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Reuters reports that Russia has asked Apple to provide the government with access to the company’s source code to make sure its iOS devices and Macs aren’t used for spying. The report claims the proposal came earlier this month when an Apple executive in Russia met with the country’s Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov and others:

The suggestion that two of the world’s flagship technology companies disclose some of their most sensitive business secrets comes as the United States and Europe debate their most severe sanctions yet against Russia for its role in Ukraine… The Russian proposal was voiced last week when Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov met Apple’s general manager in Russia, Peter Engrob Nielsen, and SAP’s Russian managing director, Vyacheslav Orekhov, the Communications Ministry said in a statement.

As noted in the report, as part of the request government officials noted that it’s had a long relationship with Microsoft, which provides its source code to a third-party that in turn provides it to the country’s communications ministry.

The request for access to source code was also sent to software maker SAP, Reuters reports. “It said the proposal was designed to ensure the rights of consumers and corporate users to the privacy of their personal data, as well as for state security interests.”

Apple and SAP are yet to comment, but we’ll update here if they do.

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40 Responses to “Russia requests Apple provide access to source code”

  1. It’s way past time for companies to start telling Russia to go f*ck itself. Seriously.

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  2. Me to Putin: F*ck off!

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  3. And the problem with “trust” goes both ways.

    How to be able to trust Russians? I certainly don’t do that.

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  4. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    Yikes. Tough situation.

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  5. Boris & Natasha want information from Moose & Squirrel (in fake Russian accent!)

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  6. I would take this as notice that they are already going to clone Apple’s stuff and move away from it to begin with and just want the source code so they can do a better job of that.

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  7. greenbelt2csp says:

    Riiiight. And Russians have no history of posting cracked versions of software on warez sites…none at all. That source code will be as safe as a steak in a lion den.

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  8. Well Putin can stop using his iPhone and Mac if he doesn’t like it. No one forces him to. They can go back to Nokia or create their own phone and operating system, what a joke.

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  9. Putin is just as funny as purple tentacle on his quest to world domination. Made my day.

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  10. Apple should just politely say no. No one in Russia is forced to use Apple’s products. I do think that the Russian government is afraid that if Apple do indeed say no, the average Russian will still go ahead to buy Apple products anyway if they have the opportunity.

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  11. Eugene Toro says:

    You know there must be tons of illegal things going on in the Russian mafia state when they are this desperate.

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  12. I’ll give Russian’s this, they’ve got some serious balls to go asking any American company for their products’ source code, ESPECIALLY Apple. While I can see their point of view with the recent revelations regarding the NSA invasive spying techniques, I don’t believe this is a prudent request in the slightest, especially when the country making the request is actively supplying rebels (aka drunk thugs) in Ukraine with surface-to-air missile systems and enough arms to begin murdering Ukraine’s soldiers. Not to mention Russia’s extremely checkered record of warez and pirated software and malicious worldwide cyber attacks carried out in partnership with their friendly commi neighbours.

    Yeah, if I were Apple, I’d flip them the bird and pull out of their country.

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  13. For what? To access people’s data? Asshole!!!!!!

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  14. There is no way Apple would comply with that and no need to either. How popular do you think a government would be if it barred it’s citizens from using Apple products?

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    • Do not bet on both of the above. Apple will partially comply through her own security checks and believe me Russians could live without Apple products, Apple needs them more than you believe…

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      • Air Burt says:

        Nope. Apple doesn’t give their source code to ANYONE. Why do the Russians think they are different from everyone else? They are a tiny market that Apple couldn’t care less about if it comes down to it.

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  15. I had a feeling that image would come in handy!

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  16. They have yet to comment because they are still laughing…

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  17. I sure love the picture, in context Mr Cook looks like “Are you effing kidding me?”

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  18. That request from Russia will get a good laugh in 1 Infinite Loop – and a diplomatic version of “nope”

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  19. The photo at the top of the story with Cook smirking tells it all.

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  20. Air Burt says:

    They will get a polite “no”. Apple doesn’t give their source code to ANYONE!

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  21. I’d be very surprised if the Russians weren’t aiming to do the exact opposite – use the source code so they could break into iOS devices for surveillance purposes.

    And I expect the US government would love to do exactly the same thing… if it hasn’t already.

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  22. Oh I bet they do want to see the source code. Russian (Government paid) hackers are well known. Sure you can see our source code…no problem.

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  23. Susatyo Adi says:

    Lol. I think Apple should request Russia to provide access to vodka source code as well…

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  24. pinpare says:

    90% of sap’s erp source code is already available to read for anyone with it installed as it is compiled on demand. Only kernel level things are really hidden (of course there could be something hidden there as well).

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