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Russia bans soldiers from using smartphones and tablets over OPSEC concerns
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
Russian lawmakers have approved a bill banning the armed forces from carrying smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets capable of recording and keeping information while on duty.
- According to the bill, approved in its third and final reading in the lower house on February 19, only regular phones with no cameras and without an Internet connection are now allowed in the Russian armed forces.
- The bill also bans military personnel from sharing information online about their military units, missions, services, colleagues, former colleagues, and their relatives.
- The bill says that "information placed on the Internet or mass media by military personnel is ... in some cases used to shape a biased assessment of the Russian Federation's state policies."
- The bill was approved by 408 lawmakers with no vote against.
- The legislation was necessary because military personnel were of "particular interest for the intelligence services of foreign governments, for terrorists, and extremist organizations," the Duma said.
- In recent years, photos and video footage inadvertently posted online via smartphones by members of the Russian military have revealed information about the location and movements of its troops and equipment.
- Human rights activists were also sometimes able to obtain from the Internet video and photographic proof of the hazing of young recruits in the Russian military.
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman should not fear retaliation over his testimony to the U.S. Congress in its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday.
Vindman, now detailed to the White House National Security Council, has been targeted by Trump following his Oct. 29 congressional testimony. Trump tweeted that Vindman was a "Never Trumper witness," raising questions about potential fallout on his military career.
"He shouldn't have any fear of retaliation," Esper told a small group of reporters during a flight to New York, adding that he had reinforced the "no retaliation" message in a conversation with the secretary of the Army.