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Thread: In USA. Are mechanicals "Classified-Space Certified" ?

  1. #1
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    In USA. Are mechanicals "Classified-Space Certified" ?



    I've been seeing various versions about this here and there. The line below is from someone on Hodinkee:

    >> "You canít wear an electronic watch into a classified space- govt... keeping traditional watches alive!"

    So I looked around and this popped up from 2018:

    Pentagon Bans Personal Devices from Classified Areas
    https://www.nextgov.com/policy/2018/...-areas/148437/




    So, is there a policy that mechanical watches are ok to wear in classified areas?

    John

  2. #2
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Itís the similar in the UK
    You canít wear a fit bit, Apple Watch etc in any government secure facility. You can wear a quartz watch though.
    Lots of the government departments team up with the big watch makers to make a service / department special that you can buy for a reduced price.

  3. #3
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abraxas View Post
    So, is there a policy that mechanical watches are ok to wear in classified areas?

    John
    Yes

    No PEDs
    Inform - Educate - Entertain

  4. #4
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    That would need to quite high level security in this country IMO. If they block a digital watch you would need to be high up

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    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    That would need to quite high level security in this country IMO. If they block a digital watch you would need to be high up
    Nope
    Most central government departments require you to hand over phone and any smart watch along with all other digital equipment before gaining entry. Even visitors and staff with basic clearance levels

  6. #6
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    I am surprised that none of the brands have tried to capitalise on it with advertising, etc.

  7. #7
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abraxas View Post
    I am surprised that none of the brands have tried to capitalise on it with advertising, etc.
    There are lots out there with the department logo on.

  8. #8
    Based on the title I thought this had something to do with unshielded quartz watches not being suitable for use in space because cosmic radiation kills them.

    But yes, even some sufficiently paranoid companies will have a ban on smartwatches and the like, anywhere that high level trade secrets are handled or critical systems are present (like inside data centres). If you want to know more about why this is a concern, consider that these devices all have Bluetooth built in. Then read about Stuxnet and consider that if that was possible with 2005 technology, what could be done with todays notoriously insecure wireless/IoT devices?

    As far as blanket banning smart devices is concerned, this is largely about how hard it is to keep track of which ones present exactly which kinds of security threat. It's just easier to ban them all, with varying levels of broadness depending on the level of security desired.

  9. #9
    Shouldn't this thread be about smart vs non-smart watches rather than mechanical vs the rest?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Shouldn't this thread be about smart vs non-smart watches rather than mechanical vs the rest?
    Probably, although AFAIK at some security levels they just ban quartz watches too, because it's hard to tell if they are smart or not. A good example of this being that some G-Shocks have Bluetooth. Good luck training security guards to tell the difference for every possible random Chinese brand out there. It's easier to say if it ticks it's OK and ban the rest, unless explicitly whitelisted (hence the branded quartz models previously mentioned).

  11. #11
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Shouldn't this thread be about smart vs non-smart watches rather than mechanical vs the rest?
    I am just looking for some kind of written confirmation that mechanicals officially rock in some new and wonderful way.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt View Post
    Based on the title I thought this had something to do with unshielded quartz watches not being suitable for use in space because cosmic radiation kills them.

    But yes, even some sufficiently paranoid companies will have a ban on smartwatches and the like, anywhere that high level trade secrets are handled or critical systems are present (like inside data centres). If you want to know more about why this is a concern, consider that these devices all have Bluetooth built in. Then read about Stuxnet and consider that if that was possible with 2005 technology, what could be done with todays notoriously insecure wireless/IoT devices?

    As far as blanket banning smart devices is concerned, this is largely about how hard it is to keep track of which ones present exactly which kinds of security threat. It's just easier to ban them all, with varying levels of broadness depending on the level of security desired.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpdyQCW7I0c

    https://wornandwound.com/eyes-secret...old-war-spies/

    With former British Intelligence Officer Ian Fleming putting spyware in JB's wristwatches around 60 years ago and Dick Tracy talking into his around 75 years ago, I'd guess that suspicion of watches has been increasingly ingrained into government security culture worldwide over all these years since, and probably for far better reasons than comic strips and movies. I once saw a presentation on real world spy equipment and devices used during the Cold War by "us" and "them", and still remember how highly impressed I was at what clever and resourceful human beings can come up with to accomplish a purpose when they work at it.

    Given how currently aggressive the government of China is at "lifting" secured information from what used to be called The Free World, I very much hope "our guys" are more than aggressively trying to stop it (and if I ever "have to" wear only mechanicals to help out to that end, I'll "try" very hard to get in touch with my center and bear up to it[?])
    Last edited by Rollon; 6th September 2020 at 12:30.

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