Why Chelsea Manning makes her visitors put their electronics in the microwave

Days after walking free from a military prison, Chelsea Manning is staying in a small apartment in New York — and asking visitors to put their electronics in into an unplugged microwave in order to block any possible attempts at espionage.

“You can’t be too careful,” Manning, 29, told New York Times Magazine reporter Matthew Shaer when he stopped by her apartment for a post-release interview.

After leaking hundreds of thousands of highly classified documents during her time as a soldier in the US military, Manning spent 7 years in a military prison before fromer President Barack Obama commuted her her 35-year sentence.

On May 17, Manning was released from prison and began the process of adapting to everyday life.

Now, she is temporarily staying in a one-bedroom Manhattan high-rise apartment that overlooks skyscrapers and bits of the Hudson River, according to the Times. Shortly after moving in, Manning installed an Xbox One video game console and put an unplugged microwave next to the front door.

For Manning’s first in-person interview since 2008, she asked Shaer to put his laptop into the microwave by the door in order to block any possible transmissions with the device’s Faraday cage, which blocks all electromagnetic transmissions.

“You can put it in the kitchen microwave,” Manning told Shaer, who found it already contained two Xbox controllers that contain microphones.

After starting her sentence at the Kansas military prison, Manning has fought numerous legal battles with the military after they refused to provide her with drugs for gender dysphoria. During the course of her 7-year-sentence, Manning has gone on a hunger strike, was placed in solitary confinement, and attempted to commit suicide twice.

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