Policy

Smart move? ALL ‘Smart devices’ banned from May’s Cabinet

By Oliver Smith 11 October 2016
Summary

It's not just Apple Watches that have been given the chop.

On Sunday a rather odd story cropped up from The Telegraph.

Apple Watches, like that worn by education minister Justine Greening, have been banned from Theresa May’s Cabinet meetings due to concerns that they could be hacked by Russian spies.

Considering Apple’s focus on security and safety, it seems surprising that Apple Watches would be banned specifically, as opposed to exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7s or dodgy Chinese smartphones.

Indeed, in the days since then the truth has become clear, it’s not just Apple Watches that have been given the chop, but all ‘smart devices’ carried by Ministers.

A smart move?

Cabinet meetings are where the highest levels of Britain’s Conservative government discuss their policies and plans.

For this reason even the minutes taken of cabinet meetings are kept secret for 30 years – to protect the country from any sensitive revelations – before they’re released to the public.

It’s not surprising therefore that devices with microphones are banned from the meetings, indeed it appears that the rule on Apple Watches actually covers all smart devices.

As Wired reported today: “this is a Cabinet-wide policy and isn’t specific to Apple devices; it relates to any smart product that is vulnerable to attack.”

Basically anything with a microphone or camera is a no-go at these high-level meetings, so no texting or tweeting when you’re supposed to be talking about Brexit.