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Mobile Devices Banned From UK Cabinet Meetings Over Surveillance Fears

timothy posted about a year ago | from the they-are-listening dept.

Privacy 116

MightyMartian writes "British securities services fear foreign intelligence agencies have developed the ability to turn mobile devices such as phones and tablets into bugs without the owner's knowledge, allowing them to eavesdrop on confidential meetings. According to the article, UK security services fear China, Russia and Pakistan have figured out a way to turn mobiles into microphones, and have them transmit even when they're off. Ministers in sensitive government departments have been issued with soundproof lead-lined boxes, which they must place their mobiles in when having sensitive conversations."

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Cone of SIlence (2)

Zaelath (2588189) | about a year ago | (#45319309)

Do we really have to Max?

Summary Huh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319341)

And what the fuck is Pakistway? Is that near Stalinstan, or Armeniad?

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Summary Huh? (2)

jc42 (318812) | about a year ago | (#45319589)

And what the fuck is Pakistway?

If you google it, you'll find that most of the hits are for exactly the text you just read in the summary. It doesn't seem to originate with /., though; that sentence is taken verbatim from a news-service report. /., like other news sites, has just posted the original article unchanged.

There is a pakistanway.com/net site, a portal website in Pakistan. The reporter that wrote the quoted article might be a regular user of that site, and garbled the country name as a result.

Re:Summary Huh? (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45320113)

And what the fuck is Pakistway?

Sounds like a newfangled name for the Silk Road (the original one).

Re:Summary Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320989)

It's west of East Bumfuck and north of Lower Slobobia.

Re:Summary Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321829)

And what the fuck is Pakistway? Is that near Stalinstan, or Armeniad?

-- Ethanol-fueled

LOL the idiots are out in force on slashdot tonight. I thought hodejo and timothy were bad for getting the NJ tax on shipping wrong.

Re: Summary Huh? (1)

Grumpy Git (3419623) | about a year ago | (#45323259)

It's the new name for Tower Hamlets, London. Google it.

Re:Cone of SIlence (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#45319407)

Before the meeting, just be sure and tell Hymie to "kill everyone's phone" - problem solved.

Funny thing about backdoors (5, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | about a year ago | (#45319441)

Funny thing about backdoors, they can be used against you. The FBI have had this capability for years. Just google for "roving bug." What could possibly go wrong? Other people who aren't supposed to be using it have figured out how to exploit it? Do tell.

Funny thing about chips designed in Cambridge (3, Interesting)

evilandi (2800) | about a year ago | (#45319795)

Funniest thing about backdoors is that almost every mobile device in the world has an ARM chip, designed in Cambridge, UK. That's Cambridge as in MI5 open recruiting ground and MI6 clandestine recruiting ground [varsity.co.uk] .

Devices manufactured in China, using a British-designed chip, routed through British Telecom using Huawei [theregister.co.uk] equipment... as you said, what could possibly go wrong?

If I were the conspiratorial sort, I might have reason to suspect Cambridge-recruited personnel of working for the other side [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Funny thing about chips designed in Cambridge (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45320131)

ARM licenses the design but the SoC engineers in other companies work with the design itself extensively. They'd probably notice a spying module. MIx's would have to infiltrate either these companies as well, or the silicon fabs.

Re:Funny thing about chips designed in Cambridge (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year ago | (#45321547)

Most tech companies prefer to hire experienced engineers from overseas, than inexperienced graduates from next door. (Certainly that's what we did when I worked for a tech company in Oxford anyway....)

Re:Cone of SIlence (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45319611)

Do we really have to Max?

It gets better. This also means the shoe phones too. Soon the rancorous debates will seem more like rancid debates.... unless the upgrade the ventilation.

Snowden's Fridge (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#45319643)

I think the boxes could more approriatally called Snowden's Fridge

Re:Snowden's Fridge (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#45319911)

I think the boxes could more approriatally called Snowden's Fridge

But why is it lined with lead? As a Faraday Cage, wouldn't copper or aluminum make more sense? Also, it seems easy to defeat the metal box: you could just record the conversation (metal doesn't block sound), and then transmit it later when connectivity is restored.

