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Russia bans smartphones for soldiers over social media fears

February 21, 2019 5:15 am

Russia’s parliament has voted to ban soldiers from using smartphones while on duty, after their social media use raised issues of national security.

Russia’s parliament has voted to ban soldiers from using smartphones while on duty, after their social media use raised issues of national security.

The bill forbids military personnel from using a phone with the ability to take pictures, record videos and access the internet.

Soldiers also cannot write about the military or talk to journalists.

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More than 400 of 450 lawmakers in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, backed the law on Tuesday.

Phones with basic calling and messaging facilities could still be used, but tablets and laptops would also subject to the new ban.

Soldiers’ social media data has allowed open-source journalism sites like Bellingcat to expose secret military activity by Russian forces, sometimes in real time.

The bill must now be considered by the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, before being signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

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