Russia has apparently come up with a law that is bound to make cloud services difficult to provide in the country. The law, which is to become effective starting January 1st 2015, states that any cloud-based service that is not based locally will be banned in the country. As such, any company offering any service in the cloud is expected to base its servers in Russia, or else lose the Russian market altogether. In short, any form of cloud data storage for Russian data has to stay within Russia. This demands that companies have to localize their cloud servers to be in Russia for them to be able to continue offering their cloud services.
Initially, this rule was thought to be aimed at Apple’s iCloud platform, but it is emerging that the law is actually universal and applies to any other cloud service that has links with Russia and its people. Perhaps the misconception that the law was aimed at Apple is based on the fact that Apple’s cloud servers are located primarily in the US, meaning that any device with the iCloud platform (basically all Apple products currently), will be banned in Russia, unless Apple acts fast and localizes its cloud servers to Russia geographical space.
The cloud has emerged to be one of the major storage platforms for major tech companies, and any rule that touches on it is bound to be felt quite significantly. Since almost all iPhone owners have an iCloud account, and their data is primarily stored in the cloud, it is not clear what Russian authorities will do to ensure they are within the demands of the law. One guess is that it could turn out to be illegal to own an iPhone in Russia come 1st January 2015.