Defense Ministry mulls office-wide iPhone ban

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Defense Ministry mulls office-wide iPhone ban

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In a move to vamp up security amidst the influx of smartphone users, the Ministry of National Defense stated yesterday that it is reviewing a policy to ban bringing iPhones into Defense Ministry-related offices.

The Defense Ministry announced yesterday that it plans to run a Mobile Device Management system in order to secure smartphone usage in its headquarters in Yonsan District, central Seoul, and its affiliated buildings from August. In areas where this system is operated, calls, Internet usage, recording and photo-taking on smartphones can be limited and monitored.

To prevent the device from leaking information, the MDM controls the data configuration setting for mobile devices in its network, and even simple features like screen capture can be blocked.

The source code of the operating system of the smartphone needs to be known for an application to be developed, said the ministry, and Android developer Google reveals its source code. “Apple doesn’t reveal [its source code] thus, a security app for iPhones has not been developed,” said a Defense Ministry official yesterday.

By Sarah Kim [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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