Monday, April 10, 2006

Blackberries or Spyberries?

According to The Hill Times the Conservatives have banned Blackberries from their caucus meetings. It's going to be tough for the Conservative Crackberry addicts to go cold turkey. Tough love though, say I, no government-funded treatment programs. And jail the offenders!

But seriously, while the whole paternalistic aspect of this ban is amusing, it was this line in the story that caught my eye:

The House of Commons security officers told the Conservatives that the physical presence of cellphones and BlackBerries, even if turned off, could be used to transmit what's going on inside caucus to anyone outside without the knowledge of the person who is carrying the equipment.

You know, I've been a technology reporter for, oh, maybe nine years now and I've got to say that's news to me. Even turned off, a cell phone or Blackberry can be used to spy without the knowledge of the person carrying it? Seems highlily unlikely. Anyone at RIM, or with a modicum or technical know-how, or just some common sense, care to weigh in?

Funnily enough though, the story says Blackberries are still welcome at cabinet meetings, just as long as they're not used. Because anyone who knows Ottawa knows the really sensetive decisions are made at caucus, not cabinet.

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5 comments:

Prairie Kid said...

There won't be a problem with Blackberries because Scott Brison is sitting in the opposition bench right now.

Penny said...

I gather the Harpo brownshirts have told him that cabinet ministers' blackberries won't be transmitting, but any other lowlife Conservative blackberry is supect?

And what are the thought police learning about ordinary non-cons through OUR spyberries? Or perhaps they're tapping our landlines, putting bugs behind the paintings...

Perhaps we have more to fear from technology than we do from them terra-ists.

love, sydney said...

As soon as Harpo's agents have all the Tory wonks equipped with a cabbage leaf behind their heads, then he'll let them play with their blackberries. And he'll have another double-double with one of those doughnuts with the sprinkles. For his cat. That's it, his cat...

s.b. said...

It doesn't matter. The US are listening to everything from their embassy across the street. Blackberries or no balckberries. The walls have ears. They parbably don't even need to have ears nowadays, just point and listen.

Anonymous said...

I work in the Senate, and we recently had a 'security awareness week' in which members of the CSE (Communications Security Establishment) came and spoke to a group of us about issues of wireless security.

I can attest that we were told something similar about blackberries.