back to article Apple drinks Putin’s Kool-Vodka, shoves Russians' iCloud data into Russia – report

Apple has agreed to store Russians' iCloud accounts in a data center in Russia, it is reported. The Cupertino giant was under pressure to comply with a law passed in December by the Vladimir Putin-led government that demanded Russian citizens' personal data be held within the nation's borders. If the iPhone maker had refused …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This could get expensive for cloud providers if a lot of countries go this way

    Maybe Apple/Google/Microsoft/Amazon don't care if a really small country that's unimportant to their business makes this demand and they either don't do business there or don't support any cloud features, but operating datacenters in the dozens of countries they do care about will certainly raise their costs...

    Those big fish can afford it of course, but it will make it a lot harder for startups to compete.

  2. Ole Juul

    Russia is only one of many

    Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina are discussing this seriously as well and will likely pass relevant laws soon. In the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is developing fast now and will effect all member states. But most notable is the fact that Germany, Switzerland, China, Canada, and Australia already have similar laws in place.

    1. Tom Samplonius

      Re: Russia is only one of many

      "But most notable is the fact that .. Canada.. have similar laws in place."

      No it doesn't.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Canada is only one of many

        Actually, as usual with Canada, it depends.

        Federally, the PIPEDA act does not require personal data to be stored within Canada.

        However, British Columbia and Nova Scotia do require certain kinds of personal information to be stored within Canada [*]; Quebec and Alberta impose restriction on where some information may be stored which may be in practice equivalent to a geographic restriction [+].

        [*] see;


        I am too lazy to look up the original references, but Michael Geist is usually well-informed and factually correct.

        1. lucki bstard

          Re: Canada is only one of many

          Wouldn't make any difference tbh. If you do a traceroute from say Calgary to Toronto then the data goes south of the border anyway. It can always be intercepted in transit.

      2. Ole Juul

        Re: Russia is only one of many

        @ Tom Samplonius: Microsoft is addressing it by planning to store all the information for Office365 (for instance) in Toronto and Quebec by 2016. Actually we have relevant laws going back to 1986 and the newer Bill S-4 is not only relevant now, but also likely to get some stronger amendments in the near future.

  3. Likkie

    The US government contributed...

    Why wouldn’t a sovereign nation want to have the data of its citizens kept away from the prying eyes of the USA?

    I’m sure Putin has his own nefarious reaons for wanting this but the US governments efforts in this area can’t have helped. Not least of which is its attempt to strong arm Microsoft into “recovering” data from servers located in another jurisdiction.

    We will all pay for this as the associated costs are recouped.

  4. oneeye

    Apple and Qualcomm along with a multitude of others have already caved to China. Greed is their driving force. So ,....why not Russia? That's one of the main reasons I would never use any Apple products. And the drop in their stock a month before and even on the day of their recent conference is evidence,I think,in investors lack of confidence in their strategy.

    1. stanimir


      Why greed, it's just doing business. It's either profitable, or it is not. The prices would rake there but if the customers pay, why care?

  5. ratfox

    Hang on a minute

    Does the law say "private data should exclusively be kept in our country", in a funny attempt to keep it safe from prying governments which I'm sure is making the NSA roll on the floor laughing, or does the law say "there should be a copy of the private data in our country" so they can have a look at it themselves?

    1. ducatis'r us
      Big Brother

      Re: Hang on a minute

      It's the second case. Although not on Apple's scale we have had to move all personal data on Russian citizens into Russia. You are allowed to continue processing data outside Russia you just have to be careful to keep everything in Sync and make the Russian authorities aware of this. One curious condition that I have just discovered is that the processing of personal data of Russian citizens in a database outside the Russian Federation is only possible if the databases on the Russian territory contain “bigger or equal amount of data”of Russian citizens than the foreign database. Whatever that means...

  6. Velv
    Black Helicopters

    Given the current Microsoft case over data in Ireland, can't wait for the DoJ to turn up in Cupertino demanding data from Apple's Russian data centres.

    Looks like we're going to need a bigger box of popcorn <popcorn icon>

  7. cs94njw

    I wonder how the Russian government feels about the end-2-end encryption?

    1. P. Lee

      >I wonder how the Russian government feels about the end-2-end encryption?

      It doesn't matter that much. Once the data is kept within the country it can start demanding keys and all sorts of things. I presume this is all assuming users tick the "I'm a Russian" box.

      While I dislike Putin's actions and rather doubt his pure motives, this is actually the correct way to do it. Legislate for your own country, not the American way of deciding you rule the earth.

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