Tech Security Silences Tweeting Cardinals
CREDIT: Sergii Figurnyi | Shutterstock
To prevent tweet-happy church leaders from leaking secrets, the Vatican has stepped up its wireless security in time for the papal conclave.
In addition to the traditional vows of secrecy, ABC News reports that the 115 cardinal-electors and their staff members are rendered incommunicado by jamming devices, put in place to scramble electronic communications inside the Sistine Chapel and the guest houses where the cardinals are lodged.
Cardinals or Vatican workers who break their sacred vows of secrecy — on Twitter or otherwise — face excommunication from the church.
"The Vatican highly prizes the traditional Conclave secrecy — even more so after the leaks scandal that have plagued it in the past months," said Alessandro Speciale, Vatican correspondent for Religion News Services.
While most of the jamming measures were also in place during the 2005 conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, Speciale explains that today's cardinals are more technologically adept than they were in the days before iPads and smartphones.
"While cardinals will probably take their commitment to secrecy seriously, some of the them are avid [Tweeters] and bloggers, and they might risk going into Internet withdrawal if the conclave drags on too long," said Speciale.
In an additional effort to ensure security and prevent contact with fans and followers, cardinals will not be permitted to walk the 750 yards from the cafeteria at Santa Marta to the Sistine Chapel and will instead be driven by bus.