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Kremlin employees banned from using iPhone: they must get rid of these smartphones by the end of March

Employees of the presidential administration of Russia were instructed to replace iPhone phones with smartphones of other brands and with a different operating system by the end of March, reports "Ukrainian Truth".

Photo: IStock

This information was brought to the attention of officials at a seminar for employees of the internal political bloc of the Putin administration, which took place in early March in the Moscow region.

“iPhone is everything. Either throw it away or give it to the kids. Everyone will have to do this in March, ”says one of the sources. According to another, at first a discussion arose among the participants of the seminar about the need for such a measure, but the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, who oversees domestic policy, put an end to the discussion. He also set a deadline for his employees to replace the iPhone - April 1, reports Merchant.

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According to sources, the demand to abandon the iPhone is due to security concerns - the Kremlin believes that these gadgets are more susceptible to hacking and espionage by Western experts compared to other smartphones.

Putin's administration officials were advised to buy phones with Android operating systems, its Chinese counterparts, or Aurora. The latter was developed by the Russian company Open Mobile Platform, a subsidiary of PJSC Rostelecom.

The Kremlin's sources say the Kremlin may even buy new "safe" phones for its employees to make it easier for them to give up American technology. It is also reported that officials of regional domestic political blocs will also receive recommendations to get rid of the iPhone.

The conditional internal political block of the Presidential Administration includes four departments: for domestic policy, for public projects, for ensuring the activities of the State Council, for the development of information and communication technologies and communications infrastructure.

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Employees of the first three departments will be involved in the 2024 Russian presidential election campaign, preparations for which have already begun in early 2023.

It is also reported that since the end of last year, the Russian government has been discussing with market participants the prospects for building a sovereign mobile ecosystem in Russia, which will be based on technologies independent of Western IT giants. The Aurora OS was designed specifically for this.

Kirill Menshov, Vice President for Information Technology at Rostelecom, noted in an interview in 2022 that Aurora “contributes to ensuring the technological sovereignty of the state through a secure mobile environment and meets all the requirements of regulators in the field of national security and information protection.”

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According to the project website, the sale of mobile devices on this OS is carried out only to corporate and government customers.

This is not the first time the federal government has given officials advice on their electronic communications. In the summer of 2022, Russian officials were advised to stop using Zoom in favor of the domestic Trueconf.

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