Vatican Begins Anti-surveillance Operation
The Vatican has deployed countermeasures in an attempt to keep enterprising reporters from spying on the papal selection conclave.
Vatican mobilises anti-surveillance op (The Register)
If press reports are to be believed, then next Monday’s gathering of cardinals in the Sistine Chapel will represent the biggest counter-surveillance operation since the Posh/Becks royal wedding. Indeed, so busy will the Vatican be blocking laser microphone assault, checking vases of flowers for nanobugs and setting the Swiss Guard on suspicious men using 3G mobes to communicate with circling black helicopters that we very much doubt whether there will be enough time to elect a new Pope between the stripsearches and electromagnetic sweeps.
Of course, there is a certain amount of legitimacy to the idea that some will stop at nothing to eavesdrop on the cardinals’ deliberations. The Pope-vote conclave is legendarily secretive. Pope John Paul II tackled the burgeoning technological threat when he introduced rules protecting cardinals from “threats to their independence of judgment”, viz; mobile phones, electronic organizers, radios, newspapers and TVs.
However, according to Wired, the Vatican now faces a mutli-pronged techno-assault on the Sistine Chapel. New menaces include – according to Massachusetts security operative James Atkinson – the aforementioned vibration-detecting laser mics and, chillingly, the possibility that a mole might alert the outside world by “using colored smoke or by flushing dye down a toilet with a discharge pipe that could be monitored elsewhere”.
Not that they’re paranoid or anything.