Russian Officials Told to Discard iPhones Over Espionage Concerns


(MENAFN) Members of the Russian presidential administration whose jobs focus on domestic policy have been instructed to discard their iPhones by the end of March, according to the business daily Kommersant[2]. The decision was made due to the risk of Western espionage, the outlet said. Sources at the seminar in early March reported that officials must “throw away or give to their kids” their iOS devices. The ban will also affect officials who liaise with regional governments on behalf of the administration.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to either confirm or deny the report, but stressed that officials are not allowed to use smartphones “for work purposes” anyway. Any such device, regardless of its operating system, is too exposed to handle classified information, he said. Apple is known for its increased security due to the restrictions on what users can do with its products and what programs can run on them. However, the brand’s popularity has also made the devices the target of extensive research into how to hack them.

The decision to discard iPhones was reportedly made by Deputy Chief of Staff Sergey Kirienko, who supervises several departments in the presidential office in charge of various aspects of domestic policy. This move is likely to be seen as a precautionary measure against potential espionage attempts by Western countries.

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