Cabinet ministers in the United Kingdom have reportedly been banned from wearing and using Apple Watches during official meetings amid fears that the smart watches could be hacked. According to a report from The Telegraph, the UK government has concerns that the Apple Watch’s microphone could be used to listen in on high-level policy discussions, especially by Russian spies.
“Under David Cameron, several cabinet ministers wore smart watches, including Michael Gove, the former Justice Secretary,” reads the report from The Telegraph. “However, under Theresa May ministers have been barred from wearing them amid concerns that they could be used by hackers as listening devices.”
This move is certainly a justified paranoia, especially after the US government announced last week that it is officially blaming Russia for the hack on the Democratic National Convention. A source in the UK told The Telegraph that “the Russians are trying to hack everything.”
It was also recently reported that the Apple Watch has been banned from Australian cabinet meetings as well. An advisor for Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, said that there needs to be more attention paid to communications security as increasing numbers of devices now feature internet connectivity.
“In a world in which it is necessary for government to have conversations that truly have no electronics in the room,” said the advisor, “there are going to be more and more items that will have to be locked away in cabinets.”