Russia has put forward proposals that Apple and SAP (German software firm) grant the Russian government access to their source code.
In a developing conflict between the West and Russia over actions in Ukraine, Russia has demanded that two world leading technology firms hand over sensitive business secrets to ensure that Russia is being spied on.
The proposal is designed to ‘ensure the rights of consumer privacy’ and also safeguard state security interests. The idea came to light when Russian Communications Minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, met head of Apple in Russia, Peter Engrob Nielsen – alongside SAP’s Russian managing director, Vyacheslav Orekhov.
Russia has been on edge since further US and European sanctions were introduced this Tuesday. Economic sanctions are targetting large banks such as VTB and top Russian officials; in a spat that hasn’t been seen since the Cold War.
Russia believes that countries, such as the USA, might be using commercial products to spy on the Russian state. These fears weren’t calmed by the recent NSA-Angela Merkel spy claims.
For either of these companies, releasing their source code to anyone would be detrimental; especially releasing it to governments. You can bet that it wouldn’t stay secure for long, before a leak got out. It could potentially destroy certain parts of the company and advantage competitors.
Both SAP and Apple know the importance of guarding your crown jewels. To open them to the Russian government would be fatal.