Russia has reportedly ordered its government officials to abandon the use of Apple iPhones by April 1, citing concerns that the devices are vulnerable to western intelligence agencies.
According to a new report by Reuters, Kremlin has informed officials involved in preparations for Russia’s 2024 presidential election that they need to switch to other devices with different operating systems. Russian officials fear that western intelligence agencies have snooping technology on iPhones. The policy was disclosed to officials during a Kremlin-organized seminar for officials, according to the report.
Kommersant, the local newspaper, reported that one of the participants during the meeting said, “it’s all over for the iPhone: either throw it away or give it to the children.” Officials have reportedly been asked to dump their iPhones this month only.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly said during the meeting that “smartphones should not be used for official business. Any smartphone has a fairly transparent mechanism, no matter what operating system it has – Android or iOS. Naturally, they are not used for official purposes.” He, however, refuses to confirm the report.
Apple already ceased its online retail and services presence in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine last year. The company has not yet commented on the issue yet.