Recently, Russian authorities took a major step forward by banning the use of Apple products by government employees for essential state functions. The country’s trade ministry introduced the ban, which became law on Monday, according to the Financial Times. The policy specifically bans the use of iPhones for any work-related tasks. In addition, other federal organizations, such as the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, have either already introduced similar legislation or intend to do so shortly. Notably, the ban applies to all Apple products, raising the question of whether Yuri’s AirPods would fall under this restriction. It has been clarified that officials can still use such personal devices for non-official purposes.
The decision comes after Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed in early June that it had found evidence of a “US intelligence spying operation” using Apple devices. Thousands of iPhones, including those used by the country’s diplomatic missions in NATO countries, had allegedly been “infected” with tracking software, the FSB said. The FSB went further, claiming – without providing any evidence – that Apple had worked closely with US signals intelligence to provide operatives with a wide range of command and control capabilities. It’s important to remember that Apple vigorously denies these allegations.
The ban on Apple gadgets comes in the wider context of Russia’s efforts to reduce its dependence on foreign technology. Such actions are an attempt to exert more authority over the nation’s digital infrastructure and security as it works to increase its technological autonomy. By restricting the use of Apple products in official roles, Russia is signaling its goal of promoting a more independent technological environment.
It will be interesting to see how this action affects Russian government operations and relations with the global technology market as the situation develops. The ban highlights an ongoing geopolitical conflict over information access and control, as well as raising concerns about device security and global technology alliances.