Russia to Apple: Give us your source code

The Russian government has asked Apple Inc to hand over its closely-guarded source code so that Russia can make sure no Western governments, like the United States and the UK, are using any Apple-made products to spy on them. 

The request, which Russia also extended to multinational software company SAP, comes after increased tensions between Russia and the world over the crisis in Ukraine. The United States significantly expanded sanctions on Russia following the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17, including placing sanctions on a number of prominent Russian banks and manufacturers like VTB and Kalashnikov Concern, which famously produces the AK series of firearms.

Russia says its concerns are rooted in privacy, and that the request is "designed to ensure the rights of consumers and corporate users to the privacy of their personal data, as well as for state security interests." But the request that Apple hand over its source code for "consumers' rights" comes at a very opportune time, especially for a government which has received heavy criticism in recent days for its use of state-controlled media to influence opinion on the invasion of Crimea and the wider Ukraine conflict.

There is no word from Apple on whether they will comply with Russia's request to release their source code, but given that the company relies heavily on patents and proprietary technology for all of its mass-market products, anything that could compromise product security is against their best interest.

The Russian government has seen a heavy focus on technology recently, perhaps in response to increased internet usage amongst the country's citizens. The Russian Duma recently approved a law requiring all internet companies like Facebook and Google to store user data within the country or face being banned, and the Interior Ministry offered a nearly $114,000 reward for anyone who could show the government how to crack Tor and de-anonymize users. With its most recent request to Apple, the Russian government could certainly be concerned about user privacy as they claim -- but considering the country's less-than-stellar track record for privacy and internet freedom, Apple releasing any sensitive information at Russia's request may do more harm than good.

Source: ReutersImage via yablyk.com

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Give us your source code... oh and btw we started making our own os *scratches head* hmmmm

btw didn't Microsoft open it's source up for gov's and corps to "view" years ago? I vaguely remember that happening

Interesting they didn't include Microsoft in this. Russia, it seems, can live without Apple and SAS, but maybe they still need Microsoft's OS?

Major_Plonquer said,
Interesting they didn't include Microsoft in this. Russia, it seems, can live without Apple and SAS, but maybe they still need Microsoft's OS?

Because we have windows sources already. I'ts one os statements to use any os in government, medicine, banks and any organization that deal with our personal data.

excalpius said,

Fortunately, Putin's little more than a paper tiger now.

That, and the Cold War didn't work out so well for them last too. It's true US is economically weaker than it was then, but then again, so is Russia.

It make seance for any government to want to protect it's people, but it also makes seance for any company to refuse to protect their income.

Give the Russians the source code and it will be given to Russian companies to write their own OS

You keep linking to an email address where all government requests should be made. That doesn't mean MS has given full source to anyone.

DJGM said,
Apple should tell Putin's mob to получить фаршированные ... !

In russian this couple of words that means nothing. it's only reminds me of eating.

Tomo said,
Even if they did hand it over, they would remove anything that they don't want Russia to see.

right. how would they know if it's the complete source without decompiling the os that's actually on a phone/tablet?

-adrian- said,
The question is what does SAP have to do with this

SAP are a massive producer of business software which i`d imagine is used by a large amount of Russian companies with big ties to the government and are also from Germany.
It`s all just ###### for tat ...

So - but the US government legally has not right to get to SAP so where is this coming from? Must be the fact that the germans are in favour of the sanctions against Russia

Perhaps not, but Russia then can decide to stop doing business with them (e.g.. Apple's license to operate in the country can be revoked and importing Apple products may be banned)

Ilmiont said,
Is Apple actually obliged to give it to them?
No.
Russia has no laws regarding it atm. It's just a request.
Also, if Russia passed the law, Apple could then just leave the market.

AtriusNY said,
Perhaps not, but Russia then can decide to stop doing business with them (e.g.. Apple's license to operate in the country can be revoked and importing Apple products may be banned)

then Russians will find another way to buy apple's products. middle finger to putin.

bigmehdi said,
Well if Microsoft has done it, and it doesn't harm their business; then Apple should probably do it too.

windows and only one Linux distributive are certificated to used in banks or government organizations for ex.

68k said,
Это, как вы пишете в России!
Yesterday Google Translate stated this said 'this is how you write in Russian'; today, it's stating something completely different. :/

Given the fact how well Russia follows international laws and regulations, it would be a huge mistake to give them anything. :-) I guess this is how Russia is developing its own OS version (copy & paste...again).

sbasil said,
Given the fact how well Russia follows international laws and regulations, it would be a huge mistake to give them anything. :-) I guess this is how Russia is developing its own OS version (copy & paste...again).

Funny that you mention following laws and regulations. As the USA, force a lot of countries to uphold and follow regulations that the USA isn't following them selves.

As far as I remember while the UN tried to stop the US from invading Iraq saying there wasn't enough evidence for mess destruction weapons, it was the US that invaded Iraq anyways... Oops... And when the US showed on TV the captured Iraqi soldiers it was all okay, a few weeks later Saddam did it with captured US soldiers and then the US remembered that according to Geneva Conventions it was not allowed to display captured soldiers... Oops again. Shall I continue?

Wall-swe said,

Funny that you mention following laws and regulations. As the USA, force a lot of countries to uphold and follow regulations that the USA isn't following them selves.

