Nobel panel tries to keep lip-readers away
OSLO, October 6, 2012, Reuters:
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The Nobel Peace Prize committee is tightening security to prevent eavesdroppers and lip-readers on decisions that can infuriate the powerful.
“We have taken certain precautions,” Geir Lundestad, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, said in his office in central Oslo. The winner has already been chosen from about 230 candidates, but his or her name will remain secret until the formal 2012 award on October 12.
“Leaks in general have not been a problem. But we want to protect that record.”
One fear is of lip-readers, perhaps using telescopes from nearby buildings. “You just pull down the curtains and there are no lips to read,” Lundestad said. “Cellphones are terrible from a security point of view ... We never bring cellphones into the room because they give experts easy access,” he added. Phones can be activated remotely and used as listening devices. The committee had taken advice from security consultants on other measures Lundestad declined to discuss.
He said the prize had huge impact on the lives of winners, including as an aid for Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kui who won in 1991 for her pro-democracy campaign while in detention. She was freed in 2010 and visited Oslo in June, 2012.