Spy alert: Russia to ban smartphones in the military


February 15, 2018 – FRN – 

RIA – by Inessa Sinchougova

The Ministry of Defense of Russia has long ago disallowed the use of smartphones for the Russian military in Syria – but the advice was more of a protocol, as opposed to a law. Now the rules are being reviewed into laws, and will include a wider selection of Ministry of Defense units,  a source in the military department said.

The current protocol applies only to servicemen in Syria, and may be extended to all civil servants of the Defense Ministry.

“Foreign resources” have full access to the personal information in a smartphone. While much of this is “big data” and may not be read by a live person, devices belonging to the Russian military are constantly being analyzed by foreign special services. 

To take this into account, amendments are planned for the laws “On Military Duty and Military Service” and “On the Status of Servicemen”.

Russian servicemen in Syria are similarly asked not to use social networks.  

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The chief editor of “Mobile Telecommunications”, Leonti Bukshtein, believes that the introduction of such laws in the army is long overdue. 

“We will not present this initiative as a “restriction of rights”, as some of our “advanced society” will surely point out. After all, it’s about the safety of the military – and the Internet is a platform for the ‘clash of superpowers’, like any other. So this had to be done a long time ago,” Bukshtein believes. 

Modern technologies, he recalled, make it easy to monitor any information on the web.

“If a soldier has a smartphone – there is no need for spies.”

Vladimir Putin has similarly stated at a recent conference that he does not own a smartphone. 

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