Let’s assume there is a compromised firmware/software in a phone – and then someone orders a new one, expecting next day delivery. How do the “exceptionals” think?
First of all, you have to intercept the fedex package (which is not too hard). Then somehow you have to either explain away the delay or invent a reason why delay upon package receipt occurs. Since the former is quite hard to explain, one has to invent delay having introduced as minimal as possible delay into the initial package delivery (so as not to arouse suspicion of the surveillance method being applied).
In my case, folks opened up the package and REMOVED something critical (for device functioning): the activation instructions. This was done to give them TIME – to prepare the exfil of the physical/software mods to the current device and prepare the grounds for re-implantation. Remember, they HAVE to tap the wifi too (not just the cell). They need access to the phone software too!
In my case, lets assume two things occurred: 1) the sim was replaced for one the CIA prefer, and 2) the instructions were removed to force some time delay.
So , note the thinking: deceive, impose, pretend: and induce errors (and annoyance). Of course, the above is just a mystery play in my case (since the issues can also be explained by unexceptional-class incompetence and the fact that 4G phones have a different and relative new activation sequence than did 3G phones, in the era of systemic and wholly automated surveillance facilitation by Verizon).
I remember a interview I had once with a senior engineer at Motorola GSTG (a classified facility making spying equipment of all sorts, including optics). His biggest lesson to me was: remember to think big and engage in a convincing systemic-wide act of pretense that carries the message that: nobody could execute THAT big (in this decade, at this budget, etc). The art of deception is what must go hand in hand with the technological implantation exfil and wireless recovery of the material. And that is the damage that Snowden has done (make the capability, the intent, the policy, the practice and the exceptionalist-dogma apparent – for all to see).
What’s fascinating is the sheer level of corporate involvement in the ‘big” outlay of CIA/NSA etc. What’s even more fascinating is the social means used to allow the CIO/CEO etc to say things that are not true, with a straight face. Eric @ sun/google is the total master, at this.