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.”
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 after 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.
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