The NSA methods for spying upon computer emissions are classified, but some of the protection standards have been released by either the NSA or the Department of Defense. Protecting equipment from spying is done with distance, shielding, filtering, and masking. The TEMPEST standards mandate elements such as equipment distance from walls, amount of shielding in buildings and equipment, and distance separating wires carrying classified vs. unclassified materials, filters on cables, and even distance and shielding between wires or equipment and building pipes. Noise can also protect information by masking the actual data.
While much of TEMPEST is about leaking electromagnetic emanations, it also encompasses sounds and mechanical vibrations. For example, it is possible to log a user's keystrokes using the motion sensor inside smartphones. Compromising emissions are defined as unintentional intelligence-bearing signals which, if intercepted and analyzed (side-channel attack), may disclose the information transmitted, received, handled, or otherwise processed by any information-processing equipment.[