Most people don't actually know what DOE is. For starters, it's officially one of the 17 USG intelligence agencies.
It houses the national nuclear security administration which is responsible for military reactors, nuclear weapons, and nonproliferation.
It operates the DOE Science and NNSA Weapons national lab and site complexes via M&O contracts (of which Bechtel is one of the longest contract holders).
NNSA is congressionally funded via energy and water, but it's authorization is via the armed service committee National Defense Authorization Act (same as the military).
None of this is a nefarious secret, and all of this and quite a bit more can be found via the agencies website.
Folks completely misunderstanding what government does. Forget about DOE, how many folks actually understand what HHS does, or HUD, or any of the dozens of other agencies other than Defense and State.
The USG is full of these enormous and powerful bureaucratic orgs. Not surprised that most folks (including me!) Are unaware of what our tax dollars fund, but boy is it a lesson in complex systems.
Not even Rick Perry, the former head of the agency.
To be honest, he wanted to abolish it (perhaps?):
Are you sure?
It seems, they only have a small part of it dedicated to that.
Not big enough, to do a project like this on their own and for themself, it seems.
I'd like to know exactly why they were opposed to this, given that this was way before the App Store was a thing and there's nothing to protect otherwise.
Now, apple collaborating to add spy devices could seriously hurt their privacy reputation. I wonder if things like this still happen, and what persuasion executives require to enable it?
And any department with multi billion budget can hire a smart peoples to do reverse-engineering on real device and build without company to know this.
Because allow a people to share information without physical contact each other.
Example - person 1 went to park, smoke a cig and transfer data to intermediate device. After 3-4 days person 2 went to park, feed ducks and get data from intermediate device. Of course this happens wireless and no physical contact.
Or maybe these iPods were used for multiple purposes at the same time. Anywhere where you needed a non-suspicious device to do something extra, you could get one of these custom iPods.
The secret project doesn't seem to be a stealth Geiger counter. The custom iPod they created had complex data recording and storing features, excessive for a Geiger counter. The device was probably made to intercept WiFi data, which makes more sense to secretly record.
No hardware mods are a much better way to not have evidence sitting in those CT scans.
Talk about a cool story.