Apple’s product source code requested by Russian government amid spying concerns

iOS 8 iPhone 5s Trio

Amid growing concerns of privacy, security and foreign spying, the Russian government has reportedly requested that Apple hand over the source code to its products in an attempt to determine whether or not the company is complicit in allowing government agencies access to the devices.

According to a report from Reuters, Apple has been requested by the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media to provide the source code for its devices for government inspection, in an attempt to determine if the manufacturer is complicit in allowing United States government agencies to spy. At the same time, the report also states that Russia has asked the enterprise services firm, SAP, to do the same thing.

According to the report, the original proposal was introduced last week, during a meeting between Apple’s general manager in Russia, Peter Engrob Nielsen, Russia’s Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov and SAP’s Russian managing director, Vyacheslav Orekhov. The proposal is reportedly meant to ensure the rights of consumers and corporate users, in an effort to protect their digital information and personal data, while also securing state security interests.

From the report:

Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 and U.S. intelligence services’ public statements about the strengthening of surveillance of Russia in 2014 have raised a serious question of trust in foreign software and hardware,” Nikiforov said in the statement released late on Tuesday.

It has been repeatedly reported that Apple has fervently denied any support of government agency spying, including any backdoors. Recently, a forensic scientist has decried the implementation of any backdoor services within iOS, to which Apple once again refuted the claims, and denied any kind of usage with these services.

With security a top priority for many these days, it’s not shocking that the Russian government would make a request like this. Indeed, Microsoft agreed to the same scenario back in 2010, for software including the company’s desktop operating system, Windows 7. Apple has always been tight-lipped when it comes to just about anything that is created within their headquarters, especially for their software, so it is uncertain whether or not Apple, or SAP for that matter, will provide the source code that the Russian government is requesting.

[via Reuters]