Apple's iCloud Private Relay feature not available in Belarus, China, Uganda, other countr...

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Apple's upcoming iCloud Private Relay feature, which aims to conceal user web browsing habits, will be unavailable in a number of countries infamous for snooping on citizens and enacting harsh online censorship laws.

iCloud


Introduced on Monday as a forthcoming iCloud+ feature, iCloud Private Relay incorporates internet relays to allow users to securely browse the web on Safari.

As noted by Reuters, however, Apple's new service will not be available in Belarus, China, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda and the Philippines due to local regulations.

As detailed by Apple, iCloud Private Relay encrypts traffic leaving a device then routes requests through two relays "so that no one -- including Apple -- can use" or access a device's IP address, location, and browsing activity. More specifically, web traffic is first sent to an Apple server and stripped of its IP address. It then travels to a second server maintained by a third-party operator, where a temporary IP address is assigned before being sent on to a final destination.

The feature is designed to obscure online browsing habits from internet service providers, ad servers and other entities looking to create profiles based on gathered user information. Apple claims even it cannot connect the dots between users and the visited websites.

Apple said it will disclose third-party server partners at a later date.

News of iCloud Private Relay's international restrictions comes amid allegations from privacy advocates that claim Apple placates dictatorial governments in return for access to their burgeoning retail markets. China, which has in the past force the tech giant to cow to its cybersecurity laws, is often cited as an example of Apple's supposed double-talk on consumer privacy.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    The question is how does this work? Does this mean that I as a non-resident of these unavailable countries will be able to use this feature when I’m in those countries; or does it mean that I as a resident of these countries won’t be able to use these features anywhere in the world?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Apple; where company values stop when money is at play 
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 37
    XedXed Posts: 961member
    The question is how does this work? Does this mean that I as a non-resident of these unavailable countries will be able to use this feature when I’m in those countries; or does it mean that I as a resident of these countries won’t be able to use these features anywhere in the world?
    I'd guess the former, but it would be good to get clarification by the time this goes live in October.
    edited June 7 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 37
    Xed said:
    The question is how does this work? Does this mean that I as a non-resident of these unavailable countries will be able to use this feature when I’m in those countries; or does it mean that I as a resident of these countries won’t be able to use these features anywhere in the world?
    I'd guess the former, but it would be good to get clarification by the time this goes live in October.
    Let’s hope it is not both. 
    The other big question is how long Hong Kong will all it before extending the Great FireWall around them too. 
  • Reply 5 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,382member
    Apple; where company values stop when money is at play 
    As Gruber puts it — are Apple customers better served by simply not selling iPhones in these countries? In that scenario they have to use Android or other. Are they better off then? Or are they better off w/ a subset of iOS features?
    MplsPwilliamlondonmike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 37
    danyakdanyak Posts: 30member
    How shocking that a private American corporation should be required to comply with the laws of another - OMG - sovereign nation.  Who needs that - our corporations and our government should of course dictate how every other country should handle their internal affairs. We know best for everyone!
    heli0swilliamlondondewmemike1StrangeDaysMplsPAlexMorellotokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 37
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,832member
    Does this mean that I as a non-resident of these unavailable countries will be able to use this feature when I’m in those countries; or does it mean that I as a resident of these countries won’t be able to use these features anywhere in the world?
    No and probably. China wouldn’t allow nonresidents to subvert their system in China. When in China, do as the Chinese. And even outside China, the software might not let China Apple IDs use the VPN.
    edited June 8 AlexMorellowatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 37
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 534member
    Sounds like you talk TLS or IPSec to the Apple server which acts as a proxy. You then talk client-anonymous TLS or IPSec through that to the third-party server, where you make your request.

    Apple can tell who you are, but not where you’re going. The third-party server can tell where you’re going, but not who you are.

