Government ministers in the United Kingdom have been banned from wearing the Apple Watch to cabinet meetings over fears the device could be hacked, according to The Telegraph.

Several cabinet ministers reportedly wore the device to meetings while serving under former Prime Minister David Cameron, however new PM Theresa May has apparently banned the smartwatches over fears that they could be used by Russian spies as listening devices. One source told The Telegraph: "The Russians are trying to hack everything."

apple watch 2 collections 6
The Verge notes that the Apple Watch has been banned from Australian cabinet meetings as well. An advisor for the Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said that more attention needed to be paid to communications security as an increasing number of devices, from glasses to running shoes, offered internet connectivity.

The bans follow serious concerns over the potential reach of clandestine state-sponsored hacker groups, after U.S. officials pointed the finger at Russian hackers following the release of confidential emails from the Democratic National Congress during the U.S. election.

Russian hackers have also been implicated in the release of private medical files of some of the world's most famous athletes. Smartphones have also been barred from the Cabinet because of similar worries that the devices could be used to listen in on meetings.

Top Rated Comments

peterh988 Avatar
82 months ago
Not much point when ministers walk around with their briefings cleary visible.

Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TAZ911 Avatar
82 months ago
Are mobile phones baned as well?
Don't know about the U.K., but when you walk into a scif all personal electronic devices are supposed to be left outside. Unless there is a need for it inside it don't go in. It's called being smart.

One of the few things we all need to wrap our heads around is that journalism is nothing more than whoring these days. Forget accuracy, facts and all that jazz. Come up with something that sells. You can always post an apology on page 47 a few weeks later. If you go into reading news with that mentality it will save you a lot of aggregation. Find the facts and ignore the idiotic sensationalist BS.

Fact is that the watch is a networked device with some onboard memory and a microphone. It's not hard to imagine a way that it can be corrupted to record and then upload as soon as it has a network connection. When you're potentially dealing with peoples lives and national security you generally don't wait till you are penetrated to close the door. Sort of like buying insurance after the fire or putting on a condom after sex. Both are retarded.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
b0nd18t Avatar
82 months ago
This makes complete sense and anyone who disagrees hasn't been paying attention to what's going on with tech today.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
82 months ago
Why would you wait until it had been proven? All devices belong in a box outside the room. Aids concentration too.
Hey I have no problem with the policy, it's smart.

My problem is the sorry state of reporting (in this case technology reporting) that takes a sensational stance one what was likely just a blanket ban on smartwatches....but singled out the Apple Watch for the clicks (and because I doubt anyone at that level is actually wearing and Android watch to begin with).
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GrumpyMom Avatar
82 months ago
So basically governments are finally starting to follow the same security protocols as corporations. It's about damn time.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
offshoreyachty Avatar
82 months ago
I'm sorry, have you been shown a case of the watch being compromised to be used as a listening device? I haven't, and I watch things like the Defcon conferences and CCC. This seems like one of those gin'ed up stories about how all smartwatches are banned because of the shady **** that goes on with malware on Android, and the Apple Watch taking the headline due to the laziness of tech reporting today.
Why would you wait until it had been proven? All devices belong in a box outside the room. Aids concentration too.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Expected Later This Year With These 7 Exclusive Features

Tuesday January 24, 2023 4:53 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least seven exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the seven features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
Mac mini M2 2023

New 256GB Mac Mini and 512GB MacBook Pro Have Slower SSD Speeds Than Previous Models

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:11 pm PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M2 chip has a lower $599 starting price, the base model with 256GB of storage has slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous-generation model with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage. A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Pro Mac Mini

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
The new M2-series MacBook Pro and Mac mini models launched today, marking the debut of the first M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. We have the M2 Pro Mac mini on hand, and thought we'd take a look at the machine and do a series of benchmarks to see how it fits into Apple's lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Base model Mac mini machines come with either an M2 or M2 Pro...
apple tv 4k red image

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3

Tuesday January 24, 2023 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released tvOS 16.3, the third major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that originally came out in September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.3 comes six weeks after tvOS 16.2, an update that added Apple Music Sing. The tvOS 16.3 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ by going to System > Software...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...