Russia prohibits its military from using Internet and smartphones

On Tuesday’s session, February 19, at the third and final reading, the Russian State Duma adopted a law prohibiting Russian military personnel from possessing phones, tabs and any devices that store data or access the internet. 

The document was adopted unanimously and will apply to military contractors, conscripts, and citizens undergoing military training. The devices are prohibited not only during military operations or combat duty, but also in any military facility or territory. 

The law noted that when servicemen publish information on the Internet or in social media, that could be used for “informational and psychological influence” or “developing biased evaluations of Russia’s public policy. 

Servicemen are prohibited from revealing information about their own or other servicemen’s activities, including retired personnel and family members.

The ban applies to information about the location of military units and about daily routines of the service, even if that information is not classified as a state secret. Online messaging is also prohibited. 

Only featureless phones will be allowed in the armies, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense Andrei Krasov told TASS last week. He added that smartphones will be allowed only for domestic use.

  Russia, State Duma