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Defense Ministry denies media reports on iPhone ban in the Russian army

November 24, 2014, 10:50 UTC+3
A leading analyst with the Mobile Research Group says there are grounds to believe that Apple is actively working for the US Department of Defense
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© ITAR-TASS/Pavel Smertin

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The Russian Army has not introduced any bans on the use of iPhone, official spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov said on Monday, commenting on media reports.

Russia’s Izvestia newspaper earlier reported that the official “hot line” of the Defenыe Ministry says that conscripts can bring any telephone with them, except for the gadgets of the US company Apple.

“The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have no bans on the use of mobile phones or moreover the products of a certain manufacturer,” the spokesman said, adding that the authors of the report seem to be unaware that modern smartphones are almost identical.

The restrictions concern not specific trademarks or models, but the place and time of their use by the servicemen, he said, adding that the author was informed of the ministry’s stance on the issue before the report was published.

“Therefore, we do not rule out that this false information published in the newspaper may be a hidden advertisement of a particular gadget manufacturer and characteristics of its products ahead of the New Year sales,” the spokesman said.

The Izvestia report said citing a “hot line” employee that while a soldier is talking on the phone, a camera is working and conveying information on where he is and what he is doing.

In addition, a worker of the army recruitment office in Moscow prohibited another conscript to bring an iPhone and advised him to take a mobile phone of another firm, the report said.

A leading analyst with the Mobile Research Group, Eldar Murtazin, told the newspaper that there are grounds to believe that Apple is actively working for the US Department of Defense, as it is using a similar encrypting system.

Murtazin said a special system of information security needs to be devised for the conscripts and officers serving at secure facilities and in military units in the country, the report said.

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