Russia tells Apple it wants to check its source code for spying


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Steve Jobs
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Steve Jobs

As the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cold War continues to unfold, Russian officials have proposed that Apple hand the government access to its entire source code, just to make sure there aren’t any spying bugs in it.

Russia’s Communication Minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, proposed that both Apple and SAP give the government unprecedented access to their software source code to ensure the companies’ popular products aren’t really spy tools that are extracting secrets from state institution.

Citing the country’s decade long cooperation with Microsoft who has shared Windows XP’s source code since 2003, the ministry said any prospect of state companies using software and hardware from producers who don’t share their source code remains uncertain.

“Obviously, companies which disclose the source code of their programmes are not hiding anything, but those who do not intend to establish cooperation with Russia on this issue may have undeclared capabilities in their products,” Nikiforov said.

Nikiforov met with Apple’s general manager in Russia, Peter Engrob Nielsen, as well as SAP’s managing director last week, claiming the proposal is designed to make sure consumers and corporate users’ privacy rights have not been violated, as well as to look after state security interests.

The proposal that two of the world’s top tech companies disclose some of their most sensitive business secrets to the Russian government comes right as the U.S. and Europe debate their harshest sanctions against Russian that were just imposed on Tuesday.


Source: Reuters

  • Windlasher

    I can’t believe for the life of me that Apple would say yes to this.

  • DarthDisney

    Haha, good luck Russia. If Apple did this, they know a Russian Clone would pop up pretty damn quick.

  • Jeff Maxwell

    It’s actually not an unreasonable request but Russia has a poor track record for maintaining corporate secrets and even less motivation to keep such disclosures private.

    If I were Apple, I’d offer to host a team of Russian researchers to examine the code in an Apple facility but not allow anything to be taken out.

    • sigzero

      Russia should pay for that too.

  • sigzero

    I believe Apple’s answer will be something like “HELL NO!”.

  • Stuart Hobbs

    Russia can go #@&% themselves. If Apple has got spying technology in their software and hardware good for them….

    • bollox

      you dick head, i bet you believe you’re the type of person to allow the government more power in snooping on folks like you and me because you believe you have nothing to hide. that my friend is a crock of shit, what a fucking wanker cunt faced cock breath tit you are. Don’t bother replying, just re-read my comment and allow it to sink in you waste of life.

    • bollox


    • Guest

      imbecile degenerate ‘murician cock sucker

    • bollox


  • Kr00

    “Citing the country’s decade long cooperation with Microsoft who has shared Windows XP’s source code since 2003”.

    That explains why they have all those viruses. Isnt the largest anti virus software manufacturer, Kaspersky, a RUSSIAN company? Put the pieces together people.

    • Azs Shah

      . Make sense

      • Kr00

        I have always believed that companies like Kaspersky actually write the viruses that their anti virus software is made to detect. They write a new virus, so then you have to update to newer anti virus software, and the merry go round continues.

  • Andy Shorrock