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Russian government requests Apple source code

President of Russia Vladimir Putin

The recent revelations that Apple has included backdoors into iOS devices may have lead to an interesting development in the company's relationship with Russia. According to Reuters the Russian government has asked Apple Inc to turn over its source code to confirm its products aren't being used to spy on Russian operations. Russian has also requested this information from SAP.

In a statement released this week, Russian Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov blamed his government's paranoia on last year's Snowden revelations and reports that the U.S. has increased surveillance on Russia.

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.

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.

There is precedent for what Russia is requesting, interestingly enough from Apple rival Microsoft. Since 2003, the company has provided its Windows source code to the Russian government. Apple has not commented on the Russian government's request.

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