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Russia to ban iCloud.. to protect iPhone fiddlers' pics 'n' sh*t

State secrets: This is local data for local people

The Kremlin is set to ban Apple's iCloud as part of plans to throw up a new iron curtain around Russia's digital communications.

Anti-data-offshoring laws will come into force on New Year's Day 2015 that require all data generated within Russia to be stored within its borders.

Apple's iCloud service has been in the news recently because pervy hackers were able to fight their way into to celebs' accounts and steal their nude selfies.

As a man who is partial to posing semi-nude for the pleasure of the world, you might not think the publication of few more candid images would bother him. But Big Vlad has a more pressing reason to be scared of the cloud.

As the adoptive home of Edward Snowden, Russia is all too aware that many of its citizens' communications are stored on servers owned by the scary giants of Silicon Valley. Ultimately, the Kremlin is likely to be worried that cloud services offer the NSA a way to snoop on Russian citizens, state apparatchiks and perhaps even high ranking politicians.

It is unclear how Russia will implement the ban, which will affect all tech companies. Moscow enforcers could stop the sale of the new iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 in the country unless key iCloud features are switched off. Alternatively, Apple could just rent a few servers in the Motherland and start getting to used to another shady government snooping through its citizens' communications.

The law was first mooted earlier this year and passed its first reading on 1 July. The country even asked SAP and Apple to hand over their source code a few days' earlier, presumably to prove they were not spies...

According to a rough Google translation of the law, it puts the onus on operators to "ensure that the record classification, accumulation, storage, updating and retrieval of personal data of citizens of the Russian Federation [occurs in] databases located on the territory of the Russian Federation".

Although Russia is a country that is often criticised for its institutional homophobia, the decision is not connected to Tim Cook's announcement of his sexuality.

This week, a gang of Russian bigots tore down a monument to Steve Jobs after learning that Tim Cook was gay. ®

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