The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Wednesday that it will limit its staff's use of smartphones inside its building from mid-July to prevent the leaking of military information. In addition, visitors will not be permitted to carry mobile phones into the building.
The ministry rolled out a mobile device management (MDM) plan which requires its employees to install a smartphone application that deactivates functions like computing, Internet connectivity and the camera inside the building.
When it comes to feature phones with a camera function, a security sticker will be put on lenses. The plan will take effect from July 15.
According to the ministry, those who use Android smartphones will be able to answer, make phone calls and use text messaging services, but iPhone users will be limited to only receiving calls and messages.
Under the MDM plan, visitors need to keep their mobile phones at the entries before entering the ministry building.
MND will first have a test run for the plan in its building and later decide whether to expand the plan to other military facilities.
"In order to cope actively with the changing information technology circumstances, we are seeking security measures based on cutting-edge technology," an MND official said. "We expect the MDM plan to contribute to raising security awareness as well as strengthening military security."
Although the ministry aims to prevent military data leaks, its staff, especially those who use iPhones, are expected to have more inconveniences.
In order to minimize the possible discomfort, the ministry has enabled its employees to make long-distance calls and give a buzz to cell phones through its office telephones since May. Until the end of April, MDN workers could only make local calls with office telephones.