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The UK's Tory government cabinet ministers have reportedly been officially banned from wearing Apple Watches to crucial meetings in case they're compromised by Russian hackers.
"The Russians are trying to hack everything," one unnamed source told the Telegraph.
Apple Watches were said to be popular with several ministers, including former justice secretary and failed leadership candidate Michael Gove, who wore them to cabinet meetings during David Cameron's tenure as prime minister. However, under PM Theresa May—the former home secretary who repeatedly pushed for Britain's spies to have greater surveillance powers—the devices have been summarily banned amid fears that Russian security services could use them to listen in on government business.
Cabinet ministers have been banned from bringing smartphones and tablets to meetings since late 2013.
It was reported at the time that an iPad used during a presentation by then-cabinet minister Francis "Digital by Default" Maude was removed from the room "even before discussions could begin," and smartphones were placed into "soundproof lead-lined boxes." There were also fears that USB sticks handed to delegates at the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg that year could have been loaded with malware.
Russian hackers are apparently everywhere at the moment, with the US department of homeland security officially accusing Putin's regime of attempting to disrupt the US elections amid a series of political hacks.
But Russia is by no means the only nation chancing its arm with government hacks. Last year, the NSA was accused of spying on Angela Merkel and other high-ranking German officials using Reign malware.
This isn't the first time Apple Watches have disrupted cabinet meetings.
The Telegraph also reports that when Gove was chief whip he accidentally played a few bars of a Beyonce song while "surreptitiously checking his e-mails."
This post originated on Ars Technica UK