Home working civil servants need protection from eavesdropping spies - The Telegraph

Summary

The UK’s intelligence community is funding research to stop enemy agents eavesdropping on civil servants working from home.

In a tacit admission that home working could pose a threat to national security, spies are offering £200,000 to develop devices that stop calls being bugged.

The UK’s intelligence community is funding research to stop enemy agents eavesdropping on civil servants working from home.

In a tacit admission that home working could pose a threat to national security, spies are offering £200,000 to develop devices that stop calls being bugged.

The offer of funding was made in a document issued by the Government Office for Science in “areas of interest” to the “intelligence, security and defence communities”.

Funding is available for 18 separate topics that also include projects such as “swarm or team robots for autonomous tunnelling” and “nanotechnology implications for chemical and biological warfare safeguards”.

The grants worth up to £200,000 pay for engineers to spend two years at British universities working full-time to develop solutions to intelligence problems.

The programme matches academics with counterparts in the intelligence services.

The research prospectus states: “We would like to understand and protect remote workers; offer best practice for protection of speech and any innovation that we could develop further.”

The document expresses concern for the “acoustic integrity of headsets that are routinely worn both at home and in office environments”. The headsets, the prospectus warned, “have now become commonplace during the pandemic during online meetings”.

The worry for the security services is that “privacy of speech” is compromised by enemy agents listening in to conversations. It suggests that academics look at different construction materials that could prevent conversations being eavesdropped both at home and in the office.

Home working civil servants need protection from eavesdropping spies - The Telegraph
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