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Russian Government Switches From iPads To Samsung Tablets Over Security Concerns

Russian Telecoms and Mass Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov announced to news agencies last Wednesday that Russian government officials are trading in their Apple iPad’s for Samsung tablets in a move to ensure tighter security. Journalists covering a cabinet meeting spotted the ministers without their Apple tablets and were informed that the change of devices took place not so long ago.

samsung tablet

Nikiforov denied that this was a response against Western sanctions but instead said that products made by US companies might not be as secure as they want them to be. “American special services… will significantly increase the volume of information they intercept (which) of course causes serious concern to many governmental clients.” This comes as no surprise as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed that the NSA has been undertaking a secret massive surveillance program.

It is interesting to note that late last year a report was released that claimed the NSA had backdoor access to iPhones. The report is based on a leaked 2008 document. During this period iPhones did not have any encryption feature and all apps were able to run as root.  It is still not known if this exploit is present in current devices.  Security researcher Jacob Appelbaum said that the NSA had a 100% success rate at installing malware in iPhones. Apple has denied this claim.

The Samsung tablets being used right now are not the regular off the shelf products as it has an added layer of security. Nikiforov said that the new Samsung’s are “specially protected devices that can be used to work with confidential information.” He further added that “Some of the information at government meetings is confidential in nature and these devices fully meet these demands and have gone through the strictest system of certification.”

Security experts say that it must be Samsung’s KNOX security feature that made it attractive to the Russian government as Android is no more secure than iOS or any other mobile OS. Samsung KNOX allows for a more controlled and secure environment that allows business and personal content to coexist in one device without fear of any data leakage.

via theguardian

  • nullset

    That is pretty funny but I guess at least they are paying attention to security risks, even though it does look really bad for Apple. What are other governments using?

  • OSpotter

    An interesting time to change from iPads to Samsung tablets! How will Apple respond to this, if what they say is true, people might consider dropping Apple products. I like my Samsung tablet, so I can’t blame them for switching.

  • Bharath

    Wonderful! Now even Govts are going away from Apple.

  • Brad

    With the Ukriane debacle, it’s not a surprise that the Russian government would switch to someone like Samsung. After all, Apple is a U.S. company and we are more than capable of spying through these devices. U.S. and Russian relations have really tanked over the Ukraine situation, so this isn’t a surprise.

  • Brad

    Hey! I like Apple! Nothin’ wrong with them!

  • Brad

    For some reason, I think what they’re saying is a lie. Apple products were just recently shown to be secure enough for the Department of Defense to begin using them.

  • Brad

    It does look bad on Apple. As for your question, I’d assume that a lot of governments are using Apple or Samsung products, given that they are the most popular two brands in the world.

  • Bharath

    I like Mac computer too. But I don’t like iOS and the way they are trying to snub Android. Android is coming up with far more innovation than iOS.

  • Brad

    iOS doesn’t need to come with innovation–the goal of the OS is to be connected, efficient, and smooth. iOS accomplishes all of that pretty well, though they could work on being a bit more connected.

  • Bharath

    But aren’t Apple products over priced?

  • odio43

    I would agree that they are using one or the other. Claiming security reasons for the switch really makes Apple look bad. I don’t like Apple to begin with but this makes the whole brand look bad.

  • odio43

    Here in the United States they are saying they are secure. Apple better say something about this. News travels fast and if a Government is going to stop using their product for fear of a security breach, they better answer.

  • Sheili4

    Very interesting. Samsung has a better security feature. This makes me really glad that I own Samsung products. I don’t care for Apple products. I have had terrible luck with them, nothing to do with security though.

  • Kimsulen

    I have quickly moved away from the Apple movement myself and I have always had a good love for Samsung. Their products really seem to stand the test of time and they are pretty indestructible too.

  • Andrew

    I guess that will make Samsung give some more attention to tabs. Their tabs haven’t exactly caught my attention so far.

  • Anderson Lewis

    Good article. at least we know now that Samsung does not play by NSA rules.
    I use an iPad for reading news but I may eventually switch over to Samsung tabs in the near future.

  • Brad

    It depends. If you’re looking at the smartphone, here in the U.S. the price is subsidized, just like every other smartphone. It turns out to be the same price as a Galaxy S4 or Note 2, usually maxing out at around $199.99 on contract. iPads are a different story. 😉

  • Raybert Eichmann

    Ukraine or not, I think Russia has become wary of too American product like iPhones and iPads. With Putin on the helm, it’s all the more not surprising not to support American products.

  • Brad

    Yeah, you make a good point. :)

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