iPads left at 10 Downing Street; Security Interrupts Cabinet Meeting to Remove

Lesson from this story: do not, under any circumstances, leave unattended iPads at a Cabinet meeting in 10 Downing Street (residence of the British Prime Minister; essentially the British equivalent of the White House), or they will be ganked by security.  According to Mashable, after a presentation at 10 Downing Street, multiple iPads were left behind.  A cabinet meeting was then held in the same room.  During the meeting:

Midway through the GDS’s talk and amid a round of applause offered by ministers at the prospect of the service saving the British economy some £2 billion ($2.7 billion) per year, “security moved in to remove all the iPads from the room. They were taking no chances with Cabinet careless talk,” the publication notes.

Why, you ask?  Well, it makes sense:

It is feared China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan have developed the ability to turn mobiles into microphones and turn them into transmitters even when they are turned off, using a Trojan computer virus.

Ministers in sensitive government departments have been issued with soundproof lead-lined boxes, which they must place their mobiles in when having sensitive conversations, it emerged this week.

Yipes.  Technology – and Social Media – have certainly been used in the past to breach National Security.  In 2009, Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), who was a member of the House Intellegence Committee, went on a “secret” trip to Iraq.  The trip was only going to be reported on after its conclusion in order to protect the safety of the American dignitaries that were on the trip.  I say “secret” because Hoekstra decided to live tweet much of his trip:

Note to readers: Do not live tweet secret trips.

Note to readers: Do not live tweet secret trips.

Technology can always present a security risk.  Even, clearly, at the highest levels of government.


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