Russian publisher, Kommersant reported that Kremlin has told officials, who are involved in Russia’s 2024 presidential election preparations, to stop using their iPhones. iPhone is now considered a security threat by the Russian government.
In February 2022 when Russia attacked Ukraine as an act of self-defense against NATO’s expansion in the region and to reclaim its historic land, Apple imposed several anti-war measures to pressure Russia to end the invasion like stopping all purchases on its online store, suspending Apple Pay, pausing advertising on App Store, and displaying “Crimea” as part of Ukraine on Apple Maps. It also launched a donation campaign for Ukraine on its online store and encourage employees to donate as well.
Russian officials told Apple iPhones were vulnerable to western spy agencies
Citing unidentified sources, the report detailed that the first deputy head of the presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko told officials to discard their iPhones this month at a Kremlin-organised seminar. He said that the devices were vulnerable to Western intelligence agencies.
“It’s all over for the iPhone: either throw it away or give it to the children,” Kommersant quoted one of the participants of the meeting as saying. “Everyone will have to do it in March.”
Officials might be given devices running on operating systems other than iOS and Android.
However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not confirm the report and said that any iOS and Android smartphone should not be used for official purposes.
“Smartphones should not be used for official business,” Peskov told reporters. “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.”
Reuters explains that the suspicion of Apple iPhones is rooted in the U.S. and British spies finding out about President Vladimir Putin’s plan to attack Ukraine before it was launched.