Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fear of bugging prompts tablet ban in British Cabinet meetings

iPads were plucked from users' hands at the British Cabinet meeting last week, because of fears that they might be bugged by foreign intelligence agencies.

The Daily Mail on Sunday reported that the Ministers were using the devices for a presentation by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude and Mike Bracken, who's in charge of the Government Digital Service.

The talk was on the topic of saving the economy close to £2bil (RM10.2bil) a year within the next four years.

Typically, the Cabinet isn't particularly generous about applause for presentations, the Daily Mail said, but this time, when the talk wrapped up, Ministers clapped.

That's when the government's security team pounced, the Mail reports, whisking all iPads out of the room to avoid careless talk reaching the wrong ears.

It doesn't stop there, The Telegraph subsequently reported.

Given the security force's fear that foreign intelligence agencies have developed the ability to turn mobile devices into eavesdropping bugs without their owners' knowledge, all tablet computers - which, one assumes, covers all manufacturers' gadgets, and not just Apple's - are now banned from Cabinet meetings.

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