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Russian Officials Dump iPads For Samsung Tablets Over Spy Fears

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the putin-actually-invented-it dept.

Android 198

wiredmikey writes: "Russian government officials have swapped their iPads for Samsung tablets to ensure tighter security, the telecoms minister told news agencies on Wednesday. Journalists spotted that ministers at a cabinet meeting were no longer using Apple tablets, and minister Nikolai Nikiforov confirmed the changeover "took place not so long ago." He said the ministers' new Samsungs were "specially protected devices that can be used to work with confidential information." This isn't the first time Russian powers have had concerns over mobile. In August 2012, Russia unveiled a prototype tablet with its own "almost Android" mobile OS that has the remarkably familiar feel of an Android but with bolstered encryption. In an even more paranoid move, this past July a Russian state service in charge of safeguarding Kremlin communications was looking to purchase an array of old-fashioned typewriters to prevent leaks from computer hardware."

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Someone will make money (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 7 months ago | (#46594159)

What are the odds that someone high up has a company that offers expensive software to protect Android from spies and makes a ton from this?

Re:Someone will make money (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594245)

Probably the same as the odds that their fears about their old tablets being exploitable were completely justified.

Re:Someone will make money (3, Interesting)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 7 months ago | (#46594549)

But..why should we trust them? we already know if its made by an American company the US government will force them to make a hole....or... collect the data for the Government? Just saying... And lets say an Mexico software company made the software what guarantees the Mexican government didn't force the company to collect data, for the Mexican Government??

Re:Someone will make money (1)

djhaskin987 (2147470) | about 7 months ago | (#46594685)

Likely. Either they already owned a company, and got the government to use it; or, learning that the government will use it, they bought into the company.

Re:Someone will make money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594703)

Yeah but what's the alternative?

I don't think there's a company that can patch iOS with expensive software to protect iPads from spies.

I guess they could use regular ass computers but that's boring.

Re:Someone will make money (2, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | about 7 months ago | (#46595349)

They should use Windows 8 RT tablets. No one bothered to figure out how to hack both of the users of that platform.

Re:Someone will make money (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 7 months ago | (#46595153)

smaller than the odds of NSA having remote logins to every ipad on the Kremlin.

In Soviet Russia (5, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46594161)

iPads use YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46595077)

The perfect "in soviet russia" joke and it only gets one funny mod? Sad moderators today.

What they didn't mention... (0)

BisuDagger (3458447) | about 7 months ago | (#46594173)

was the black market version of Flappy Birds came preinstalled on the new tablets. And always remember "in Russia, birds flap you."

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594189)

Apple needs to disappear. Then Google. Then we should be good for another couple of years until the next US wannabe Internet God comes again. Is the market working well, would you say?

Re:Good (0)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46594671)

In a free market anything that benefits from network effects will tend towards a monopoly or, at best, an oligopoly. And then you'll get all the abuses associated with such. Free markets are wonderful for commodities with low barriers to entry. Not so much for anything else.

Re:Good (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#46595435)

In a free market anything that benefits from network effects will tend towards a monopoly or, at best, an oligopoly. And then you'll get all the abuses associated with such. Free markets are wonderful for commodities with low barriers to entry. Not so much for anything else.

"network effects".

I think the more commonly-used term would be Economies of Scale.

Re:Good (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46595093)

Funny you don't include Microsoft in your list, because with Apple and Google gone, you know the kind of things they would try to force down on us. History has proof of that.

Paranoia? (5, Insightful)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about 7 months ago | (#46594193)

Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean we aren't out to get them.

Re:Paranoia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594463)

Right. It's not paranoia, it's calculated risk management.

Re:Paranoia? (2, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | about 7 months ago | (#46594625)

They aren't paranoid enough then. It is hard to see how using a Samsung device with Google instead of an Apple tablet and iOS is making them safer from spying.

Re:Paranoia? (1)

epiccollision (1373095) | about 7 months ago | (#46594675)

its magic...made from money and lies...

