Worried about your electronic devices being hacked by the NSA or other government agencies? Well, you may not have to worry for too much longer. A company based in Utah has developed a thin and flexible material that specializes in keeping electromagnetic pulses from infiltrating your electronic devices while also keep all your private information from being emitted out.
Conductive Composites has created a special process that layers nickel on top of carbon to produce a material that’s light and moldable like plastic but can prevent energy from passing through it, according to a Defense One report Friday. While placing your electronic device like a cell phone or iPad inside a box made of the material would mean it could not transmit information, it would also stop anyone from accessing the information inside the device. The material acts like a sort of force field, explained Defense One.
Conductive Composites market the material as a new technology that is cost-effective than and easy to use.
“Our materials integrate game-changing conductivity and shielding performance as part of a multifunctional materials system, while preserving the basic weight, cost, structural, environmental, and manufacturing performance advantages of composites and plastics,” claimed the company’s website.
The material can also be used like a wallpaper that could technically be used to layer a room and protect it from people trying to access electronic devices inside the room. The technology is similar to a Faraday cage, an enclosure that directs all electromagnetic energy away from the target. Faraday cages are widely used in many environments today. For example, when Cardinals gathered in 2013 to elect a new pope, the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel was temporarily converted into a Faraday cage ensuring that no one could transmit any information out and, more importantly, snooping journalists couldn’t listen in on the proceedings.
The Department of Defense also makes use of the cages in rooms that hold sensitive information, according to the Defense One report. However, the cages are cumbersome and difficult to erect on a large scale. Conductive Composite’s special material would be an easier and more cost-effective way for protecting sensitive information.
In the future, it’s hoped that the material could be used to defend against electromagnetic pulse weapons, which can emit waves of energy that render electric devices useless.
At a 1997 Congressional hearing on radio frequency weapons, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Schweitzer claimed in front of the the House Joint Economic Committee that electromagnetic pulse weapons could one day realize the prediction an ancient Chinese general who said that armies will one day be able to conquer an enemy without fighting. “If you can take out the civilian economic infrastructure of a nation, then that nation, in addition to not being able to function internally, cannot deploy its military by air or sea, or supply them with any real effectiveness,” said Schweitzer.