 2020

"Watching my iPad turn against me was remarkably unsettling"

Barton Gellman describes becoming a target for the worlds' espionage services after interacting with Edward Snowden:

Six months earlier, in June 2013, when the Snowden story was less than two weeks old, I went on Face the Nation to talk about it. Afterward, I wiped off the television makeup, unclipped my lapel microphone, and emerged into a pleasant pre-summer Sunday outside the CBS News studio in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. In the back of a cab I pulled out my iPad. The display powered on, then dissolved into static and guttered out. Huh? A few seconds passed and the screen lit up again. White text began to scroll across an all-black background. The text moved too fast for me to take it all in, but I caught a few fragments.


[We] used laptops from which we’d removed the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hardware, and disconnected the batteries. If a stranger appeared at the door, we merely had to tug on the quick-release power cables to switch off and re-encrypt the machines instantly.