Re:Paranoia? (2)

PRMan (959735) | about 7 months ago | (#46595205)

Do the words "open source" mean anything to you?

Zero info in article (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 7 months ago | (#46594195)

But it sounds like jumping from the frying pan into the fire by moving to Android, unless they rewrite all the Android code themselves with the help of Russia's equivalent of the NSA.

Re:Zero info in article (4, Interesting)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#46594261)

But they can do this... Whereas with the iPad they have to take Apple's word for it. This may be the limitation that drove them to Android and Samsung

Re:Zero info in article (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594485)

Except they have to take now Google and Samsung's word for it.

Re:Zero info in article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594627)

This is Slashdot. Samsung Google GOOOOODDDD!!! Apple Microsoft BAAADDDD!!!

Re:Zero info in article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594657)

Or use Replicant?
http://www.replicant.us/
If they choose the hardware wisely and pay some developers, they can probably get something pretty good and as safe as it gets.

Re:Zero info in article (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 7 months ago | (#46595471)

Open source versus closed source.
There is a difference.

Re:Zero info in article (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594601)

So.. Why would you trust Samsung over Apple? Samsung is a Koren Chaebol, the largest of 5 companies that contol 90% of the SK economy. They pretty much own the SK Govt. Samsung also has a history of gaping security holes.. Baked right in to their custom ARM cpus. (Ask the cyanogen devs what they think of Samsung's SoCs.. But put in earplugs first.)

This has nothing to do with security and everything to do with Putin's extremely aggressive propaganda. This non-story and the only reason you see it is because it's being pushed by their state media and western media outlets.

Re:Zero info in article (1)

imikem (767509) | about 7 months ago | (#46594841)

For mod points...

When are people going to understand that these giant companies will ALL sell you, or their own grandmothers, if it will make them $UNIT_OF_CURRENCY. Or if their buddies at $GOVT_AGENCY ask nicely.

Excuse me, someone's knocking at th

Re:Zero info in article (2)

hondo77 (324058) | about 7 months ago | (#46595267)

So.. Why would you trust Samsung over Apple?

Because the nice Samsung people payoff the right Russians better than the ones at Apple?

Re:Zero info in article (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 7 months ago | (#46595483)

It is about security.
I don't trust closed source.
With open source, I can trust and verify.

Re:Zero info in article (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46595105)

But even if they rewrite all the software, can they trust the hardware itself? Modern devices are more than a single processor, a lot of sub-components have their own microcontrollers, etc.

Globalization (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#46594361)

The iPad: The OS Designed in America, Built in China shipped worldwide.
Samsung Tablet: The OS Designed in America, Built in China and shipped world wide.

The only difference is which CEO gets the Cut The one in America or the one in Korea.

NSA to Apple: Add spying to your OS or you will not be allowed to sell it world wide.
NSA to Google: Add spying to your OS or you will not be allowed to sell it world wide.
NSA to Samsung: Insure the spying features in your OS are not disabled unless you will not be allowed to sell in the US.

Re:Globalization (4, Interesting)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | about 7 months ago | (#46594613)

Russia is upset about the NSA and the US + EU's reaction to them taking over the Crimea.
China is upset about the NSA and is backing Russia over Crimea.
Android is open source.
Both countries have the resources to go through Android with a fine toothed comb. This looks pretty much like the best short-term option they had - lets see if someone now buys up Symbian, it comes from a Finnish company and could be a good starting point.

Re:Globalization (3, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 7 months ago | (#46594857)

Android is open source.
Both countries have the resources to go through Android with a fine toothed comb.

And AOSP != Android. In fact, who knows what code that Samsung tablet is running. There can be plenty of proprietary code on Android that's binary only, and no amount of analysis of AOSP will find them because that's not the code running on the tablet.

Code for the GPU is often closed-source. As is camera code, DSP code (for audio), etc.

And hell, If it's Samsung, it probably ships with Google apps as well, powered by root-owned Google Services Framework.

