Inside The Sistine Chapel’s Security Tech For The Papal Election

Inside The Sistine Chapel’s Security Tech For The Papal Election

Tomorrow, the Sistine Chapel will fill with cardinals who will spend hours — or days — deciding who should be elected as the next Pope. While they do so, the Sistine chapel will be filled with electronic jammers and swept for bugs to ensure no information is leaked.

Reuters reports that a team of workmen are busy preparing the Chapel, where the secret vote is expected to take place, for Tuesday’s big event:

Workmen are… laying down a false floor over its ornate tiles and installing electronic jammers to block any signals escaping from within the 15th-century chapel, site of Michelangelo’s vast fresco “The Last Judgment”.

That will stop those pesky cardinals sending out tweets and emails to try to leak news. Elsewhere, Vatican officials will be sweeping the building with anti-bugging scanners to detect any hidden microphones that could be used to listen in on proceedings.

According to Reuters, all devices that can be used to record or transmit data are banned at the event, and the cardinals aren’t allowed to communicate to the outside world without special permission. In fact, they’ll be staying put until a decision is made: in 1996, Pope John Paul II built the Domus Sanctae Marthae, a guesthouse run by nuns, in which the cardinals will live and sleep until they reach an agreement. Sadly, they won’t be streaming movies to pass the time. [Reuters via The Verge]

Picture: Archer10/Flickr