Re:Snowden's Fridge (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#45324763)

According to TFS the box is sound-proof. So you can't record sound. And this may be why they use lead; it's heavy which may stop the sound vibrations better than light metals like aluminium.

Blendtec (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319783)

They should just drop all toys into a Blendtec blender. That'll take care of it.

So, why are we now allowed to fly with toys powered up - is it to allow the NSA to hear the Huns coming?

Re:Cone of SIlence (2)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#45323405)

Unless you're holding you're meeting in a Faraday Cage I can turn a pair of old Sony Walk-man Headphones into a listening device without even touching them. It's not difficult.

Those evil Pakistwanians. (5, Funny)

queazocotal (915608) | about a year ago | (#45319329)

The Scowge of Dewocracies.

Re:Those evil Pakistwanians. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319511)

I didn't know Barney Frank posted here.

Re:Those evil Pakistwanians. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319701)

It is next to Irfuckinstan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319819)

You don't know where it is? Well, duh. It must be publiek skool edumakasion.

That's only the tip of the iceberg (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319337)

Freddie Mercury died from taking dicks up his ass. That's justice for faggots.

Re:That's only the tip of the iceberg (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319551)

At least he had some hot sex, unlike you who's still virgin.

Re:That's only the tip of the iceberg (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319925)

It's a good thing Freddie sang and performed on stage as well as he took dicks in his ass! Otherwise, we wouldn't have such hits as "Benny and the Jets," "Daniel," and "Tiny Dancer."

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:That's only the tip of the iceberg (1)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | about a year ago | (#45324219)

*pedant mode on*

It's a good thing Elton John sang and performed on stage as well as he took dicks in his ass! Otherwise, we wouldn't have such hits as "Benny and the Jets," "Daniel," and "Tiny Dancer."

*pedant mode off*

Re:That's only the tip of the iceberg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321695)

I rather stay a virgin than have a dick up my ass. Having a dick up your ass hurts like hell! Only a retard would call something like that hot sex!

Re:That's only the tip of the iceberg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324395)

The emotion you're lacking is embarrassment. You should be cringing that you even took the time to write that. Go get yourself some shame. It's a useful emotion and keeps you from looking like a dickhead in front of everyone.

box (1)

JohnVanVliet (945577) | about a year ago | (#45319343)

" lead-lined boxes"
well they DO have to keep Supper Man from seeing in

Supper Man can see through lead (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year ago | (#45319355)

But he can't penetrate tupperwear.

Re: box (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319465)

Yeah. But it doesn't protect against evil DinnerMan and his minion BreakfastBoy.

*wham*

I'm batman.

Pakistway (4, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about a year ago | (#45319345)

Is that anywhere near Norstan?

Re:Pakistway (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#45319413)

I think it's a town in New Jersey.

Good Lord! (4, Informative)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about a year ago | (#45319349)

British securities services fear foreign intelligence agencies have developed the ability to turn mobile devices such as phones and tablets into bugs without the owner's knowledge, allowing them to eavesdrop on confidential meetings.

This is positively ancient. Just so happens the elected officials are finally beginning to use the precautions that have been used in the military and other corners of government for quite some time.

Re:Good Lord! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319577)

All the recently discussed NSA abilities and programs were positively ancient as well. The real scandal is why all those countries currently up in arms over the US surveillance programs are lying their asses off when they proclaim they had no idea these surveillance programs existed. The same countries who have actually given data they have collected to the NSA and have in return requested data collected by the NSA.

Re:Good Lord! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320523)

Agreed. This is totally old news. DOE defense labs have mini-lockers outside of secure area entrances where visitors' personal electronics can be stored--better to just leave them in a car trunk. Lab-supplied hardware is disabled in several ways if allowed in secure areas.

Re:Good Lord! (1)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | about a year ago | (#45324235)

British securities services fear foreign intelligence agencies have developed the ability to turn mobile devices such as phones and tablets into bugs without the owner's knowledge, allowing them to eavesdrop on confidential meetings.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if GCHQ were doing it as well... (but are afraid that the others will find out about it)

Re:Good Lord! (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about a year ago | (#45324409)

British securities services fear foreign intelligence agencies have developed the ability to turn mobile devices such as phones and tablets into bugs without the owner's knowledge, allowing them to eavesdrop on confidential meetings.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if GCHQ were doing it as well... (but are afraid that the others will find out about it)

It is so old and well known that I would guess most organized crime and terrorist organizations have been practicing this for years too.

