Sunday the 14th April, The Sunday Times released a recording of a partial, private, conversation between the Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn and Dame Margaret Hodge.
Dame Margaret Hodge is the MP for Barking, and a member of the Labour party.
The Dame secretly recorded her conversation with the party leader in what she described to the BBC as an insurance policy. The recording contained Corbyn discussing anti-Semitism within Labour and a plan to recruit Lord Falconer, a former cabinet minister, to review the party’s complaints process. The privacy invasion occurred in February of this year (2019) but hasn’t been made public until now.
The recording of private conversations isn’t anything new or unfounded but is in fact very common and is happening all the time. At this point, we can only speculate as to how the Dame bugged the meeting, but it’s likely she could have simply had a dictaphone or mobile phone in her handbag that was switched on and set to record.
In the days of modern technology, with all kinds of new eavesdropping devices being readily available to the average consumer, the threat of eavesdropping has never been greater. New specifically designed eavesdropping devices are constantly being created, but everyday items such as smart phones or baby monitors can be (and are) misused and used with malicious intent to eavesdrop on private conversations.
A recent high-profile example of an everyday item being used improperly as an eavesdropping device, involved Apple’s wireless headphones – AirPods. The issue revolved around the device’s Live Listen feature, in which an iPhone is used as a microphone and the AirPods are used to listen live to audio from the phones microphone. The feature was created to aid users who are hard of hearing, but its misuse for malicious intent was quickly discovered.
This recent audio recording released by The Sunday Times involving the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is just one example of why it’s imperative keep your meetings secure to ensure that your private discussions remain private.