Russia makes own 'secure' Android-like tablet
With backing from its government, Russia has produced a “secure” tablet computer for the use of state industries and government officials, a security vendor reported Wednesday.
Sophos reported the project stemmed partly from the Russian government’s “concerns” about its reliance on western mobile technologies and data networks.
The Russian Central Scientific Research Institute developed both the hardened operating system and the hardware to run it, it added.
The article cited an Agence France Presse story that said the tablet will have its own operating system, dubbed RoMOS (Russian Mobile Operating System), and was exhibited on the sidelines of the IFA conference in Berlin last week.
Sophos said senior government officials, including Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, viewed a demo of the tablet at the IFA event.
It said the tablet “closely resembles” Google’s Android operating system, but has “homegrown” alternatives to the Western-backed satellite positioning infrastructure.
The article added the tablet may be available by the end of year at a price of around 15,000 rubles ($465).
“Security-conscious buyers in the Russian military, government agencies and Russian industry are said to be the intended audience,” Sophos said.
The tablet will have consumer and defense versions, with the defense version having a rugged, shock-and water-proof casing and using Russia’s GLONASS global positioning system.
But Sophos also noted Russia is not the first government to take liberties with Google’s open-source Android OS.
Last January, the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) also approved an Android-based secure mobile operating system for use by Department of Defense agencies.
That system, developed by Good Technology for Dell-manufactured tablets and smartphones, lets users securely communicate via email and voice.
It also works with the DOD’s Common Access Card (CAC) infrastructure. — TJD, GMA News
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