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Russian State Officials to Face Dismissal for Using WhatsApp

Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti

The Russian government has commissioned the Federal Security Services (FSB) to develop a system by which to punish state officials caught using uncertified applications like WhatsApp for working correspondence, the Izvestia newspaper reported Friday.

According to Izvestia, officials could face dismissal if found to be using any of a list of uncertified applications for work correspondence, including WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram.

The Internet+Sovereignty division of a presidential administration working group presented the initiative this week at a meeting of the FSB, the Communications and Mass Media Ministry, and the Economic Development Ministry.

The FSB is to prepare the necessary regulations for the ban to be enforced by mid 2017, Izvestia reported.

The initiative comes after Russia’s Defense Ministry suggested banning state officials and military personnel from using any foreign mobile application for work correspondence.

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