Iran Bans Smartphones for Officials Amid Espionage Fears

June 14, 2015  

Iranian officials with access to classified information will be forbidden from using smartphones in connection with their work because of fears of espionage, a security official said Saturday, according to the AFP news agency.

Such phones are not secure as “data entered on to them is backed up, cannot be removed and can be accessed,” Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali explained to the ISNA news agency.

Jalali, who heads Iran’s Civil Defense Organization, said the new rule, which is pending final approval, would mean officials “should use other phones for work that involves sensitive information.”

There is nothing to stop such workers using smartphones in their private lives, based on what he said.

While the Iranian official did not indicate whether there was any connection, the directive comes several days after reportsthat nuclear talks between Iran and world powers were compromised by cyber hacking.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Israel attempted to use a sophisticated virus to spy on nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 by hacking into the servers of hotels where talks were being held.

Israel vehemently denied the report, with Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan calling the allegations “utter nonsense”. 

Despite the denials, Swiss and Austrian authorities said they had opened separate probes into the alleged spying, while the Iranian Foreign Ministry expressed “serious concern” over the reports of the spying.

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