Govt Bars Employees From Using Google, WhatsApp


Moscow: All state agencies’ employees must immediately stop using services like Google, Yahoo or WhatsApp for work-related communications, Russian Communication Minister Nikolay Nikiforov says, clarifying that the restrictions don’t apply to free time or personal purposes.

“This definitely should not be allowed for working correspondence. We live in a free country and for their personal purposes they can use whatever they want, but once they start exchanging some information marked ‘for official use’ this becomes unacceptable,” the communications minister said in an interview with Russia-24 television when asked about his attitude to recent proposals to restrict the use of foreign-made software over fears of eavesdropping and data loss.

Earlier this month, head of the Russian Security Council Nikolay Patrushev blasted various regional officials for using Google and Yahoo email, as well as the WhatsApp messenger service, for work-related purposes and told governors to take measures for further prevention of such incidents. Patrushev also said that the foreign-made software posed a system threat to the national information security.