Russia develops Google free Android tablet

The cold war may be over, but Russia is still sharp on national security. The latest threat seems to be Android, Google's mobile operating system. Although Russia would like to equip members of the government as well as military personnel with Android tablets, the country fears that sensitive information could fall in the wrong hands: American hands.

That's why Russia has announced RoMOS, which stands for Russian Mobile Operating System, based on Google's Android. Russian developers claim the system will be hack-proof and no personal data is collected while using your mobile device. Not only will all Google content be stripped out of the final product, Russia also wants to use some of its own technology in the operating system, such as GLONASS. The Global Navigation Satellite System is Russia's version of GPS. Apps can be installed through RoMOS' own market.

The reason why Android is free is because Google collects quite a lot of information about the user, including personal information and usage data. The company sells this information to advertising companies, so you'll get relevant, personal ads on your mobile device. According to project manager Dmitry Mikhailov, ministries and big firms don't trust Google all too well:

They are not afraid of Google or the US government stealing things per se. They are afraid of leaks in general.

Personnel working for Russia's ministry of defense will be the main users, but you can buy a slightly modified 10 inch tablet running Russia's mobile OS too by the end of the year for approximately $460 (15,000 rubles). The tablet should be shock and water proof and is assembled in Russia.

Source: PC World, SecurityWeek

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