The Military Is Afraid of Your iPhone

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The Pentagon's top researchers are getting nervous about the smartphones and tablets civilians are carrying around in their pockets, backpacks and cars, calling the devices dangerous for national security. Wired's Noah Schchtman quotes Kaigham Gabriel, a deputy director for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, aka, DARPA, saying, "Commercial consumer electronics has created vulnerabilities by enabling sensors, computing, imaging, and communications capabilities that as recently as 15 years ago, were the exclusive domain of military systems" during a House Armed Services Committee meeting on Wednesday. He later added, "In both waveform complexity and carrier frequency, adversaries have moved to operating regimes currently beyond the capabilities of our systems."

What does that mean in plain English, you ask? DARPA is concerned that it can no longer track all of the signals that your iPhone is sending through the atmosphere. Ostensibly, this is because terrorist, unfriendly regimes, and other enemies of the state will use these channels to plan attacks, be the the real or cyber variety. As we've pointed out many times, the Pentagon is very confused about how to defend America against cyber attacks. It doesn't know if you're just a regular, everyday, normal iPhone user or the elusive ringleader of Anonymous who has the ability to shut off power grids across the country with a few taps on your screen. Does that somewhat unlikely scenario sound scary? ThePentagon sure thinks it does.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.