They'd actually be better off dumping iPads for those chintzy $100 tablets - those tend to be practically pure Google and very little of it is proprietary.

Those proprietary blobs will will you.

Re:Globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46595337)

Way to oversimplify "open source" because if you knew what it really meant you'd scoff at what Google is pushing on you and calling it open source.

Re:Globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594649)

Russia to Samsung: Make us a different device than the one you are selling the US

durr

Re: Globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594901)

Android isn't a Samsung-only platform. It's much more open than that. Apple and it's advocates always seem to need an equivalent platform to face. They used IBM as their bogeyman for years. Indeed Mac advocates continued to refer to the defacto-standard PC platform as "IBM" long after IBM has left that market.

It's almost like they can't face the fact that there's a whole world outside their little garden that's getting along fine without Apple. Or, they like keeping their small cult of customers who pay extra for their brand and the cachet that comes with being a cult member.

Re:Globalization (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | about 7 months ago | (#46595231)

Who says they're running a stock ROM?

Samsung? For Security!!! (5, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 months ago | (#46594205)

What?! :-)

You mean proven "hardware backdoor" [net-security.org] Samsung?

I don't know about Cook & Ives shuck and jive, since the passing of Jobs... But I'm pretty sure the iOS crypto flaws are lower risk than ANYTHING those gangsters make at Samsung. I won't let them land an icebox in my house!

Re:Samsung? For Security!!! (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46594705)

Ah, but you see, Russia is also run by gangsters - and among each other gangsters have their own code of honor, which in fact may be far more effective at keeping each other honest in their dealings than the legal processes among so-called "honest businesses" - which are generally no less corrupt, but protect the guilty individuals from any personal liability.

Re:Samsung? For Security!!! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 months ago | (#46594837)

Ah, but you see? The UNITED STATES is also run by Gangsters and Oligarchs! And they have no honor.

Re:Samsung? For Security!!! (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 7 months ago | (#46595073)

Until you see the godfather and the devil playing both ends against the middle to generate blood money in a process commonly known as human trafficking. Then the soviet union fell. It will probably end in humanity there fighting over trees to sleep in and low hanging fruit to eat. Unlikely they will have problems like using Apple or Samsung when the fabric of their society is being torn apart by their own 'code of honor'.

Of course you should not use US stuff (1)

rhohano (2981897) | about 7 months ago | (#46594209)

You just cannot trust anything with bits&bytes made in the US. How can anyone think otherwise these days?

Re:Of course you should not use US stuff (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594235)

You just cannot trust anything with bits&bytes made in the US. How can anyone think otherwise these days?

Yeah, but what hardware that uses bits and bytes is made in the US anyway?

Re:Of course you should not use US stuff (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 7 months ago | (#46594355)

You just cannot trust anything with bits&bytes made in the US. How can anyone think otherwise these days?

There's a reason why Apple products don't say made in the USA, but rather that they are designed in the USA.

Re:Of course you should not use US stuff (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#46594791)

i think the new mac pros say made in china. assembled in usa. designed in california. what components need to be "made in usa" for us to rule out chinese interference? the processor chips? the memory? the fab equipment? where are the true scotsmen?

Re:Of course you should not use US stuff (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594547)

You can say exactly the same thing about bits and bytes made in China.

China has actually used their NSA-like capabilities for economic gain. The US solar panel industry comes to mind with the hacking attempts (and successes), then the panels being imported for less than the cost of the rare earths.

Had a US company tried to flood Europe or China with some widget, there would be punitive tariffs enacted the next business day. It took Europe enacting protective/punitive tariffs to stop the hemorrhaging and keeping China from seizing total control of the PV industry.

Re:Of course you should not use US stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594635)

Exactly. The Republicans have destroyed the US computer industry. Expect it to never recover. No one will ever trust the US again until the Republican party is made illegal. The US forced Germany to make the National Socialist party illegal. Why can't we do the same here?

