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South Korea wants to ban the use of iPhones in the military due to security concerns

South Korea wants to ban the use of iPhones in the military due to security concerns

The South Korean military wants to ban the use of iPhones in military buildings. According to military sources, this decision was taken based on suspicions of security leaks. For example, there are concerns that confidential information could be recorded.

South Korean soldiers may soon have to replace their iPhones with another smartphone, as the military wants to ban iPhones in military buildings. She fears that iPhones pose security risks and that information may be transferred.

Internal document

Korea Herald They were able to view an internal document provided to them by South Korean army officers who preferred to remain anonymous. This was a document from Air Force Headquarters, stating that devices that can make audio recordings are no longer welcome in military buildings as of June 1. iPhones were specifically mentioned. The document indicates that this is a decision of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

The reason iPhones are targeted is because Apple does not allow third-party apps to block certain apps. The document says that the South Korean military's security system blocks things like the camera, Wi-Fi and microphone, but on Apple devices only the camera can be locked. “It is impossible to block all types of audio recording.” “Not only formal communications, such as meetings, office conversations, business announcements, complaints from and consultation with the public, but also informal communications such as private telephone conversations (within military buildings). We have been investigating options for a possible extension of the ban on these types of devices.” For some time.

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In addition to iPhones, Apple Watches and other wearable devices such as AirPods will also be banned. Android smartphones will still be allowed, with the South Korean brand Samsung being particularly popular.

500,000 soldiers

About 10,000 people work at the South Korean army headquarters in Girondae. But if the ban is extended to include all military personnel, it will affect about 500,000 soldiers. Compulsory military service remains in South Korea, meaning every healthy man must perform compulsory military service for at least a year and a half before the age of 28. During their military service, these men are only allowed to use their smartphones between 6pm and 9pm. They must also install a security system on their devices.

However, the South Korean Defense Minister said he is considering expanding the window in which soldiers can use their smartphones. But only for Android users. Anyone with an iPhone will still be allowed to use their smartphone for about three hours a day.

But these decisions have already been criticized by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. They believe that requiring military personnel to download a security application conflicts with human rights. According to them, it is not necessary for all soldiers to install this application and it should be mandatory only for certain personnel who work in certain locations and handle sensitive information.