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Russian government asks Apple to hand over source code amid spying concerns

post #1 of 150
Thread Starter 
Russia's Ministry of Communications and Mass Media has suggested that Apple should open its source code for government inspection to ensure that the iPhone maker is not complicit in enabling U.S. intelligence services to spy on the world's largest country.

Former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and late Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and late Apple CEO Steve Jobs


Russian Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov made the same proposition to German firm SAP, one of the most prominent software consultancies in the world, according to Reuters. The suggestion came during a meeting between Nikiforov, Peter Engrob Nielsen -- Apple's top Russian executive -- and SAP managing director Vyacheslav Orekhov.

"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 a statement.

"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," he added.

Microsoft agreed to a similar proposal in 2010, granting the Russian Federal Security Service access to source code for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft SQL Server. The FSS is roughly equivalent to the Central Intelligence Agency in the U.S.

The documents revealed by Snowden have caused substantial concern on the part of foreign governments when it comes to trusting the security of U.S. technology, much of it directed at Apple thanks to the massive popularity of the iPhone and iPad. Most recently, Chinese state media called iOS's location tracking features a "national security concern," accusations that Apple vociferously denied.

"Apple is deeply committed to protecting the privacy of all our customers," the company said in a response to the Chinese reports. "Privacy is built into our products and services from the earliest stages of design. We work tirelessly to deliver the most secure hardware and software in the world."
post #2 of 150
Yeah, I'd trust the Russians with Apple's source code. That's a great idea. No fears there. No sir ...
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post #3 of 150
Well if they really concern about mobile privacy issue, then they should send their troops in to raid Google headquarter!
post #4 of 150
1) Good luck with that.

2) The real interest may be with being able to find ways to spy on everyone by making the task of finding security holes easier.

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post #5 of 150
Two words immediately spring to mind: The first starts with the letter 'F' and the second with the letter 'O'.
post #6 of 150

Buawhahaha! That's funny Russia. I think Apple would sooner remove all their products from your country first.

post #7 of 150

Ditto to all the comments above. Add a "Ha-haaa" from Nelson.

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post #8 of 150
Once again Snowden is Russia's tool.
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post #9 of 150

This raises an interesting question for me: If the iOS source code was stolen by hackers and released to the public, how much damage (if any) would that do to iOS security?

post #10 of 150

hahahahahahahahahah!!!

post #11 of 150
I'm sure Kaspersky has already obtained a copy of OS X and iOS source code. Those guys are geniuses over there. Along with Snowden's help, I'm sure they don't need to ask these companies for anything, as they can get all they need themselves.
post #12 of 150
Riiight. "You will submit your code now to the Kremlin!"

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #13 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Two words immediately spring to mind: The first starts with the letter 'F' and the second with the letter 'O'.

a bit more business like...

 

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post #14 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Once again Snowden is Russia's tool.

In this case you should thank the NSA for opening this huge can of worms (bag of hurt). If IOS, OSX, all Windows, and Android were, say Chinese, or Korean, or even Russian, and a similar revelation as the NSA spying was revealed, how much would you trust the aforementioned systems to run the government, business and personal computers of the USA? Not much I'd wager and you'd probably feel the request to peek at the source code was a fair request. 

 

Its always interesting to turn the tables in the name of perspective. I'm not saying they will, or should cave, but perhaps that the request is not without merit and the burden needs to be on Apple et al's shoulders to prove their case. 

post #15 of 150

In Russia, Code Submits YOU!

post #16 of 150
All your code are belong to us.

But seriously, even if Apple did give them some code, they probably won't understand one line. And besides, Russia doesn't run the world and Apple is not indebted to them for anything.
post #17 of 150

Samsung would like the source code too, please.

 

 

ROTFLOL!

post #18 of 150

Yeah, so, if Apple pulls all their devices from Russia nobody will care, b/c most won't be able to afford an iOS device after all the sanctions go through. Hell, Apple won't be able to export iOS devices to Russia if even more sanctions are put out.

post #19 of 150
Pretty funny
post #20 of 150
Steve was late? (to the meeting?) Or did you mean 'the late'?
post #21 of 150
**** you, Russia. Hey Snowden, look who you're in bed with: A country that shot down a civilian plane.
post #22 of 150

Let me see if I got this straight, M$ turned over it source code, and the Russia were okay with all the security holes all through window, How does Russia think the NSA was spying on them in the first place, it was through all the back door holes in Windows which it is famous for.

post #23 of 150

This is simply a retaliation to the sanctions the west has placed on Russia. Just like banning fruit and vegetables from Poland and arbitrarily banning products from other countries it is a way for Russia to pretend that is has leverage. In the end Apple will not relent and Russia will either let the matter quietly die or risk become a grey/black market for Apple products. The Russians that would normally buy them are still quite capable and have the means of traveling to western Europe to buy them or arrange for them to be imported by a "friend." The amount of money Apple will lose will be negligible as they had a fairly decent installed base prior to having official representation in Russian. And this was before you could even buy unlocked iPhones. 

