Paranoid of Russian Espionage, Belgium Bans Military Use of Personal Smartphones


BRUSSELS, Belgium – The Belgian military involved in NATO missions in the Baltic states will soon be banned from using personal smartphones because of concerns about possible spying activities, especially from Russia, VRT reported.

VRT has quoted General Carl Gillis, Chief of Operations Division of the Belgian Defense Department, as saying that the Belgian Defense has decided to tighten the rules on the use of smartphones by the military, since the geolocation services of some mobile applications may give out confidential information on military bases or soldiers.

According to Gillis, Russia is interested in obtaining this type of geolocation data.

He also emphasized that the Belgian Ministry of Defense, compared to the UK military, does not have sufficient funds to provide phones and disposable laptops to their military.

NATO has been boosting its military presence in Europe, particularly in the Baltic states, since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, citing Russia’s alleged interference in the conflict as a justification for change. Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.

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This comes as earlier this month NATO claimed it found the keys to overcoming Russia’s defense in the Crimea and Kaliningrad, according to the head of the newly restored Second US Fleet, Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis, as quoted by the Business Insider newspaper.

In particular, the US military has paid special attention to the tactics of Russian troops, according to which Russia is constantly expanding the so-called area denial (A2 / AD), ie denial or interdiction of access of foreign troops to strategically important areas.

The former commander of the US Land Forces in Europe said that Russia’s potential to block access to strategic points varies from region to region.

In addition, he added that, together with the means of electronic warfare and radars, the possibilities of displacement of NATO forces in these regions can be significantly restricted.

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