When Putin wants something done, it gets done! This is the way, he says. Okay, not really. I mean, he doesn’t actually say that, but that first sentence is pretty much true. Russia has officially made it compulsory for Russian smart TVs, Phones and PCs to come with Russian apps pre-installed. Any device without Russian apps pre-installed will be banned. Yup.
The law will come into effect starting the 1st of July 2020, so there’s still some time. However, it hasn’t exactly been met with rapturous applause. The tabled bill has been criticized by electronic retailers, who were apparently never consulted on it. You can almost hear Putin whispering “I am the law” under his breath as he signed this bill.
The move is meant as a way to assist Russian IT companies compete with foreign ones as well as to spare Russian consumers from having to download additional apps when they purchase a new device, because, you know, there are literally zero other ways to do that. Yes, it’s a little (very) extreme but I suppose Russia has kind of always dealt in extreme measures.
There are many concerns here, among which are fears that this could pretty much leave companies like Apple with no choice but to pack up and leave the country.
“A mandate to add third-party applications to Apple’s ecosystem would be equivalent to jailbreaking,”
“It would pose a security threat, and the company cannot tolerate that kind of risk.”
An Apple source
Of course, those aren’t the only fears that russkiye (Russian for Russians. Yes, I just Googled it. No, I’ve no idea if I used it right) have. The passing of the bill has understandably stoked the flames of fear that the Russian government could use these Russian apps to spy on its people- and It’s a legitimate concern too.
You see, if the passing of this bill was the spark, Russia’s recently passed “sovereign internet law” is the fuel. Under this “sovereign internet law”, the Russian government now has the power to block access to web content in any situation it deems to be an “emergency”.
What do you guys think? Fair from Russia or does this create a dangerous precedent for other countries?