 

I did a quick search and it looks like any ban based on Apple not providing source code would jeopardize Russia's WTO member status.


Edited by Eric Swinson - 7/30/14 at 9:12am
post #24 of 150
Hey Russia, go fk yourself.
post #25 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post

This raises an interesting question for me: If the iOS source code was stolen by hackers and released to the public, how much damage (if any) would that do to iOS security?

It depends if there are any weaknesses that are undiscovered from looking at code. Good hackers don't need source code to find weaknesses, and the availability of source doesn't guarantee that weaknesses will be discovered faster (contrary to the claims from Open Source proponents, and well, the Russian government)--recall that OpenSSL had an exploitable bug that was undiscovered for three years despite the openness and wide use of this library.

Of course, many core OS X services from the UNIX layers are open source already (such as the Mach kernel).

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John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #26 of 150

Why? What does Russia and its people have to hide?

I'm happy for the Government to collect all my data, read my emails, read my text messages, track my phone and listen to my phone calls. Simply because I have nothing to hide.

post #27 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

**** you, Russia. Hey Snowden, look who you're in bed with: A country that shot down a civilian plane.

He scrubs his conscience clear every night before he goes to bed.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #28 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post
 

Samsung would like the source code too, please.

 

 

ROTFLOL!

 

Funniest thing I've seen on this site in a long time! hahahaha!

post #29 of 150

Utterly pointless too. How would they even know they are looking at the right source code?

post #30 of 150
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post #31 of 150

What are they going to do?

 

Get some rebels to fire missiles at Apple HQ?

 

Russia can FO. The ministry of communications and propaganda should lay off the vodka.

post #32 of 150

The Russian government (although a bunch of asshats) are able to read the source code for Android, it's Open Source, so no need for a dawn raid.

post #33 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

What are they going to do?

Get some rebels to fire missiles at Apple HQ?

Russia can FO. The ministry of communications and propaganda should lay off the vodka.

Ha! Tim should find out what brand they drink and send a case to Sammy, Google ...
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post #34 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by emcomments View Post
 

The Russian government (although a bunch of asshats) are able to read the source code for Android, it's Open Source, so no need for a dawn raid.

 

For the open source parts of android, yes. All the Google apps, device makers' enhancements and modifications remain closed and proprietary. 

post #35 of 150

Given recent events, they are WAY more trustworthy than the US government, by a long shot. 

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post #36 of 150

Ok Russia... here ya go: http://www.opensource.apple.com

 

Enjoy it, because thats about as much as you'll get! 

post #37 of 150

Translation : We (Russia) cannot hack into iOS, so what we need access  to see your source code so we can find its vulnerabilities so we can spy on our own citizens. The part they are interested in is iMessage which is encrypted. The question which remains unanswered is do they require the private key as well?

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post #38 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Swinson View Post
 

This is simply a retaliation to the sanctions the west has placed on Russia. Just like banning fruit and vegetables from Poland and arbitrarily banning products from other countries it is a way for Russia to pretend that is has leverage. In the end Apple will not relent and Russia will either let the matter quietly die or risk become a grey/black market for Apple products. The Russians that would normally buy them are still quite capable and have the means of traveling to western Europe to buy them or arrange for them to be imported by a "friend." The amount of money Apple will lose will be negligible as they had a fairly decent installed base prior to having official representation in Russian. And this was before you could even buy unlocked iPhones. 

 

I did a quick search and it looks like any ban based on Apple not providing source code would jeopardize Russia's WTO member status.

 

The US has lost countless cases before the WTO and nothing happens to them...WTO is the least of a country's concerns when it comes to respect of international law.

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post #39 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
 

In this case you should thank the NSA for opening this huge can of worms (bag of hurt). If IOS, OSX, all Windows, and Android were, say Chinese, or Korean, or even Russian, and a similar revelation as the NSA spying was revealed, how much would you trust the aforementioned systems to run the government, business and personal computers of the USA? Not much I'd wager and you'd probably feel the request to peek at the source code was a fair request. 

 

Its always interesting to turn the tables in the name of perspective. I'm not saying they will, or should cave, but perhaps that the request is not without merit and the burden needs to be on Apple et al's shoulders to prove their case. 

 

Yes, absolutely - too bad the McCarthyist idiots around here still think Russia is "communist" and the US are the "good", "moral high ground" guys. Hypocrisy and double standards just stink, everywhere.

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post #40 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

2) The real interest may be with being able to find ways to spy on everyone by making the task of finding security holes easier.

 

2) NSA does it for all of us already, so no need for Russia to ask.

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