From Cupertino with love: British prime minister declares iPad gift

British Prime Minister David Cameron, as per U.K. laws, has declared a gift from Apple's Cupertino headquarters: a shiny new iPad.

Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

The British prime minister has received a free iPad from Apple, the U.K. government disclosed today.

According to the "ministerial gifts list," a requirement by government to disclose items and gifts presented by foreign states and other friends of the United Kingdom, David Cameron was gifted an iPad by no less than Apple itself.

The device model is not known, but it was gifted to Cameron only a couple of weeks after the third-generation iPad with Retina display was announced by the technology giant in March.

Ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings with external organizations â Screenshot by Zack Whittaker/CNET

While it is no secret that the British PM is a "huge" Angry Birds fan, and often conducts ministerial and governmental business on the shiny rectangle, what is most striking is that the Apple tablet was reserved for "official use."

It is customary for the U.K. government to accept all gifts from foreign nation states, but gifts are often stored away by their respective government department, allowed to dust over in the back closets of Downing Street for months, if not years.

However, for "official use" indicates that the prime minister actively uses the tablet while milling around the offices of Downing Street.

Last year, it was reported that Cameron would receive his own bespoke "government" iPad app to assist him in running the country on a day-to-day basis.

However, the likelihood that Cameron could launch a nuclear strike from the device remains unlikely, because only BlackBerry devices are certified by the U.K. government for official use, thanks to the secure infrastructure offering by the BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.

Earlier this week, ZDNet reported that the iPad remains firmly out of the mainstream government machine. After ZDNet sent 20 Freedom of Information requests to various government departments, it learned that only a few hundred iPads had been bought in the past year, partly due to the fears over data security.

 

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