Paint Your Way to Wi-Fi Freedom
March 26, 2007
This is just the latest wall covering to keep signals from going where you don't want.
Not for the first time, a company has developed what it says is a paint that, when applied to walls, will block out (or, more importantly, keep in) radio signals like those used by Wi-Fi.
EM-SEC Technologies of Hampton, Virginia says its EM-SEC Coating System (PDF) is an "electromagnetic barrier for the containment of wireless networks" that "reduces the threat from electronic eavesdropping and blocks out electromagnetic interference for the protection of electronic data," according to a statement quoting Robert Boyd, vice president and director of technology at the company.
The "paint" is a water-based shielding developed for the U.S. government and military -- it is approved as a TEMPEST (Telecommunications Electronics Material Protected from Emanating Spurious Transmissions) countermeasure by the National Security Agency (NSA). EM-SEC plans now to sell it to the private sector. No word on the cost.
Also in 2004, a British contractor named BAE Systems created a "stealthy wallpaper" called FSS (Frequency Selective Surface), made up of panels similar to circuit boards, which can block some signals and let others in.