Re:Of course you should not use US stuff (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#46594775)

You just cannot trust anything with bits&bytes made in the US. How can anyone think otherwise these days?

this is why the typewriter method mentioned in the summary is so brilliant. at the very least, it would drive the NSA nuts, to know that some data was recorded and stored in analog and paper. their data wouldn't be complete, and who knows what they could be missing? those russkies are a crafty bunch.

Fart in a hurricane (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#46594211)

If certain Western intelligence agencies want to attack certain devices belonging to certain people, they'll find a way in, regardless of which mass market POS they're using. They're wasting their time. This is just a pointless gesture.

Re:Fart in a hurricane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594359)

If certain Western intelligence agencies want to attack certain devices belonging to certain people, they'll find a way in, regardless of which mass market POS they're using. They're wasting their time. This is just a pointless gesture.

It will be interesting to see them break into mechanical typewriters. Of course, the way to do that is acoustical bugging and corresponding analysis. But the CIA is not likely to have the resources for that on location.

The sad and funny thing is that CIA/NSA are specialized to eavesdrop on the whole Western population and on the Russian hipsters. With the Russian politicians or with Near East terrorists, they are mostly drawing a blank. Because those have working and established secret communication channels. And the Russian spy technology will still work well with targeted spying.

Re: Fart in a hurricane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594939)

No. The way to bug typewriters is to capture the keylogging tape recorder built into all of them. Also known as the ribbon

Re:Fart in a hurricane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46595361)

No, it forces Western intelligence agencies to spend one of their exploits. They know we know they know we know... etc.

Paranoid? (2)

Filter (6719) | about 7 months ago | (#46594215)

How in the world is this paranoid?

Re:Paranoid? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46594341)

Well, how often have we provably seen our gadgets stealing data for foreign governments? We worry about operating systems, we worry about network controller firmware, and all those are potential risk factors, but has anything been found?

The very big risk right now are the various networks the data is sent over. There seems to be government wiretaps everywhere, with NSA being the biggest offender, but other countries too. If you have an iPad and are using Apple's cloud services, then that's a potential risk of course.

Re:Paranoid? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#46594813)

i think GP is incredulously posing the question, why on earth would we think the russians are being paranoid? from their perspective, they have massive evidence that americans are spying on everybody and have owned all the interneet and equipmetn. not to mention that snowden is living in putin's house.

Typewriters? (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 7 months ago | (#46594229)

With all those typewriters why even bother buying tablets! On a side note I wonder if the code for their "secure almost-android" OS was typed up.

Maybe they manually compiled it ?

Re:Typewriters? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 7 months ago | (#46594313)

With all those typewriters why even bother buying tablets! On a side note I wonder if the code for their "secure almost-android" OS was typed up.

Typewriter + good microphone + software that distinguishes the sound that different keys make.

Re:Typewriters? (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 7 months ago | (#46594951)

They already did something much more sophisticated than that in the 1970's. Operation GUNMAN [matthewaid.com] :

The monograph reveals that beginning in 1976, the KGB successfully installed sophisticated miniaturized electronic eavesdropping equipment and burst transmitters inside 16 IBM Selectric typewriters used by the staffs of the Moscow embassy and Leningrad consulate, which copied everything being typed on the machines, then periodically broadcast their take to KGB engineers manning listening posts just outside.

The KGB bugs were discovered eight years later in 1984 by a NSA operation codenamed Project GUNMAN

Here is the NSA's own writeup [nsa.gov] . Anybody who thinks the Russians are being "paranoid" is a real fool.

Re:Typewriters? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 7 months ago | (#46594525)

With all those typewriters why even bother buying tablets!

Even better, as TFA explicitly states and TFS quotes: "old-fashioned typewriters". Perhaps these Sholes and Glidden [wikipedia.org] units from 1873.

[Dear "Journalists", Please kill yourselves now.]

This is a cover story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594251)

The truth is, they were fed up with iTunes Store glitches.

