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Russia Demands Apple and SAP Hand Over Source Code

Russia Demands Apple and SAP Hand Over Source Code
Russia Demands Apple and SAP Hand Over Source Code

The Russian government has asked SAP and Apple to hand over their source code so that the Kremlin can see if it contains capabilities to spy on the Motherland.

In a similar manner to China, Moscow appears to have taken recent revelations of US spying activities by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as a green light to go after tech companies from the States.
 
The statement from communications minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, suggests that any company not prepared to comply with the request “may have undeclared capabilities in their products”.
 
"The revelations of Edward Snowden in 2013 and public statements of US intelligence to strengthen surveillance of Russia in 2014 raised the question seriously the confidence of foreign software and hardware,” he added (Google Translate).
 
According to the missive, the issue was raised at a meeting last Friday between Nikiforov, Apple’s Russia boss Peter Engrob Nielsen and SAP regional chief Vyacheslav Orekhov.
 
The Russian government was also at pains to point out that Microsoft has already acceded to such a request, allowing security service the FSB to peek at the source code for  Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Office 2010 four years ago.
 
What will have raised particular alarm bells in the Kremlin were Snowden’s allegations in May this year that the NSA routinely intercepted US-made routers bound for export and planted backdoors on them.
 
If that’s true, the argument goes, the US spy agency may have done similar to other products made by American companies – either with or without their manufacturer’s knowledge.
 
China has also been tightening its grip on US technology producers in the country, with the ostensible aim of improving national security.
 
Beijing stated recently that it intends to vet all foreign-made technology bound for public sector use for security flaws.
 
However, the clampdown has now taken a more worrying turn for Microsoft, with anti-monopoly regulators raiding offices and seizing documents and computers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
 
It’s a tactic that has already been used against chip giant Qualcomm, which face fines possibly exceeding $1bn if found guilty of breaking anti-competition laws.  

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