The United Kingdom has been on a tablet bent as of late, buying Apple iPads for members of parliament and designing a custom iPad app for Prime Minister David Cameron himself. However, several UK publications are reporting that the government has now banned those tablets from cabinet meetings and other sensitive conversations.
The Daily Mail writes that a security team seized a collection of iPads used in a presentation at last week's cabinet meeting, for fear a foreign government could hack them to eavesdrop on private conversations. The Telegraph adds that some government ministers now have to put their mobile devices into soundproof lead-lined boxes before having sensitive meetings.
Without naming any particular sources, both The Telegraph and The Independent say the government is worried about espionage by China, Russia, Iran, and Pakistan in particular, claiming that those countries now have the ability to turn on a smartphone or tablet's microphone even when the device is off. That's something the FBI can also allegedly do.
Espionage worries are definitely top of mind among world leaders right now. Russia was recently accused of spying on G20 summit attendees with "poisoned" flash drives, and the United States has allegedly been eavesdropping on many foreign leaders — most prominently German chancellor Angela Merkel.