The Russian Defence Ministry recently showcased its very first smart prototype of what it calls the encrypted version of Google's Android operating system. Reports convey that this slimmed down, encrypted version of the Android OS has the latter's familiar feel. According to researchers, this essentially means that the OS is capable of performing all functions as the Android OS, but does away with the hidden features of the Android OS, which send users' private data to Google.
In fact, the OS in a computer tablet form will go on sale by the end of this year for 15,000 rubles ($460 or Rs 25,540 approximately). Its developers claim that despite the tablet's consumer appeal, its main client is, and will probably always be, the state and its top-line officials.
Hack-proof OS in a tablet, coming soon (Image credit: Getty Images)
Russia's top officials found the possibility of data in Google's databases falling into the hands of the US government unnerving. Russian officials believe that this way the nation's most secret and sensitive data can get exposed. Reports add further, “Similar fears have already driven other expensive military projects with rewards for the masses that come primarily as an afterthought. One such invention is GLONASS — a rival of the Global Position System (GPS) meant to help generals train their missiles on targets without relying on a US system that could be shut down as a precaution at any point”.
The project was being worked upon for five whole years. Those running Russian ministries and firms, such as the state energy firm Gazprom do not put in much trust in Google. It was just this week that the smart prototype was shown to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the military's technological innovation. According to reports, production unit Director Andrei Starikovsky told Rogozin at the presentation that the military version of tablet will be shockproof and waterproof.
Reports quoted the operating system's project manager Dmitry Mikhailov as saying, “They are not afraid of Google or the US government stealing things per se. They are afraid of leaks in general. There is nothing like this operating system on the market. It is hack-proof. There are people who are clamouring for this”.
According to reports further, in a statement Russian parliament member and professional IT specialist Ilya Ponomaryov added, “The devil is in the details. If this is purely a defence ministry project, it is doomed. But if this is a completely new operating system made by and for the market, its prospects are as good as anyone else's”
Dmitry Konovalov of the Institute of Strategic Assessment said that the tablet only makes military sense, and makes “no commercial sense at all”. Quite in contrast to that, Project Manager, Mikhailov shares that the company had lots of pre-orders before the system's release date. He went on to add that it can be used in smartphones too.
Reportedly, although this defence project has been running out of a research facility, it has been privately funded.