Russia Bans Kremlin iPhone Use Amid Espionage Concerns
Russia has banned the use of iPhones by employees who are working on President Putin’s re-election.
The move, which doesn’t just apply to use of iPhones within the Kremlin or on its networks, appears to mean that those who use an iPhone at home are no longer able to.
A new report by Russian newspaper Kommersant explains that a meeting for “officials involved in domestic politics” saw head of the presidential administration Sergei Kiriyenko ban iPhones from April 1.
The Kremlin may provide other devices with different operating systems to replace the iPhones, Kommersant said, adding that the order to cease using iPhones had been directed at those involved in domestic politics – for which Kiriyenko is responsible.
What’s more, smartphones in general will not be used for official government business, whether that’s an iPhone or an Android phone.
“It’s all over for the iPhone: either throw it away or give it to the children,” Kommersant quoted a source as saying. “Everyone will have to do it in March.”.
The reason? Russians are worried that iPhones could be compromised by western governments, much in the same way that westerners are concerned that Chinese Android phones and TikTok could be used in the same way.
This all comes after Apple and other western companies ditched Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, with Russia at one point threatening to nationalize Apple’s businesses within the country.