Apple approves Telegram update after Russian government demands app shutdown

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2018
Amidst a contentious battle with the Russian government over demands to pull Telegram from the App Store, Apple on Friday approved an updated version of the messaging app after seemingly blocking such changes for two months.

Telegram


Telegram CEO Pavel Durov in a post to his Twitter account on Friday publicly thanked Apple and CEO Tim Cook for issuing the update despite "recent setbacks."

A day earlier, Durov alleged Apple was actively blocking global updates after Russian authorities ordered the company to expunge Telegram from the App Store. Though Apple has not responded or acquiesced to the request, global Telegram updates have been stuck in the review process since April.

For Durov, the inaction on Apple's part signaled preemptive compliance with Russia, which banned the app from its territory at around the same time that the flow of updates stopped.

Without the ability to update its software, Telegram was unable to push out modifications that would make the app fully compliant with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation laws. Users running Apple's iOS 11.4, released this week, ran the risk of encountering problems with the app as it was not optimized for the latest operating system version.

Whether approval of the update represents resistance on Apple's part to comply with Russia's ban is unclear. The company has not commented on the Telegram debacle since the issue was made public in April.

Telegram's problems began when developers refused to provide Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, with encryption keys that would allow the spy agency to intercept communications sent through the service. In mid-April, Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor successfully won court approval to ban the app, though enacting the shutdown has proven more difficult than expected due to wide use of VPNs.

In an attempt to halt further distribution, Roskomnadzor requested both Apple and Google pull Telegram from their respective app stores. A second letter was sent to Apple earlier this month "demanding to stop the distribution of the Telegram Messenger app in the App Store, as well as sending its service push notifications to Russian users." The body is giving Apple one month to comply, but leveled a threat to cease all App Store distribution if demands were not met.

Apple lauds itself as a bastion of free speech and free expression, but operating in cloistered countries like Russia and China have put those claims to the test. In China, for example, Apple removed VPN apps, Western media outlets from its regional App Store, and recently completed a transition of iCloud accounts to local servers at the government's behest.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 451member
    So....Russia doesn't have enough people/revenue to significantly affect Apple's bottom line, but China does?

    Why else would Apple ignore the Russian authorities but not the Chinese Authorities?


    cgWerkstoysandmetallest skillkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 31
    Because the Chinese would make things difficult for Apple's manufacturing, silly.
    anton zuykovjony0hammeroftruthcornchipmike1
  • Reply 3 of 31
    If there’s any place in the world that needs Telegram it’s Russia.

    You know where it’s needed by where it’s banned...

    It’s good that Apple finally got off their @#$&.

    Freedom (of Press) is a cornerstone of Democracy... Russia isn’t a Democracy.
    patchythepiratecornchip
  • Reply 4 of 31
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 603member
    I think this is the update in other countries, not in Russia? Their CEO complained that Apple has blocked the update in all countries so it makes sense that this news is about other countries rather than Russia. Can’t see Apple doing anything against the host government. 
    edited June 2018 jony0
  • Reply 5 of 31
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,690member
    echosonic said:
    So....Russia doesn't have enough people/revenue to significantly affect Apple's bottom line, but China does?

    Why else would Apple ignore the Russian authorities but not the Chinese Authorities?
    This put Apple in a tricky decision, and I think that's what the Russians wanted. They wanted Apple to abide by their national request which would keep Telegram in violation of GDRP laws because they couldn't get their update authorized. I think Apple weighed everything then made the best decision possible. There's no way to verify it, but I can also see this playing out in China, had the same scenario occurred.
  • Reply 6 of 31
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,033member
    AppleInsider said:
    Apple lauds itself as a bastion of free speech and free expression ...
    They do? They have stood up for privacy, but I can't recall them making stands on free speech and expression... kind of the opposite if you think of certain controversial political and social issues, it seems to me.
    williamlondontallest skiljony0
  • Reply 7 of 31
    "Apple lauds itself as a bastion of free speech and free expression", um, no. Apple lauds itself as a bastion of privacy, but, it is far from supporting free speech. It refused to allow the Wikileaks app on it's store. It pulled an app that sent alerts whenever the USA dropped bombs overseas. It will squelch an app if it is contrary to Apple's business interests in a heartbeat.
    williamlondoncgWerkstallest skilseafoxcornchip
  • Reply 8 of 31
    ajlajl Posts: 98member
    echosonic said:
    So....Russia doesn't have enough people/revenue to significantly affect Apple's bottom line, but China does?

    Why else would Apple ignore the Russian authorities but not the Chinese Authorities?


    Maybe because... https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/080615/china-owns-us-debt-how-much.asp IMHO
    cgWerks
  • Reply 9 of 31
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 140member
    It pulled an app that sent alerts whenever the USA dropped bombs overseas.

    I haven't heard this before, what app was that and what particular app store rule did it violate? Do you have a link?
  • Reply 10 of 31
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 340member
    echosonic said:
    So....Russia doesn't have enough people/revenue to significantly affect Apple's bottom line, but China does?

    Why else would Apple ignore the Russian authorities but not the Chinese Authorities?


