The fears of being spied on and foreign espionage have become increasingly real in recent times. UK government had been very interested in equipping its officials, parliamentarians and others with iPad tablets. But now, the government has informally banned iPads from closed-door meetings over fears that hackers may eavesdrop on important conversations.
Recent revelations by Edward Snowden have been an eye-opener for many of us. Snowden’s leaks reveal how advanced today’s cyber espionage tools are and how effectively they can be used to spy on others. NSA, for instance, had been spying on the heads of states of many other countries, a revelation which has triggered international protests from these countries.
The UK government fears that similar espionage tools may be used on its officials and members by hackers from Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan to listen in on important discussions. In a recent cabinet meeting, the security team rounded up a number of iPads and took them away over concerns that a foreign government could hack into these devices.
These concerns are very valid. There are many commercial software which allow government to monitor individuals, not only in their own country but in other countries too. Some of these software, created by notable vendor companies in the US and Europe, have been actively used for human rights abuse by repressive regimes in countries such as Bahrain.
This goes on to show that such espionage software are available out there and anyone can have them for the right price. In light of that, the concerns of the UK government are fairly genuine.
Courtesy: The Verge