Theresa May 'bans Apple Watch from UK cabinet meetings'

Does the PM see smartwatches as a cybersecurity threat?

The UK's new Prime Minister, Theresa May, appears to have banned smartwatches from official cabinet meetings, on the grounds that foreign governments could hack them and listen in on political conversations.

"The Russians are trying to hack everything," an anonymous inside source told the Telegraph, which broke the story.

IT Pro contacted Number 10's press office, which declined to comment.

Smartwatches like the Apple Watch were allowed in David Cameron's cabinet meetings during his tenure as PM, and caused hilarity last year, when Michael Gove accidentally pressed play on a Beyonc track.

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However, they now join the list of electronic gadgets banned from cabinet use, which also includes smartphones and tablets, banned in late 2013.

The worldwide political climate has become tenser in regards to cyber security, following several incidents attributed to nation state hackers.

A leak of 19,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) occurred in July, which Homeland Security today blamed on Russia.

Last year, the German government accused the NSA and GCHQ of spying on Angela Merkel and other German officials through the use of malware called Regin. This malware, which was said to be one of the most advanced malicious software ever exposed, was found on the laptop of one of Germany's high-ranked leaders.

Smartwatches have also been banned in Australian cabinet meetings, after Alastair MacGibbon, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's cyber advisor, said as they could be a potential risk to national security.

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