Why Samsung? (2)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | about 7 months ago | (#46594257)

If they were really concerned about spying, shouldn't they go with a Nexus that runs stock Android?

Re:Why Samsung? (3, Interesting)

barlevg (2111272) | about 7 months ago | (#46594325)

If they were really concerned about spying, shouldn't they go with a Nexus that runs Cyanogenmod?

FTFY. Cyanogenmod, IIRC, has no proprietary or closed-source components.

Re:Why Samsung? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46594371)

Perhaps on a certain, small, specific, set of hardware targets; but the "Extract Proprietary Blobs" step is part of the Cyanogenmod build process for a reason...

I think that it's mostly AOSP at higher levels; but when 'the details' are kernel-level drivers that can do whatever the hell they want without you noticing, or firmware that has its own CPU and memory space in which to hide and do god-knows-what, you can be pretty sure that if there are devils in the details, you are fucked. Gratuitously.

Not stock, not Cyanogenmod, go Replicant (2)

Phil Urich (841393) | about 7 months ago | (#46595075)

If they were really concerned about spying, shouldn't they go with a Nexus that runs Replicant

I mean, for the average person I'm not saying they need to be so paranoid; there's likely backdoors or potential exploits, but it's also unlikely to ever matter, and some of the functionality that's sacrificed is likely not worth it for the average bloke. But for guarding state secrets? You want something that involves zero binary blobs, and Replicant is the closest you get for Android.

hookers & blow (1)

Imazalil (553163) | about 7 months ago | (#46594351)

Sammy sent hookers & blow. Google didn't.

Or, they got the tablets free with new fridges for the kremlin kitchen(s).

I suppose they could have sent the h&b for the fridges, and threw in the tablets too. :)

make your own (1)

Fluffy The Destroyer . (3594057) | about 7 months ago | (#46594323)

If you really want a secure mobile just make your own. If you can't for patent and legal reasons, just make your own software. Just make sure the basics of security is integrated like encryption, pgp, ssl and all the other security crap everyone needs but Apple, Android don't have enough.

Pussy riot (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 7 months ago | (#46594345)

One can only surmise that the widespread anti-gay sentiment in the Russian government has something to do with them dumping their iPads in favor of Samsung tablets.

Just saying.

Re:Pussy riot (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594373)

What's it like to be retarded?

"Paranoid" (5, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | about 7 months ago | (#46594363)

In the post-Snowden world, I think we can replace most instances of the word "paranoid" with "reasonable".

Re:"Paranoid" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594439)

If only we lived in a post-Snowden world. That narcissistic douche is still in the hands of the FSB with a ton of stolen data. He's seriously compromised our ability to monitor the Russians.

Re:"Paranoid" (2)

epiccollision (1373095) | about 7 months ago | (#46594789)

Do we really need more insight on the country that uses a Jersey Shore "No, Fuck you!" as its national agenda...We made them, just like we made Germany(et al.) after WWI, just like Afghanistan will be in a decade or so. You can't isolate and belittle ignorance with more ignorance, freedom comes with responsibility which we ignored...these are the consequences. Snowden is a small part of a lot of nonsense we let happen, how can we blame him for pointing out the mess we made?

Re:"Paranoid" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594769)

Well, really has nothing to do with Snowden.

Neither iOS nor Android have 'security' as a high concern. Asides from the fact that both are littered with security holes, they are both far to opaque to be secure (meaning, it is too difficult to figure out what is happening on your Android/iOS device which makes it easy to run malware on your device without your knowledge).

Implied in this article is that they are using their own, proprietary O/S on those Samsung devices (not the reference to "highly encrypted" - those devices are not running the stock O/S that Samsung provides). The reason for changing the hardware is simply one of accessibility and licensing. Apple works very hard to prevent/discourage people from running anything other than Apple-supplied software on their hardware. So if you want a customized O/S, you don't want to be using it on an Apple device (this is where "walled garden" hurts one in the sales arena).

