(N.Morgan) Russian President Vladimir Putin has assigned his best IT and internet security people to the task of coming up with snoop proof and spy proof technology and now one of the those technologies is due for release in the near future.
The Russian security company run by Kaspersky Lab’s co-founder is launching a smartphone that prevents Google and other apps from snooping on users, seeking to capitalize on Russian tensions with the U.S.
The Taiga phone, devised by Moscow-based InfoWatch Group and named after desolated forests in Siberia, runs its own Android-based firmware that allows apps to run on the device but stops them from collecting data.
The phone also has a built-in agent that gives the administrator — such as a corporate IT department — control over what apps will work on the device and what content the user can access or share.
“Most smartphone apps collect certain data on users and send it to outside servers,” said Natalya Kaspersky, head of InfoWatch.
“When people use personal phones at work, their corporate emails, documents and job-related photos come under threat of being — maliciously or accidentally — leaked to third parties.”
The first 50,000 Taiga phones, made in China, will be delivered to employees of Russian companies co-owned by the state.
Potential markets also include Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, where InfoWatch has opened offices.
Kaspersky co-founded anti-virus producer Kaspersky Lab and ran it before her divorce from partner Eugene Kaspersky.
President Donald Trump recently restricted the use of Kaspersky Lab products by U.S. government entities over the firm’s alleged ties with the Russian government.
Kaspersky now runs her own business and works in a Kremlin-backed working group on information-technology sovereignty.
Vladimir Putin is seeking to reduce Russia’s dependence on companies such as Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. amid geopolitical tensions with the United States over Ukraine and Syria.