    If you know enough, you will know China makes it into law that all communication companies, internet, phone, tv, radio, newspaper MUST comply to what the commy wants, even it is the law said otherwise, eg. China has freedom of speech. Commy is the law of the land, period.

    Russian is not there yet. 
  • Reply 11 of 31
    If there’s any place in the world that needs Telegram it’s Russia.

    You know where it’s needed by where it’s banned...

    It’s good that Apple finally got off their @#$&.

    Freedom (of Press) is a cornerstone of Democracy... Russia isn’t a Democracy.
    Freedom of the Press is indeed important (something which countries like Russia fail miserably), too bad the US is ignoring the constitution (at the very least, the spirit of it) by continuing to drop y/y in the Press Freedom Index. In 2018 it's 45th (of 180), down from 43rd position in 2017. Previous communist states and dictatorships rank higher in the index than the US and things don't look to improve any time soon, sadly.
    dewmecgWerkscornchip
  • Reply 12 of 31
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,623member
    echosonic said:
    So....Russia doesn't have enough people/revenue to significantly affect Apple's bottom line, but China does?

    Why else would Apple ignore the Russian authorities but not the Chinese Authorities?


    Thats what Russia wants you to think.. Eh, Boris? these bourgeois peasants are soooo easy to play!  Bwaahahahahhahha! 
  • Reply 13 of 31
    fox.kenjifox.kenji Posts: 11member
    Because the Chinese would make things difficult for Apple's manufacturing, silly.
    Apple should not be made complicit in China’s anti-democratic, totalitarian, oppressive rule on its people. 

    Apple should definitely to continue transitioning manufacturing out of China. If I remember right, Apple is building an iPhone factory for the Indian market. Well, might as well move the rest of manufacturing out of China too. (Yes, I know that even if all Apple manufacturing was out of China Apple still needs to sell in the Chinese market. But it would give Apple a better bargaining power.)

    Aside India there are other governments friendly to democracy, and that have a high tech manufacturing base, like Taiwan, Thailand, Korea (hmm?), —and if the labor costs have come down— Japan would be the best place. And.... Tim Cook keeps talking about manufacturing in America, so why not?!
    tallest skil
  • Reply 14 of 31
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,291member
    matrix077 said:
    I think this is the update in other countries, not in Russia? Their CEO complained that Apple has blocked the update in all countries so it makes sense that this news is about other countries rather than Russia. Can’t see Apple doing anything against the host government. 
     I believe you're absolutely correct sir. This update did not include Russia as I'm reading it.
    edited June 2018
  • Reply 15 of 31
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,690member
    matrix077 said:
    I think this is the update in other countries, not in Russia? Their CEO complained that Apple has blocked the update in all countries so it makes sense that this news is about other countries rather than Russia. Can’t see Apple doing anything against the host government. 
    Interesting. Why wouldn’t AI lead with that point?
  • Reply 16 of 31
    IreneW said:
    It pulled an app that sent alerts whenever the USA dropped bombs overseas.

    I haven't heard this before, what app was that and what particular app store rule did it violate? Do you have a link?
    Here you go:

    https://9to5mac.com/2017/03/28/apple-drone-striking-app-removal/

    cgWerkscornchip
  • Reply 17 of 31
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Because the Chinese would make things difficult for Apple's manufacturing, silly.
    India and Brazil still exist. All the more reason to cut China out of all manufacturing (it’s already cheaper to do it in Mexico) before the middle of next decade.
    You know where it’s needed by where it’s banned...
    Free speech, all of Europe: check.
    Gun ownership, most of the world: check.
    Freedom (of Press) is a cornerstone of Democracy
    Not really, no. Democracy explicitly allows for–and supports–the censorship of the press.
    Russia isn’t a Democracy.
    Good. They shouldn’t be. They know what happens when democracy is allowed.

    cgWerkscornchip
  • Reply 18 of 31
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,033member
    tallest skil said:
    Not really, no. Democracy explicitly allows for–and supports–the censorship of the press.
    I'm always amazed people don't understand the basics of where freedoms come from... and it ain't democracy.
    tallest skilcornchip
  • Reply 19 of 31
    longfanglongfang Posts: 106member
    Because the Chinese would make things difficult for Apple's manufacturing, silly.
    India and Brazil still exist. All the more reason to cut China out of all manufacturing (it’s already cheaper to do it in Mexico) before the middle of next decade.
    You know where it’s needed by where it’s banned...
    Free speech, all of Europe: check.
    Gun ownership, most of the world: check.
    Freedom (of Press) is a cornerstone of Democracy
    Not really, no. Democracy explicitly allows for–and supports–the censorship of the press.
    Russia isn’t a Democracy.
    Good. They shouldn’t be. They know what happens when democracy is allowed.

    Yes but to paraphrase Richard Hammond a Mexican manufactured iPhone would want to take naps in the afternoon. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 31
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    longfang said:
    Yes but to paraphrase Richard Hammond a Mexican manufactured iPhone would want to take naps in the afternoon. 
    Honestly, that’s exactly what society needs.

    cgWerks
Sign In or Register to comment.