The secret iPod created for the CIA with nuclear radiation monitor included

Like any other large company, Apple will always be questioned about its relationship with governments and investigative agencies, though a new claim seems to be out of the ordinary. A software engineer who claims to have worked for the company in the development of the iPhone claims that Apple developed a secret music player for the American government.

David Shayer worked for Apple for 18 years; now, away from this environment, he revealed that in 2005 the director of iPod Software assigned him a “special task”: the development of a special iPod for the Department of Energy, in conjunction with two engineers working for the U.S. government.

According to Shayer, these two engineers came from Bechtel, a contractor with the Department of Energy. The reason the agency wanted a special device was running custom hardware so that it could not be detected. Apparently, only three people at Apple in addition to Shayer knew of the existence of this project: the iPod Software Director, the Vice President of iPod Division, and the Senior Vice President of Hardware. All of these plans would have been discussed and implemented in person, so there are no documentary records on such a device.

The engineer goes on to mention that he was unaware of the ultimate end of this device, although he believes the U.S. government was trying to develop a Geiger counter that might go unnoticed. It should be remembered that this is an instrument that allows measuring the radioactivity of specific places or objects: “Any agent could go around the city pretending to listen to music when in fact they would be taking radioactivity records without anyone being able to notice the difference. This is a kind of favor that the U.S. government charged Apple,” Shayer says.

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The engineer concluded by mentioning that Apple did not deliver its original source code to Bechtel, although they would have shared a copy of the iPod’s operating system for the construction of the special device. Shayer ensures that there is an isolated region of storage on these devices, which could be used without interfering with their primary use.

From the first iPod Nano, Apple changed its practices, preventing the system from being hacked, so very little is actually known about the source code of these devices, which have also been discontinued.