‘The Media Coverage of Kamala Harris and Bluetooth Is Ridiculous’

Charlotte Clymer:

Last night, the journalists behind Politico’s West Wing Playbook thought it wise to publish a story on the VP’s preference for wired headphones — because she’s concerned over the vulnerability of Bluetooth-enabled devices like AirPods — and then fleshed out the piece with an insinuation that she’s being paranoid.

On Twitter, reporter Alex Thompson, one of the folks on the byline, echoed this part from the piece: that some aides felt VP Harris was being “a bit paranoid” over security and attached it to an anecdote over Harris, then California Attorney General, instructing her staff not to leave visitors alone in her office.

The critical bit about her ordering staff to not leave visitors alone in her office — the Office of the Attorney General of California — seems especially absurd. It’s a legal office. It’s a government office. There are confidential documents. Someone left alone could plant a listening device. So many operational security concerns.

It doesn’t make sense.

I’m not aware of any actual exploits that iPhone/AirPods users should worry about, but it certainly isn’t silly or “paranoid” that the vice president of the United States doesn’t want to take unnecessary risks.

Clymer links to this solid piece from The Daily Beast summarizing infosec concerns around Bluetooth. By its very nature, Bluetooth is a location beacon, for example.

Wednesday, 8 December 2021