Russia is Considering Banning Smartphones in the Army
The Russian Ministry of Defense is considering banning the use of "modern means of cellular communication" at all levels in the armed forces, including in military units and governing structures, reports Dnevnik.
This was reported by Kommersant newspaper, quoting two sources in the armed forces close to the General Staff. According to the report, the information was confirmed by a man in the ministry's leadership. The reasons can be summarized as "privacy considerations".
Instead of smartphones according to the proposal, the simplest button phone models can be used without features such as taking pictures or videos, not supporting geolocation but be capable of sending messages and have a flashlight and an alarm as an embedded feature.
This is how, according to the ministry headed by Sergei Shoigu, the army can cope with cases of leak of information, including in the media.
Kommersant notes that a senior Chief of Staff in charge of information security has compiled a list of mobile devices that need to be "authorized" and use specific security protocols. For example, older generations of models such as the Samsung GT-E1272 and the Alctatel One Touch 1020D are given.
It is possible that the new measures will come into force on 1 March.
In recent years, the army has often been discussing leakage issues such as those during the Crimean annexation to Russia when pictures made by peninsular soldiers appeared on the internet and gave the West an occasion to talk about "Russian aggression, or during an attack on Syrian Air Force Base "Hymeim".
Thus, according to Kommersant, the military hopes on less information to be found in the media.
Earlier this week, Izvestia wrote that military and civilian defense ministry officials are advised to opt out of social networks, and the ministry wants to request legal corrections to make it mandatory.
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