Russia To Pre-install Local Software In Smartphones And Computers

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Russia to pre-install local software in smartphones and computers as per a new law to be regulated from July 2020 signed by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Written By Tanima Ray | Mumbai | Updated On:

All Russian phones and computers will now come pre-installed with local software. The decision was made mandatory after Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law to regulate it. Claimed to be the promotion for a Russian-made software, the legislation will come to act from July 2020. After Putin signed the law, a list of Russian products and applications will be made for pre-installation in the gadgets. Russia has been taking several measures to control the tech sector. Earlier on November 1, the country regulated a law requiring local internet providers to install devices provided by authorities to enable centralized control of traffic. 

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Apple forced to install Russian apps

The move has been dubbed as "anti-Apple" as this will force the US tech giant to install the non-US app on its phones. This was never forced upon the company before by any other country. Russia earlier forced Apple to add the Crimea peninsula under the Russian map and also on weather apps. The issue was sparked by Ukraine after which Apple said that it had to adjust its approach.

Read: FBI Says Russian Mobile Apps A 'potential Counterintelligence Threat'

Russian apps a 'potential counterintelligence threat': FBI

In a response to a US lawmaker's query about Russian origin face-editing photo app FaceApp, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on December 2 that any app from Russia has a "potential counterintelligence threat". The app went viral in 2019 due to a filter that ages photos of users’ faces. The Democratic National Committee warned the party’s 2020 presidential candidates against using it after the FBI statement. Democratic US Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer for the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission was also asked to conduct national security reviews. There is no strong evidence against the app that proves that it leaks data to the Russian Government. Yet Moscow’s ability to access communications directly via internet service providers makes any app built there risky, FBI wrote in a letter to Schumer on a November 25. FBI assistant director Jill Tyson said that the agency is investigating FaceApp over its ties to Russia. Concerns raised over FaceApp as its terms of service and privacy policy allowed for the app's developers to get permanent rights to people's images, as well as provide the data to advertisers. 

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(With inputs from agencies)

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