Officials working at the Russian Ministry of Industry are no longer allowed to use an iPhone as of today. The Kremlin fears that Western countries are using the US telephone brand for espionage purposes. The department also does not allow the iPad and other Apple products.
FSB: ‘Apple works very closely with NSA’
The reason for the ban on the iPhone and other Apple products is that the FSB announced at the beginning of June that it had found spy software from US intelligence services on an iPhone. The Russian secret service suspects that the National Security Agency (NSA) installed spyware on the phone.
In the eyes of the FSB, this is evidence that Apple is “working very closely” with US intelligence agencies. The White House would also use every conceivable means to spy on Russian officials
.Apple denies the allegations, saying in a statement to The Financial Times that the company “has never, and never will, cooperated with any government to build a back door into an Apple product.”
President Putin wants to get rid of Western products
Due to the decision to distance themselves from Apple products, thousands of civil servants and other employees have to hand in their mobile phones from the American tech company. Which smartphone manufacturer should provide them with new phones is still being determined.
The decision cannot be viewed in isolation from President Putin’s dictate that from 2025 the ‘critical information structure’ may only use hardware and software developed in Russia. In this way, the Kremlin wants to become less dependent on products from Western countries.
On the one hand, this is prompted by the sanctions that European and other Western countries have imposed on Russia because of the military invasion of Ukraine. On the other hand, there is a deep-seated mistrust of American products, which are said to be used to spy on high-ranking politicians, military personnel and other employees.
Apple denies allegations
The ban on Apple products currently only applies to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Rostec. That is a Russian state-owned company that is on the sanctions list of the West because it keeps the Russian war machine running. Plans are reportedly underway to impose the ban on all Russian ministries and government agencies.
It is not a total ban, by the way. For private use, it is allowed to own and use an iPhone.After reading this post, have you started to have doubts about iPhone security and privacy? In the background article ‘iPhone vs Android: which operating system is more secure?’ we compared both operating systems in terms of security and update policy. We also looked at the security policies in the app stores of both operating systems.