Apple Watches allegedly banned from UK Cabinet meetings over hacking concerns
Like out of a Cold-War era spy novel, UK Government ministers have been banned from wearing Apple Watches to cabinet meetings over concerns the smartwatch could be hacked by “Russian spies.” According to The Telegraph, several ministers used to wear Apple smartwatches to cabinet meetings while serving under David Cameron, but newly elected UK Prime Minister Theresa May is apparently having none of this.
The ban on the Apple Watch is nothing out of the ordinary, however, as mobile phones have long been prohibited during government cabinet meetings in the UK. The main concern seems to be that the microphones on these devices can be used by hackers to listen on high-level political discussions.
The situation is similar in Australia, where government officials are also obligated to take off their smartwatches before entering a Cabinet meeting.
"It has long been standard practice, on both sides of politics, that no electronic transmitting devices, including Apple Watches, be allowed in the cabinet room," a spokesman for Australian Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos explained for the Sydney Morning Herald.
The move comes mere days after the US Intelligence officially blamed Russia for stealing and publishing archived emails from the Democratic National Committee in July. Russian hackers have also been accused of leaking private medical files of some of the world’s most famous athletes. One source has told The Telegraph: “The Russians are trying to hack everything.”