Feeds

Plot to snoop on Prince William

Bugger-all evidence in bugging reports

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

MI5 has foiled an attempt to bug the phone calls and email messages sent by Prince William, according to an exclusive story in today's Daily Express.

The paper reports that officers of the intelligence agency found bugs planted at the University of St Andrews, in Scotland, where the British Prince is due to begin a history of art degree course in September.

Unnamed intelligence sources, quoted by the Daily Express, said the 'snoopers' had set up the devices to use word-recognition triggers which would operate when the Prince was using a phone or computer. The bugs were discovered in a sweep of St Andrews just before Christmas.

Who planted the devices, why they planted the bugs, where bugs were found and how the bugging technology worked are all questions left answered by the report - which goes on to talk about past episodes when the Royals have been bugged (remember the 'Squidgygate tapes?') and threats to their security from Irish terrorists.

However we did enjoy one quote, which the Express obtained from its intelligence mole: "The Prince is known to enjoy using the Internet, and given the advanced state of electronic surveillance equipment, it is perhaps not surprising that attempts should be made to compromise him."

Indeed Trojan horses planted on a PC could conceivably even be used to control Web cams in the Prince's room or traffic could be intercepted with sniffers in order to intercept emails. It's also possible to bug phones with radio-microphones, though physical access might be a problem for would-be buggers - unless they got access to the St Salvatori hall of residence phone switch, of course.

The problem with the report, according to security experts, is that its too vague to provide credible evidence, especially in the face of Buckingham Palace denials, of a bugging plot against the Prince.

"There doesn't seem to be any substance to these reports, which seem pretty far fetched," said Richard Stagg, senior security architect at Information Risk
Management.

Stagg was also puzzled by the suggested use of 'word-recognition' technology, which isn't explained in reports thus far.

Brian Gladman, technical advisor to the Foundation of Information Policy Research, and a former technical director at Nato, said: "There's no great difficulty to put radio transmitters in handset - but they're not difficult to detect.

"Perhaps the story here is that MI5 don't like competition when it comes to snooping on people," he added. ®

Related Stories

Secret IRA Web site shut down
Police request right to spy on every UK phone call and email
MI5 seeks snappers on the Net
Internet gets Royal approval

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
Ex-Apple man Sam Sung - for it is he - sticks namebadge on eBay
Stump up via tat bazaar, do a good thing for ill kids
Check your Clungene, Irish women warned
Have a quick shufti, you may not be pregnant after all
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.