Russia is by no means the first country to do this. Many other countries (China, etc) have been going down this route for some time now. The US does the same thing. There are plenty of restrictions when deploying software in a US government institution that foreign nationals cannot be involved in creating that code.

Nor does this have anything to do with the fallout from Crimea. (I do have to laugh at how many people like to consider themselves to be "savy" because they claim that everything has to do with petty politics). This is nothing about "being paranoid". This is just basic security 101. Everyone is doing it.

Re:"Paranoid" (2)

hey! (33014) | about 7 months ago | (#46594921)

Hmm. "Just because you're reasonable doesn't mean they aren't out to get you."

Wow, that actually works.

Re:"Paranoid" (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 7 months ago | (#46595255)

We could have before that except the whole world are idiots...

In America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594365)

I'd be upset if American politicians and appointees were discussing sensitive information through such consumer electronic devices, too.

Re:In America (1)

epiccollision (1373095) | about 7 months ago | (#46594805)

Prepare to be upset...they mostly use...PCs...with Windows...that is not properly updated or patched...and they probably still used IE 6 until about 3 months ago...so, there's that.

Samsung for Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594409)

They switched to Samsung for greater security?

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!

Re: Samsung for Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46595079)

With the Samsung hardware, they can easily replace the OS with their own custom rollup, derived from Cyanogenmod or a similar codebase. Not so with the fruity alternative.

I think they took a step in the wrong direction... (0)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | about 7 months ago | (#46594427)

If they're worried about the NSA having code running on their tablets.... why did they swap their mach/freebsd running tablets for ones running and OS that's had heavy development from the NSA?

More than a decade ago the NSA got involved in linux development and never left. Is it possible that their security people have poured over the millions of lines of C and assembly that make up the linux kernel and all the drivers that are running on their tablets? Possibly, but highly doubtful.

Re:I think they took a step in the wrong direction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594943)

Devil's advocate (so posting AC):

I would say that the NSA code in Linux has been a boon rather than a debit in general. SELinux has proven itself in the field and even if something manages to get access to root... it still is stuck in that app's context (barring a kernel hole like the one found a few years back and promptly fixed.)

Between the hardening of the OS (not just Linux... OS X has gotten a lot of security upgrades over the versions... just look at how passwords were stored on an earlier version versus how they are stored now), and the fact that NIST has very useful (although basic if you know the OS) security guidelines, the NSA has kept my stuff more secure than insecure.

Re:I think they took a step in the wrong direction (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | about 7 months ago | (#46594985)

I'm not disagreeing with that. I think it's been a positive for the linux kernel as well, making linux a much more secure platform. I just thought it was funny that the Russians swapped their hardware for something that ostensibly the NSA has had more access to.

Re:I think they took a step in the wrong direction (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 7 months ago | (#46595271)

But he's asking if there's any obfuscation-contest like stuff in there that looks normal but actually spies on you.

Re:I think they took a step in the wrong direction (2)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#46595003)

Is it possible that their security people have poured over the millions of lines of C and assembly

The idea that this is done by some Aspie code geek is wrong. There are some good tools for checking code for bugs, back doors, etc.

I WANT NOTHING RIGHT NOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594443)

Pull my brain stem out and disconnect myself

I WANT TO PULL IT OUT!

Tit for Tat (1)

jomegat (706411) | about 7 months ago | (#46594471)

This has nothing to do with distrust of the Apple, or paranoia of the NSA. It has everything to do with the recently imposed sanctions.

We invented freedom and democracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594521)

I pity them. They would turn their backs on our more advanced tech for Korean bargain bucket crap. Probably made north of the border. lol. Good luck comrade morons..

Re:We invented freedom and democracy. (1)

xfizik (3491039) | about 7 months ago | (#46594719)

I would take the "Korean bargain bucket crap" over Apple's overpriced overhyped glamour gizmos any day. Actually, I do.

