British Members of Parliament are no longer allowed to wear an Apple Watch during formal meetings and hearings. This is a new guideline issued by the UK government, as they fear hackers could break into these devices to listen in on these conversations taking place behind closed doors–a rather strange development, to say the least.
Another Stab At Regulating Technology At The Government Level
If there is one thing that became abundantly clear in recent years, it is how little government officials know about technology. While everybody uses it, very few people are aware of how things work, let alone how insecure these methods may be. As a result, governments all over the world scrutinize technology for being “prone to hacking” and “facilitating terrorist activity”.
The recent “ban” on Apple Watches in the UK parliament is another example of this uneasy situation. Members of parliament are no longer allowed to wear an Apple Watch during official meetings. Allegedly, state-sponsored hackers would be able to breach these devices and record sensitive information. This is all just an allegation, though, as there have been no official reports of such a breach taking place.
This decision is not entirely surprising either, though. It is evident that the UK government wants to nip Russian hacking attempts in the bud at an early stage. The United States government accused Russia of cyber warfare and hacking the Democratic party. Additionally, there are also allegations of Russian hackers attempting to influence voting polls.
The correlation between state-sponsored hackers and the Apple Watch is a rather strange one, though. Members of parliament use all kinds of electronic devices, of which the Apple Watch may even be the most secure. Mobile phones, laptops, and other gizmo’s, are not always as secure as one would think they are.
Keeping in mind how the FBI is struggling to break iPhone encryption, the ban against the Apple Watch in the UK parliament makes a bit of sense. This could be a disguised move to ensure that MPs use less secure hardware and software,which would be easier to hack into during a criminal investigation. Governments are not in favor of strong encryption, particularly not when we are talking about end-to-end encryption.
But there is one possible logical explanation for this decision as well. The Apple Watch contains a microphone, and it makes sense to remove any devices containing microphones from formal meetings. The risk of somebody recording information and leaking it to the press is worrisome for government officials. All it takes is one piece of malware to infect such a device and conduct operations without the owner noticing anything.
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