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How Russia Is Strong-Arming Apple // Foreign Policy

31 January 2019
<p>“Seems that something is hidden here because of course Apple collects more data,” said Sergey Medvedev, a senior lawyer with the Moscow-based law firm Gorodissky and Partners.

<p>Russian law takes a broad interpretation of personal data and applies it to anything that could be used to identify individuals or their behavior. Photos, music, and e-book downloads would all indirectly be defined as personal data, said Medvedev, who specializes in internet and e-commerce law.

<p>Apple did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

<p>Controversial changes to Russia’s counterterrorism law, which came into force last year, call on telecom providers to store the content of user communications, including text, video, and audio messages, for up to six months and gives the security services the right to access this data without a court order. Human rights advocates described the legislation as Russia’s “Big Brother” law, amid concerns that it provides sweeping rights to the Federal Security Service—the successor to the KGB—to access people’s communications without judicial oversight.

<p>Medvedev said the law could potentially be applied to Apple’s iMessage service.
Foreign Policy