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Federal Guard Service refuses to comment on GPS problems near Kremlin

October 20, 2016, 20:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s Federal Guard Service is not familiar with problems regarding malfunctioning of GPS because it uses GLONASS-equipped devices only

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© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Guard Service (FSO) "refused to comment" on inappropriate operation of a mobile app using the GPS signal near the Kremlin, FSO spokesman Sergey Devyatov told TASS.

According to TASS data, the FSO itself is not familiar with problems regarding malfunctioning of GPS (U.S. Global Positioning System) as it uses exclusively domestic developments - Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) devices.

At the same time experts who deal with GLONASS systems told TASS that problems with the mobile app could be connected either with software or hardware problems.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted that when he was behind the wheel a few days ago, he, like many Muscovites, felt the incorrect operation of the mobile application using the GPS signal. But he said the Russian Communications Ministry and the FSO should address the technical aspect.

Asked by journalists whether special devices are used to jam the GPS signal around the Kremlin, Peskov said he does not know about it.

"You need to ask the Federal Guard Service about it. If there are some required security measures, they are used," he said.

Peskov said "this is normal." "But I can’t say whether it is connected in any way with the GPS signal or some other signal, this demands a competent answer."

"The only thing that I may confirm is: I also was behind the wheel recently at a weekend, and Yandex [a mobile app with a map and GPS] in my phone really moved to another district," he said, adding that he was surprised at what happened.

"It’s not our issue [technical details], I think you can turn to the Communications Ministry for explanations, turn to the Federal Guard Service, this requires competent explanations," the presidential spokesman said.

Muscovites have been complaining in social networks for several months of problems with the operation of mobile apps using GPS. Users of Yandex Navigator have often faced problems when the position of the vehicle has been identified by the program in a wrong way. Complaints increased when Pokemon Go game became popular.

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