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Russia Bans Sale of Smartphones, Computers and Other Devices Not Pre-Installed With Russian Software

Russia has passed a law banning the sale of certain devices such as smartphones, computers and smart televisions if not pre-installed with Russian software. The law will come into force in July 2020. The law, more specifically, states that devices from other countries can be sold with their default pre-installed software; however, they also need to have the Russian alternatives installed. Oleg Nikolayev, a co-author of the bill, explains (as reported by Interfax news agency): “When we buy complex electronic devices, they already have individual applications, mostly Western ones, pre-installed on them. Naturally, when a person sees them… they might think that there are no domestic alternatives available. And if, alongside pre-installed applications, we will also offer the Russian ones to users, then they will have a right to choose.” The new bill is facing criticism by Russian manufacturers and distributors. There are also concerns about the potential for Russian-made software to be used to spy on users. (BBC)

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