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Russia plans Linux-based mobile operating system to rival Android and iOS

ArsTechnica  - In an effort to boost its independence from Western technology, Russia has announced that it will be creating its own mobile operating system, the Russian-language news site RBC reports (English language summary). Russia's Ministry of Communications is working with the Finnish company Jolla, which already offers a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices called Sailfish.

The move to create a national mobile operating system forms part of a larger plan to reduce Russian reliance on foreign technology, announced last month. The Minister of Communications and Mass Media, Nikolai Nikiforov, is quoted by RBC as saying that he hopes to reduce the market share of foreign mobile operating systems from the current 95% to 50% by 2025. Although the official line is that this is to protect the personal data of Russians, the main impetus for the move is doubtless revelations from Edward Snowden that many Western products contain backdoors used by US and UK intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance on a large scale.