Good old Pakistway! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319359)

The land where editors are actually competent!

Ever been in a SCIF ? (3, Informative)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#45319365)

They won't let you take phones in there, either, for the same reason. And they haven't for decades now.

Re:Ever been in a SCIF ? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#45319671)

No shit, right? Hey, if the US intelligence community won't let phones, 2-way pagers, or any electronic communications device into the SCIF, maybe it's because they know how it can be misused.

Re:Ever been in a SCIF ? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45321493)

The US and UK at a mil and police level knew what happens. You had crime tracking fail as the criminal community had total insight into their countries larger telephone networks and the domestic computing power to track all calls.
You had different NATO groups, NSA and factions in the cell networks of different NATO countries over the years via junk software.
If the contractors, police and mil can get in, so can anyone with the cash, press contacts or any other gov backing.
Once telco codes and methods are shared, passing via many mil, police, govs, 'trusted' contractors its just codes for sale.

Re:Ever been in a SCIF ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319787)

Same in the UK. A mate who worked for the MOD and he said that when he buys a new phone he had to buy one without a phone as taking a camera of any type in to the workplace was strictly forbidden and that wasn't an uber high security place

They also soldered up the usb ports on his lap top (though as a bit of an own goal they helpfully added a cd/rw drive)

If you go for an interview for jobs requiring security clearance you normally have to hand over all you electronics over before you get past the reception.

Re:Ever been in a SCIF ? (3, Funny)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year ago | (#45322873)

A mate who worked for the MOD and he said that when he buys a new phone he had to buy one without a phone

So what brand did he buy? Fisher-Price?

Re:Ever been in a SCIF ? (1)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | about a year ago | (#45324295)

I believe that, if specifically asked, suppliers will provide stripped out versions of their devices for exactly these purposes

(I'll admit that I have only anecdotal evidence of this happening, but it sounds reasonable enough to me)

A summary of all Old/New Tory Cabinet meetings (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45319417)

Prima: Right, who's paying us?
Secunda: Fotherington-Smythe Plc.
Prima: And what do they want?
Secunda: For HMRC to look the other way on their offshore banking; more unpaid labour via the Work Programme; an overseas meeting to drum up some business; hm, and they want to get into private healthcare work, so perhaps you could force the NHS to put some work out to tender?
Prima: OK, gentlemen, let's do it. Don't forget to ask GCHQ to send them any intercepts which might be of use to them. Tertia, prepare the speech.
Tertia: "Enterprise.. bla bla... hard working people.. bla bla.. austerity... bla bla... " hmm, growth.. nah, don't worry, should be easy to fudge these figures.
Prima: Excellent.

Re:A summary of all Old/New Tory Cabinet meetings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319453)

New Labour [staticflickr.com]

Re:A summary of all Old/New Tory Cabinet meetings (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45319477)

Quite: same old Tories, same old lies.

Re:A summary of all Old/New Tory Cabinet meetings (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#45323401)

For those not in the UK, that was a real ad campaign run by the Tories in the '90s. It is generally credited with losing them the election: when the only message you have is that your opponent is secretly Satan, you're not looking very electable.

FOSS propaganda opportunity knocks (2)

jago25_98 (566531) | about a year ago | (#45319439)

Wait. Maybe we could make an exception for a fully open source, well code reviewed phone?

Oh, it doesn't exist does it.

OK, troll over. Just another opportunity to show that open source does have a unique selling point and it's not being capitalised on.

Re:FOSS propaganda opportunity knocks (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a year ago | (#45321299)

IIRC, a fully open source phone would be illegal.

Re:FOSS propaganda opportunity knocks (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#45322771)

Fairphone might qualify as fully open source... they seem to be proud of their open source status. http://www.fairphone.com/ [fairphone.com]

Re:FOSS propaganda opportunity knocks (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#45323409)

Really? I didn't find any mention of open source on their site, except for an 'also open!' regarding Android 4.2. Do they ship a GPU with no proprietary drivers? What about the baseband processor?

