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13 Jul, 2023 15:08

Russian state tech firm bans Apple

Rostec says the US-designed devices are now forbidden in all companies within the state corporation
Russian state tech firm bans Apple

Russia’s state-run military-industrial conglomerate Rostec has said its employees have been barred from using devices designed by the US tech giant Apple.

“A complete ban is being introduced in all organizations of the corporation on the use of gadgets from the American producer during the work process,” Rostec’s press service told Tass news agency on Thursday.

The conglomerate, which was established in 2007 on an order from President Vladimir Putin, currently unites more than 800 research and production organizations in the defense sector, from across Russia.

The telegram channel Mash earlier reported that the ban on Apple devices was only introduced at Shvabe, one of Rostec’s holdings, specializing in optoelectronic systems. However, the restrictions turned out to be a blanket measure for the whole conglomerate.

According to Shvabe’s internal papers, seen by Mash, Apple’s devices were forbidden after Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) uncovered a surveillance operation carried out by the US intelligence agencies in Russia, via mobile devices from the California-based firm.

The FSB said last month that the CIA had installed malware on thousands of iPhones used by Russian citizens and foreign diplomats working in the country. Apple has been “providing the American intelligence services with a wide range of opportunities to survey any persons of interest to the White House,” it claimed.

The agency described the discovery as proof of close cooperation between Apple and the US intelligence community, adding that “the declared policy of ensuring the privacy of personal data of Apple users has nothing to do with reality.”

The US company has denied the accusations by the FSB, claiming that it “never worked with any government to insert a backdoor into any Apple product and never will.”

Earlier this month, a clampdown on iPhones was announced by Russia’s Ministry for Industry and Trade. The ban on Apple devices for its employees comes into force from the start of next week.

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