Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development has banned employees from using Apple iPhones and iPads for work purposes, Interfax news agency reported on Friday, citing Maksut Shadaev, Russia’s Minister of Digital Development.

“The use of (Apple) mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — to access work applications and work email exchanges is prohibited,” the agency said.

“The use of iPhones for personal needs is allowed,” Shadayev said.

Two months ago, Russia’s main domestic security agency, the FSB, claimed that thousands of Apple devices had been compromised by US espionage. The ministry issued the ban two months later.

Apple has denied the allegations. USA. The NSA said it worked with Apple, but declined to comment on those claims at the time.

Meanwhile, Apple was recently fined by a Russian court for failing to remove “inaccurate” content about what Russia called a “special military operation” in Ukraine, according to Russian news agencies.

Apple, on the other hand, suspended all product sales in Russia and restricted its Apple Pay service in Russia shortly after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine in February 2022.

Moscow has clashed with big tech companies for years over content, censorship, data and local representation, and the dispute escalated after Russia sent armed forces to Ukraine.

Russia has also fined several other tech companies, including Alphabet’s Google, Meta’s Facebook and Wikimedia, which has been fined multiple times and has previously said the information Russian authorities complained about was well-sourced and met Wikipedia standards.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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