What about the window? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319463)

That window in the background looked like a nice laser target to measure sound vibrations in the room...

Re:What about the window? (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#45319529)

Either no windows in secure meeting rooms. Or they stick little piezoelectric transducers to them and drive them with white noise.

why lead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319499)

Lead lined? Are they using gamma particles or x-rays?

What's wrong with iron... a much better shielding material for magnetic and electrical fields.

or just anything conductive... like the bags the cops drop phones into during a search.

Re: why lead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319655)

Copper (mesh) should be even better than iron or steel.

Re: why lead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319843)

why not all three?

copper is not good for magnetic fields (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320815)

In the "near field", the magnetic fields are dominant over the electric fields. Copper foil is fine for radiated e-field at a distance, not so hot close up. Something with very low coercivity and high permeability is what you want: iron or "mu-metal".

Copper mesh sucks in general, because it's woven, and you have wires that go from one side of the mesh to the other. Sure, copper windowscreen is nice for shielding line frequency, but for RF.. uh-uh.. you want perforated metal with no weaving. Look at your microwave oven window. (note well, though.. microwave ovens aren't all that hot at shielding)

Worried about the wrong country? (5, Informative)

maroberts (15852) | about a year ago | (#45319501)

. According to the article, UK security services fear China, Russia and Pakistway have figured out a way to turn mobiles into microphones, and have them transmit even when they're off.

I'd be more worried about the likelihood the NSA is listening in after recent revelations

Re:Worried about the wrong country? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45319591)

There is ample reason for concern about Russia, China, and even Pakistan.

Number of Russian spies in the UK back to Cold War levels, say security services [telegraph.co.uk]
Chinese Espionage: Britain's MI5 reports epidemic in spying [examiner.com]
China's spies come out from the cold [bbc.co.uk]
Pakistani spies 'operating in Britain' [telegraph.co.uk]

I very much doubt that the US has ever aimed nuclear weapons at the United Kingdom. The Soviets / Russians certainly have. They still come for visits.

RAF catches Russian bombers in UK airspace [scotsman.com]
Yes, yes, I know, but still. Scramble! Scramble! Russian nuclear bandits at 12 o'clock!': The Kremlin's taunting Britain with Blackjack bombers [dailymail.co.uk]

Pakistani spies 'operating in Britain'? (1)

linuxguy (98493) | about a year ago | (#45320419)

I read the entire "The Telegraph" story. There was no mention of Pakistani spies in Britain, other than in the headline. And the two "spies" in the US, were more like lobbyists. They had donated money to politicians to get favorable opinion of Pakistani side of the Kashmir issue. This is hardly what you would call "spying".

Re:Pakistani spies 'operating in Britain'? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45322459)

My mistake. This is the one I should have linked to:

'Pakistani spies' in the Houses of Parliament [telegraph.co.uk]

US prosecutors claim that three “Kashmir Centers” in Washington, London and Brussels, are run on behalf of “elements of the Pakistani government, including Pakistan’s military intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI).”

The Pakistani intelligence services seem to not come to the attention of the press too often in the UK. There is an allegation that they were involved with Sri Lanka's intelligence service in the UK to recruit and train operatives against the Tamils.

Re:Worried about the wrong country? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year ago | (#45323527)

The US doesn't need to point nukes directly on Britain. The British nuclear weapons have been bought from America, and contain secret self destruct codes that Uncle Sam can turn on anytime it wants to blow the UK up.

It's Okay When We Do It (5, Insightful)

SerenelyHotPest (2970223) | about a year ago | (#45319555)

Per this [slashdot.org] , I feel comfortable saying cry me a river.

The outrage over foreign spying--in particular Chinese backdoors--on the part of the American intelligence community is really a form of the same thing: it's okay when we do it, but as soon as anyone else does the same thing to us, it's a gross affront to our privacy and the relationship we have with the spying party and possibly an act of war. I realize intelligence agencies are trained to think this way, but is it really so terribly difficult to grasp that if you don't want it done to yourself, it's probably a sign you shouldn't be doing it to others?

