i-Spy? Russia slaps ban on use of Apple iPhones for officials

Russia has prohibited government officials from using Apple iPhones at work due to surveillance concerns, fearing exploitation by US intelligence agencies.

| Updated on: Jul 17 2023, 17:12 IST
iOS 17 will transform your iPhone, make it like new! Check full list
Ban on iPhones
1/7 There is no need to buy a new iPhone every year. Instead, every year a new iOS update will transform your handset and make it like new. This year, iOS 17 will end up doing that. (Pexels)
Ban on iPhones
2/7 Sadly, many really old iPhone models will not get the iOS 17 update.  (Unsplash)
Ban on iPhones
3/7 So, if you own an iPhone 7, 1st-gen iPhone SE, or any earlier devices, it is certain that you won't be able to download iOS 17. (REUTERS)
Ban on iPhones
4/7 As per a MacWorld report, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14 will be compatible with the iOS 17 update. (Unsplash)
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5/7 Some early leaks suggested that the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X may lose support for iOS 17. But, as per a tipster on MacRumors Forums, said all iPhones that support iOS 16 will get iOS 17. (Pexels)
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6/7 That means iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR are also on the list of those iPhones which will get the iOS 17. (Pexels)
Ban on iPhones
7/7 However, it just may be that the older iPhones may not be able to use a wide range of new features due to their old chipset and technology limitations. (Pixabay)
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Russia has enforced a ban on Apple iPhones and other Apple devices for government officials. (REUTERS)

Russia has slapped a ban on Apple iPhones and other Apple devices for government officials, citing concerns over potential surveillance by the United States. The country's Federal Security Service (FSS) has directed thousands of officials to discontinue the use of iPhones and iPads, as reported by the Financial Times. This ban will be effective starting from July 17 and it has been initially enforced at the trade ministry.

Security officials advocate for alternative devices

Sources indicate that security officials within various ministries, particularly FSS employees holding civilian positions such as deputy ministers, have expressed that iPhones are no longer considered secure. They are urging officials to find alternative devices. The FSS and government officials strongly believe that American counterparts may exploit Apple equipment for the purpose of wiretapping. While there may be some resistance to this change, given the long-standing concerns of the FSS regarding the use of iPhones for professional contacts, the ban is expected to proceed.

Growing apprehension and accusations against Apple

This prohibition follows a previous directive from the Kremlin in March, which urged officials to discontinue the use of Apple products due to fears of potential vulnerability to hacking by the United States. Moreover, the Russian government has recently accused Apple of colluding with US intelligence agencies, an allegation that Apple vehemently denies. The company asserts that it has never cooperated with any government to introduce backdoor entry into their products.

The restriction on Apple devices within key ministries and institutions highlights the increasing apprehension within the Kremlin and the Federal Security Service regarding heightened espionage activities by US intelligence agencies targeting Russian state institutions.

Furthermore, a Rostec spokesperson confirmed that the prohibition applies to all Apple devices. Personal use of these gadgets, however, is still permitted. This differentiation between professional and personal usage underscores the focus on securing official government operations while allowing individuals to continue using Apple products for personal purposes.

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First Published Date: 17 Jul, 17:12 IST