Paranoid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594581)

"In an even more paranoid move"

In the age of NSA spying, do we really call this paranoia? They were tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone and Germany is an ally. What would stop them from taping Russian lines, especially now. And with Apple reportedly joining the PRISM program, I think this is a smart move on Russia's behalf.

Just because you're paranoid (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46594631)

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.

Soviets have no style (5, Funny)

RR (64484) | about 7 months ago | (#46594697)

As the evil Soviet Union rises again, they're back to their old form, rejecting stylish devices from the USA and adopting clunky copycat devices.

Re:Soviets have no style (0)

letherial (1302031) | about 7 months ago | (#46595489)

I devices are rather shitty, your relying on apple to get security right and what ive read...they didnt do it.

GO TO FAIL is a good example.

This way Russia gets to use there own OS...If i was a dictator oppressing a country i wouldnt use a I device to do it either...leave I devices to the apple fan boys and enjoy it, competition is a good thing but i wouldnt use a ipad even if it was free (id give it to my kid)

Did someone told them... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46594883)

Samsung tablets are powered by Google's Android? Google... American Search Giant...

Slow Shift (1)

jm_sullivan (730884) | about 7 months ago | (#46594955)

This is the worst part of the Snowden leaks from an American business perspective. There will be a slow global migration to other platforms based on the possibility that American products contain the ability to spy on you. I've no idea what that time frame is, but unless the US government pulls a 180 on corporate cooperative spying, there will one day be no market for US tech products outside of the USA.

In other news.. (1)

sqorbit (3387991) | about 7 months ago | (#46595007)

Russian officials switch from Coke to Pepsi because it's healthier.

Come on russia, make a google free android... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46595123)

I find with every new version of Android, things are removed and generally get worse. Same old cycle the PC has, new OS has to be bloated and slow to make the newer phones shine over the slower ones trying to do the same thing.

NSA "security essentials???" code added in Android 4.x, all sorts of other little errors they don't fix(browsers suspended when screen goes off, more)..

Secure android wouldn't be all that difficult if they just 'stopped' adding so much crap to it, focus on streamlining and closing potential holes. Give users control over app permissions and that sort of thing.

. I use gingerbread still cause it's much like XP was to Vista(and 7/8 imo)

LMAO (1)

Pope (17780) | about 7 months ago | (#46595141)

Yeah, no spyware/malware on Android!

What do the Russians have to hide? (1)

Theovon (109752) | about 7 months ago | (#46595373)

If Russia are not doing anything nefarious, why should they worry about what spies might discover? :)

In all seriousness, while it’s nice that NSA spying on US citizens has been exposed, it’s NOT good that so many US state secrets were revealed in the process. Contrary to what some lunatics would like to tell you, there ARE external threats that face America and the American people. You can’t run proper defensive operations if all of your strategies are visible to the enemy. I’m not sure that Edward Snowden realized just how much damage he was going to cause. And I’m not sure that the benefits necessarily outweigh the costs in this case. That being said, if the whistle-blower laws had provided contractors with a safe avenue for reporting legal violations, Snowden may have had the option to blow the whistle WITHOUT fucking with US national security.

classic desl telephones (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 7 months ago | (#46595455)

Desk telephones were in the beginning produced only in the USA, UK, and Italy. Later they were produced everywhere.

I think we need open source hardware and software for mobile devices. Like it is already done with PHP, GIMP, OpenStreetMap, etc.

I realized only by now how important these Open Source Software movements are. We should really support such projects. This is our vital interest.

That makes no sense, aside from a show (1)

enigmatic (122657) | about 7 months ago | (#46595509)

So Appple, due it being an American company and the Snowden revelations are not considered
secure by the Russians anymore.
Makes sense.

Then they chose a product from Samsung a South Korean company.
South Korean Intelligence is so tightly coupled with American intelligence as to make no difference.
Furthermore at the bottom lays an operating system written by an American company just like Apple.
There is no "secure" Android version from Samsung to be had.

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