Re:It's Okay When We Do It (3, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | about a year ago | (#45319651)

... it's okay when we do it, but as soon as anyone else does the same thing to us, it's a gross affront to our privacy and the relationship we have with the spying party and possibly an act of war.

Well, yeah; that's because we're God's chosen people, so everything we do to those foreigners is good and moral, but if they do it to us, they're evil and wrong.

[Plug in your favorite country, and translate to that country's official language(s), if necessary, to reach full understanding of how human governments work.]

Re:It's Okay When We Do It (1)

chihowa (366380) | about a year ago | (#45321643)

Maybe you Americans are like that, but the rest of the world isn't. Before the US existed, the world was a peaceful place with puppies and rainbows and... I'm sorry, I can't keep this up with a straight face.

I just wanted to head off those who will inevitably chime in to say that something like this would never happen in their little utopia [sordid history of their country conveniently forgotten].

Following Recent News (1)

Gonoff (88518) | about a year ago | (#45319565)

After what has been revealed recently, anyone who thinks they are an ally of the USA needs to worry more about the NSA and other criminal organisations than Pakistan. At least they do not tell everyone that they have the divinely given duty to rule over the world. They may think it but, if so, are smart enough not to tell everyone about Pakistani Exceptionalism.

Re:Following Recent News (2)

HiThere (15173) | about a year ago | (#45321337)

Why is everyone still believing that they are saying what they mean. I rather expect that the left out the US because that's primarily who this is ruling is directed at.

Dark Knight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319569)

"Good luck, Mr Wayne!" ;-)

Heh (1)

blagooly (897225) | about a year ago | (#45319587)

Funny because somebody just thought of this. Ding. Merits a Press Release. Really thought that one out eh? Love ya GB like a brother, likely always will. But y'all ain't what you used to be, yo. Canuckistan and the Oz mostly got it down still. But y'all? you're killin me.

Fixed that for you (5, Insightful)

rainer_d (115765) | about a year ago | (#45319593)

According to the article, UK security services fear China, Russia and Pakistway have also figured out a way to turn mobiles into microphones...

Re:Fixed that for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319943)

Insufficient fixing.
Core dumped.

China, Russia and Pakistway (1)

heikkile (111814) | about a year ago | (#45319601)

Pakistway?

Re:China, Russia and Pakistway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319755)

What I want to know is how do I get a job as a Slashdot editor? It seems they don't even need to proofread the summaries that other people write for them.

Re:China, Russia and Pakistway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319817)

Pakistan is an ally. Pakistway is ambivalent and always in the way of ally demands, whether good or bad.
U.S.:"We want to use drones in your country to attack terrorists, there might be civilian casulties."
Pakistan:"Okay"
Pakistway: "How dare the U.S. attack civilians in our country! this is beyond the pale!"

U.S.: "Okay, we did violate your country's sovereignty when killing Osama but what's done is done. We're all the better for it."
Pakistan: "Fine"
Pakistway: "We're charging the doctor who helped the Americans with...... treason? Mm.... let's make it conspiracy."

The know this tech exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319625)

They've used it on the Russians, Chinese and Pakistani themselves.

Russian, Chinese? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319679)

Don't tell me these suckers actually buy into "no spy"?
All the Russians and Chinese really need are a handful moles at the NSA and the get all the GB's secrets essentially for free.

Its Rupert and co they (3, Insightful)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#45319741)

Should be worried about

we need the cone of silence ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319805)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWtPPWi6OMQ

Just take the battery out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319811)

Oh, wait, with apple iCrap you can't do that, because Steve Jobs said so.

Lead-lined boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319853)

..Where can I buy one?

Lead? (1)

Cow007 (735705) | about a year ago | (#45320061)

Maybe it was an illustrative device but you would not need to use lead. The standard practice is to use a Faraday bag or case which could be made of lots of different materials including lead as long as it is electrically connected to the closure. Lead is used for radiation shielding but for electro magnetic shielding a Faraday bag or cage is used...

British gov't afraid of surveillance? (2, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year ago | (#45320287)

We aren't even talking about citizens being the recorders (which would be super-ironic).

When the people in your government don't trust their closest co-workers, there's reason to be concerned about the health of the entire leadership system.

