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:
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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.