Russia Restricts Officials Using Apple Devices

Russian authorities ban government employees from using Apple devices for state purposes. The first ministries have issued a corresponding order. The background is the discovery of “spy software” on an iPhone last month.

Possible Spying by NSA

The Russian secret service FSB had described a discovered iOS security gap as a backdoor deliberately placed by Apple. Apple worked with the NSA, which then used specially created malware to spy on the iPhones of numerous Russian state officials.

The FSB announced in June that several thousand iPhones had been infected in this way. However, no evidence has been presented so far.

Apple’s Response

Apple has also already closed the discovered security gap and commented on the allegations: Apple immediately rejected the allegations. It has never worked with a government to put a backdoor in an Apple product and will not do so. However, this discovery has further consequences: As reported by the Financial Times, there is now a general ban on the use of all Apple products, including the iPhone, by government employees.

With the start of the new week, the first Russian authorities have now started to ban government employees from using Apple devices. However, officials are still allowed to use these devices for personal use provided they do not open professional correspondence on them.

Foreign technology

However, the move to ban it now also reflects the Russian government’s desire to reduce its dependence on foreign technology. This became apparent in 2022 when Russian authorities had to start converting their IT infrastructure because Microsoft no longer provided Windows licenses.