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Apple Watch reportedly banned from UK governement meetings due to Russian spying fears

By midian182
Oct 11, 2016
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  1. Virtually all connected devices are susceptible to hacking, which is why the UK government banned smartphones from cabinet meetings over fears that they could be used by foreign agents to eavesdrop on sessions. Now, the ban has been extended to cover Apple Watches and similar wearables.

    The Telegraph reports that the UK government's biggest concern is that Russian spies could potentially hijack any smart device to discover national secrets. “The Russians are trying to hack everything,” said one source.

    There haven't yet been any reported incidents of cybercriminals, Russian or otherwise, using smartwatches to listen in on sensitive government meetings, but the idea isn’t just a case of being overly paranoid.

    The news comes just as the US Intelligence Community formally accused Russia of being behind the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee email hacks and subsequent leaks.

    Nation-state actors need to be inventive when it comes to spying. And with the Apple Watch’s built-in microphone, wireless capabilities, and exposed position on the wrist, it could act as the perfect listening device.

    Smartwatches were allowed to be worn during meetings under previous Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration, but new PM Theresa May - who doesn’t seem to have much love for technology, judging from her snoopers charter – has decided they pose too much of a security risk.

    The UK isn’t the only place to ban Apple’s wearable from government cabinet meetings; the same rule is in place in Australia. A spokesperson confirmed that no communication devices are allowed in the sensitive room, and even Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – a technology fan who often checks his own Apple Watch while in Parliament – must remove his smartwatch.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,485   +2,038

    What makes the Ruski's think that top secret agenda's are discussed at cabinet meetings? That's left for the golf courses, especially at the 19th hole. Cabinet meetings are held to gossip about celebrities extramarital affairs and sports scores.
     
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  3. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 334   +132

    This isn't unusual. The U.S. has similar policies in place for areas containing information related to national security.
     
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,663   +775

    In all the secure facilities I've been in over the years, the reception and transmission of ANY traffic is muted by well grounded buildings and can prevent these broadcasts. The UK and US share this kind of technology back and forth on a regular basis so the only sessions they might ease drop on would be those outside those confines and frankly, why bother? With Hillary's servers up for grabs, they can get all the juicy gossip they want!
     
  5. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    Man, remote wipe phones, encrypted hard disks, paranoia about russians (maybe north koreans who have 25 computers in the country) may make me wonder just what governments are doing. Feats of torture? I pray it's just fear itself. Just went to a downers grove, il high school reunion at south high school and a head cheerleader type won't make me facebook friend, yet dotty mariano, mother of a man who build a paradise like grocery chain one here in westmont, il, (so valuable it's on it's second owner) gave me her address and phone number and she personally plays bingo with me. What did we learn (from) dorothy.
     
  6. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    It always pays to post on techspot. This "cheerleader" accepted me as facebook friend. Love ya.
     

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