I was referring to anti piracy laws which pretty much don't exist in Russia -or so it seems. :-) Anywhoo, when someone does something wrong, why does anyone automatically have to compare it to what the USA does. Two wrongs don't make it right!

"why does anyone automatically have to compare it to what the USA does. Two wrongs don't make it right!"... Its compared to what USA does because Apple is from USA! Simple.

AtriusNY said,
As far as I remember while the UN tried to stop the US from invading Iraq saying there wasn't enough evidence for mess destruction weapons, it was the US that invaded Iraq anyways... Oops... And when the US showed on TV the captured Iraqi soldiers it was all okay, a few weeks later Saddam did it with captured US soldiers and then the US remembered that according to Geneva Conventions it was not allowed to display captured soldiers... Oops again. Shall I continue?

Thats because the UN is a joke without the US. And the captured soldiers the US show actually get food and meals... And sunlight.

Microsoft in China, and now Apple
guess these Countries want to go back to the Stone ages

On another Note: Russia just wants the Source code and so that can copy and give it to the Chinese and then the Chinese will make there own "Apple" phone and sell it for cheap, and the Workers will be paid in a Bowl or rice just like the rest of the Chinese workers in there ...anyway thats my $0.02

Edited by EvilAstroboy, Jul 31 2014, 8:01am :

EvilAstroboy said,
On another Note: Russia just wants the Source code and so that can copy and give it to the Chinese and then the Chinese will make there own "Apple" phone and sell it for cheap, and the Workers will be paid in a Bowl or rice just like the rest of the Chinese workers in there ...anyway thats my $0.02

Basically the same device off the same production line right?

jamieakers said,

Basically the same device off the same production line right?

Yeah lol , but not called APPLE , called Banana, or something ...

AtriusNY said,
Which idiot would trust the US government these days? They are busted listening in their allies.

So what, APPLE isnt the US Goverment...duh ....

EvilAstroboy said,

So what, APPLE isnt the US Goverment...duh ....

Sadly it's called guilt by association and the NSA has probably done a huge amount of harm to American companies.

Apple is not the US government, but the US Government can force Apple do a lot of things under the Patriot Act... Duh...

EvilAstroboy said,
the Chinese will make there own "Apple" phone and sell it for cheap, and the Workers will be paid in a Bowl or rice just like the rest of the Chinese workers in there ...anyway thats my $0.02

This has been happening already for 5 or more years. Where have you been?

AtriusNY said,
Which idiot would trust the US government these days? They are busted listening in their allies.

I trust them, and the reason is Simple.
Everyone spies on Everyone, but the US manages to keep getting caught. Ergo, nothing to fear.

Ryoken said,

I trust them, and the reason is Simple.
Everyone spies on Everyone, but the US manages to keep getting caught. Ergo, nothing to fear.
So other less tech country spies on the US too but the US never caught them cos they have low tech way to do the spying?

Another even more important question is, what kind of idiot would trust the Russian government and its conglomerate of archaic 1940s political mentalities? A country with similar corruption indexes as Vietnam, whose government still thinks they need to conquer the world. That's a big red flag in any risk analysis.

Roger H. said,

Apple to Russia: How do you say, "F*** y**" in Russian please?


According to Google Translate, "F*** y**" in Russian is "пошел на хуй".

Ostronyx said,
That means they will ban apple's products there... which is a big loss for apple. they have to compromise.

Russia is a very small market for Russia.

Remember when France told Apple to open up their DRM, next day Apple didn't have a presence in France anymore.

Ryoken said,

Russia is a very small market for Russia.

Remember when France told Apple to open up their DRM, next day Apple didn't have a presence in France anymore.

"Russia is a small market for Russia", Huh!!?!

neo158 said,

"Russia is a small market for Russia", Huh!!?!

He meant Russia is a small market for Apple

spoon fed much?

If I made such a mistake, and if someone corrected me, I would appreciate it, otherwise I'd never learn I was making a mistake.

English is not my mother tongue either.

I don't see anything wrong with this approach.

AtriusNY said,
If I made such a mistake, and if someone corrected me, I would appreciate it, otherwise I'd never learn I was making a mistake.

English is not my mother tongue either.

I don't see anything wrong with this approach.

Overuse of commas is an international hate crime. Please use periods or semi-colons.

Politics is only singular when it a collective noun describing and abstract entity.

When its preceded by the definite article (or could be preceded by the definitive article) it should be treated as a plural noun.

Personally in this instance I think it could be either situation, so I'll let the grammar judges serve the sentence on this one.

Apologies I just couldn't resist the pun.

AtriusNY said,
If I made such a mistake, and if someone corrected me, I would appreciate it, otherwise I'd never learn I was making a mistake.

English is not my mother tongue either.

I don't see anything wrong with this approach.


English is my native tongue, however I've heard politics being used as plural or singular, and well turns out language changes. (Shocker I know)

I really don't care if you corrected me, however I believe that politics can refer to multiple things such as many different views on happenings, as well as democrats vs republicans, governments, courts system, ethics, etc. Therefore, I believe it can be used either way. Plus it annoys people when you get critical, fortunately it doesn't annoy ME that much.

BTW, your comment is also grammatically incorrect, it should be:
"I don't want to sound like a Grammar Police, but politics is a singular word."

You are missing a subject, you started your sentence with an adverb, then you forgot a comma before "but". :D