Apple Watch Banned From U.K. Government Cabinet Meetings Over Hacking Fears

by

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

(View all)
Avatar
53 months ago
Not much point when ministers walk around with their briefings cleary visible.

Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 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)
Avatar
53 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)
Avatar
53 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)
Avatar
53 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)
Avatar
53 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)

Top Stories

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...

MagSafe Charger Teardown Reveals Simple Design With Magnets and Charging Coil Encircling a Small Circuit Board

Friday October 23, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
iFixit has today shared a teardown of Apple's new MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. An X-ray of the MagSafe charger courtesy of Creative Electron reveals the internal charging coil surrounded by a circular arrangement of magnets within the puck. The only seam that iFixit was able to leverage to open the device was where the white rubber circle meets the metal rim,...

PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger

Friday October 23, 2020 4:11 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a new $39 MagSafe Charger that's meant to work with the magnets in the iPhone 12 Pro models to charge them up at a maximum of 15W. The MagSafe Charger is technically able to be used with older iPhones, but it's not a good idea because the charging with non-iPhone 12 devices is so slow. We did two tests with the iPhone XS Max, draining the...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...