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Russia requires citizens to install Israeli ICQ on smartphones

The Russian government has said, due to US sanctions, that from 2023 every smartphone, tablet, smart TV and laptop in Russia must come through official imports with specific local software and applications.

Moscow created a software catalog from the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) that included: the old Israeli messaging service ICQ; Marusya voice assistant and Mail.ru email service.

In addition, All laptops will have Yandex Internet browser and Kaspersky antivirus and every Smart TV will have VK Video and Rutube (similar to YouTube), as well as government TV broadcasting services..

This comes at a time when the cost of internet and television in Russia is expected to become 10-15% higher in 2023. It was reported earlier that some people in Russia have started charging for downloading some smartphone applications that are inaccessible in the country. , such as banking services. Applications for 2,000 rubles (about 95 shekels).

What is the ancient Israeli messaging platform ICQ?

In 1998, at the peak of its success, ICQ was sold for $407 million to AOL, which at the time was one of the fastest growing internet providers in the United States. However, in 2010, ICQ was sold to the Russian company Digital Sky Technologies (DST) for $ 187.5 million due to low popularity and competition from Microsoft.

ICQ (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

DST later shut down the company’s Israeli development center.