The phrase invokes images of Gene Hackman's rouge NSA character from the film Enemy of the State, hacking away from the safety of his wire copper mesh "office". It also brings up thoughts of nuclear detonations and solar coronal mass ejections frying everything from televisions to the family car.
We'll save the intricacies of those scenarios for a later article. What I want to address today is basic RF (radio frequency) shielding in a practical sense. As I see it, there are four basic aspects to how we may use shielding, whether it be an RF blocking pouch for our phone or a grounded, sealed, galvanized trashcan for our spare equipment (post apocalyptic resupply of course). They are:
1. Preventing our device from being exploited
2. Preventing our device from exploiting us
3. Preventing unwanted destruction of our device
4. Protecting our health
These should all be pretty self explanatory, but lets touch on each real quick.
1. This could be anything from a hacker planting ransomware on your device, to the government tracking your messages and accessing your microphone and/or camera.
2. Your phone in particular, and your computers and tablets to some degree, are constantly reporting your whereabouts to your service provider and whomever they share that data with. With phones this can range from cellular tower triangulation to the more nefarious IMSI sniffers/spoofers.
3. This would likely only occur during a nuclear event that is very nearby or that triggered a carrington effect covering a much broader geographical area.
4. Any medical practitioner will tell you - no amount of RF radiation is healthy for the human body. We are bombarded with RF of varying intensity all day long. It could be the cell phone pressed against our skull or the wireless router in our house blasting us day and night.
One could build an "RF safe room" in their home to mitigate some of the above. You can purchase rolls of the RF attenuating fabric online (same stuff that lines the phone RF pouches), but what might be more practical is to just paint the room. There is a company that produces an RF/EMF blocking paint that claims up to 30dB of attenuation per coat. LessEMF Paint markets the paint. Bear in mind that if you want this to be a "clean" room you will need to remove all light fixtures, outlets, switches and paint every surface (floors and ceilings).
Might be worth having a small office in your abode that is RF free.......food for thought.
I should probably point out that the EMF paint is not likely to protect your equipment from a high powered EMP burst. You would want something more substantial for that purpose.