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January 28, 2014 5:32 pm

Israel Automatically Disables Mobile Electronic Devices to Bolster Security at Nuclear Reactor

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

Israel's Dimona nuclear plant. Photo: Arutz Sheva.

Israel’s Negev Nuclear Research Center (NRC) has recently launched a war of sorts against employees’ mobile devices in order to eliminate internet surfing and image streaming so as to prevent the possibility of spying, Israeli news website Walla reported on Tuesday.

“As soon as workers enter the research center, all wireless devices are automatically disabled, except for the ability to make calls,” an Israeli defense official told Walla. The source went on to say that, “The ease in which one can now execute a cyber attack with a mobile device and extract sensitive data including images…” has necessitated an overhaul of some of the procedures so as to prevent excessive, unnecessary use of mobile electronic devices.

Other Israeli citizens are also being affected by NRC’s tough new protocols. Bystanders are now also being prevented from filming parts of the reactor with their wireless electronic devices, Walla said.

In recent years, the IDF has prohibited the introduction of mobile devices into classified discussion forums and in exceptional cases has even ordered the removal of batteries from such devices out for fear that conversations could be tapped, Walla reported.

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Mobile devices are also being banned by international hi-tech companies that have subsidiaries and factories in Israel, Walla said. In these cases, the fear is that employees could use their mobile devices to photograph sensitive areas of the operation that could be of value to a company’s competitors.

In response to Walla’s report, the Atomic Energy Commission had this to say: “The NRC is a security-based enterprise and thus does not specify its security guidelines.”

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