Off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320495)

Ugh, if it's transmitting it isn't off. I assume off is used as "powered off" and power is required to transmit. A device cannot be "off" and "transmitting" they're mutually exclusive.

Re:Off? (4, Informative)

HiThere (15173) | about a year ago | (#45321377)

A lot of modern "off" switches should really be named "sleep". They don't turn the power off. If they did you couldn't use, e.g., wake on the network. Nothing that allows remote activation really turns itself off...and that includes a huge number of things with off switches.

Its too late to turn off the phones... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about a year ago | (#45320799)

...They already know what you think.

Thanks Snowden, now what for the UK? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45321397)

For years the GCHQ and NSA where happy to let UK political leaders chat away. Where was the skilled UK tech insight into been secure from Russia, the press, other motivated foreigners or groups? The same understanding of the secure UK telco networks could be seen and sold by any US/NATO contractor.
Only now does the UK gov understand what 'their' junk Enigma like cell network encryption can really be used for. The UK security staff willing, knowingly and over generations offered their countries political leadership junk encryption and told them its 'safe' to use it.
Now the reality of having some of your skilled UK tech more in touch with the NSA, NATO and other groups in the USA sets in. Who are your trusted security staff really working for and who are they promoting internally over the years? Two spy bosses? One in the US? One for contractors in the US? One in the UK? Would they do a modern MI5 and work for Russia too? China? Cash from the press? Cash from just about anyone or group? Some other faith?
All that UK policy about political issues, commercial deals, crime, oil, gas, weapons sales is not ending up in a safe in the Soviet Union - its been used in near real time thanks to sloppy UK staff.

why lead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321613)

Presumably they want a Faraday cage. This doesn't need to be lead, does it? Maybe they are worried the phones are radioactive...

No pudding for you! (1)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#45321709)

The fact that the Slashbot editors couldn't even catch something like "Pakistway" instead of "Pakistan" is bad enough.

But the fact that they haven't corrected the typo after this long is an absolutely sickening example of lazy assed, shoddy, don't-give-a-shit attitudes. Shame on Dyce.

Re:No pudding for you! (1)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#45321713)

Or is it "Dyse"? "Dyks?"

How does it feel, bone heads?

There's an easier way. (1)

Detritusher (1031752) | about a year ago | (#45321889)

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

Have they considered taking the battery out of their phone?

Bug the lead-lined boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321923)

The solution is just that simple. I mean, is a government agent seriously going to take apart their lead-lined box to see what's inside it? You have rest assured that anyone buying a sound-proof lead-lined box is doing it to avoid being overheard, which is an excellent reason to put a bug in every one of them.

soundproof lead-lined boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321933)

What do they have in their mobiles? Radioactivity? Why use lead-lined boxes, not copper-lined ones? Must be another royal screw-up on part of beaurocrats: if it has radio- in it's name, then use lead to reduce radio-activity.

Like this is new? (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#45322377)

Is this like one of those stories that tell people to make sure they cook their Thanksgiving turkey enough, and to put it in the refrigerator when it's done?

Because this news is about as fresh as that, a wireless phone should not ever be in the vicinity of any meeting, ever.

Re:Like this is new? (1)

Therefore I am (1284262) | about a year ago | (#45323897)

Me? I am buying into companies that specialize in mouth hygiene products of all types. It is a near certainty that all future diplomacy and major corporate policy will be discussed in close head to-head meetings in the centre of huge rooms in order to prevent espionage. Bad breath will be a career-ending certainty... Note that head-to-head is exactly the way that head-lice are transmitted to others so expect to be able identify major decision-makers either by their constant head scratching or by their permanently shaved heads.

Doesn't go far enough (1)

Grumpy Git (3419623) | about a year ago | (#45323299)

"Ministers in sensitive government departments have been issued with soundproof lead-lined boxes" Excellent! Ministers need to ensure that they're still holding their electronic devices when they go into the lead-lined boxes. When you're in a box, no-one can hear you (allegedly) shout "PLEB!"

Why don't they put themselves in lead-lined boxes? (1)

hughbar (579555) | about a year ago | (#45324053)

As a Brit, I feel that this would solve a great many problems simultaneously. No sneaky air-holes for these a*-holes either. There, I feel much better now...
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