The Morning After: Russia bans Apple devices for state officials

Russian authorities are banning government employees from using Apple devices for official state use, according to the Financial Times. As of Monday, the country’s trade ministry will for all “work purposes.” Other agencies, including Russia’s telecommunications and mass media ministry, either have similar mandates already in place or plan to enforce some soon. The Financial Times reports the ban covers all Apple products – no, not Yuri’s AirPods, too? Well, officials will apparently be able to continue using those for personal use.

The ban comes after Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed at the start of June it had uncovered a “spying operation by US intelligence agencies” involving Apple devices. The FSB said thousands of iPhones, including those in use by the country’s diplomatic missions in NATO countries, had been “infected” with monitoring software. The FSB claimed — without showing evidence — that Apple had worked closely with US signal intelligence to provide agents “with a wide range of control tools.” The company denies this. The move comes when Russia is also trying to reduce its dependence on foreign-made tech.

– Mat Smith

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