    I still want more technical details, but this is a very promising start.
    AlexMorellowatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 37
    heli0sheli0s Posts: 41member
    “Due to local regulations” is short for “countries run by authoritarians” 
    StrangeDaysAlexMorellowatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 37
    heli0sheli0s Posts: 41member
    danyak said:
    How shocking that a private American corporation should be required to comply with the laws of another - OMG - sovereign nation.  Who needs that - our corporations and our government should of course dictate how every other country should handle their internal affairs. We know best for everyone!
    Correct- we forget that American companies operate in non-US jurisdictions too and so local laws apply. It’s massively cringeworthy to have Apple promote privacy in every keynote and at the same time bend over backwards to appease the CCP- but China is a huge market and it has its rules. And as long as the rules China sets for companies don’t leave its borders, I’m fine with it. So far, Apple seems to have avoided the controversies of the NBA and Hollywood movies. Let hope it continues. 
    muthuk_vanalingamAlexMorellowatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 37
    repressthisrepressthis Posts: 488member
    Is this similar to VPN?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 37
    XedXed Posts: 961member
    Is this similar to VPN?
    I'm sure there will be chuckleheads claiming that's not really a VPN, but it is. it's a welcome feature, too, since it's not easy to get a large group of the public to use a VPN on public WiFi networks. This should also have the benefit of not being blocked by media companies when streaming content, which is a problem I've had since they started getting serious about online TV shows and movies.
    williamlondonAlexMorellowatto_cobrarepressthis
  • Reply 13 of 37
    danyak said:
    How shocking that a private American corporation should be required to comply with the laws of another - OMG - sovereign nation.  Who needs that - our corporations and our government should of course dictate how every other country should handle their internal affairs. We know best for everyone!
    Craig’s first words when talking Privacy yesterday were, verbatim: “At Apple, we believe Privacy is a fundamental human right.”  

    You can’t make a statement like that and then turn around and support a communist regime’s ability to inject itself into consumer’s personal information.  If you truly believed Privacy was a “fundamental human right,” you would fight at every turn to preserve it.  

    Given the way Apple behaves, they should just say, “We believe privacy is important.”  Words matter…especially when you describe your personal values.
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 37
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,683member
    Apple; where company values stop when money is at play 
    As Danyak pointed out, and something that should be obvious to most, sovereign nations get to decide the laws of their land and businesses from other countries must comply with the host country’s laws (and US laws) if they want to sell products in those countries. Would you be totally cool with the Chinese, Russians, Saudi Arabians, Canadians, etc., having free reign to decide what American consumers should and should not be allowed to purchase in the USA? Do you think that a publicly owned company like Apple should be used as tools for foreign diplomacy and a vehicle for advancing US ideologies in foreign countries? I’d bet that those things, i.e., serving as a proxy for the US State Department, are not part of Apple’s vision statement or Tim Cook’s marching orders.

    Putting the craparoni aside, this new Apple service sure sounds like a VPN to me. When I worked in China I had access to the full internet because all of my connections were through a VPN or through a campus-level leased connection whose servers must have legally circumvented the Great Firewall of China. These things get decided ahead of time as part of the agreements between businesses and the host country. All of our employees, Chinese citizens included, had access to the full internet when connecting on-campus.

    I’d expect Apple’s service to be based on the local connectivity infrastructure, not individual Apple IDs, which means that non-local visitors connecting through local (non VPN) connections will probably be blocked from using Apple’s private relay service when physically present in countries that prohibit its use. If using a VPN from within one of the blocked countries, I’d expect that Apple’s primary relay service would work within the VPN connection.

    I’m very much looking forward to the availability of this new service to help beat back at least one aspect of the fingerprinting that’s being done by the personal data miners, many of whom are firmly entrenched in the good old red, white, and blue US-of-A.
    edited June 8 mike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 37
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,670member
    danyak said:
    How shocking that a private American corporation should be required to comply with the laws of another - OMG - sovereign nation.  Who needs that - our corporations and our government should of course dictate how every other country should handle their internal affairs. We know best for everyone!
    Craig’s first words when talking Privacy yesterday were, verbatim: “At Apple, we believe Privacy is a fundamental human right.”  

    You can’t make a statement like that and then turn around and support a communist regime’s ability to inject itself into consumer’s personal information.  If you truly believed Privacy was a “fundamental human right,” you would fight at every turn to preserve it.  

    Given the way Apple behaves, they should just say, “We believe privacy is important.”  Words matter…especially when you describe your personal values.
    Oh, please. Simplistic and naive. So, Apple and every other American company should close up shop in every country or jurisdiction that has policies or a law that Apple or the US might not agree with? Heck, there are laws all over the US that I do not agree with, but if I am in the city or state, I obey them. As a shareholder and customer, do I want Apple to forgo the revenue from China, because Chinese citizens can't access a feature or three? Do I want them to stop selling in Russia because they are forced to include certain apps by default. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or worse, should Apple not make features available to the rest of the world because the Chinese can't have them?!

    Declaring a privacy a fundamental human right and needing to compromise in certain jurisdictions are not mutually exclusive things. How do you know if Apple is working to  "fight at every turn" to deliver the best experience possible in every area of the world?

    Yes. I want Apple selling as many iPhones in China as possible, even with limitations.
    I want Caterpillar exporting as much heavy equipment as possible.
    I want 7-11 to be profitable even if they can't sell beer in certain countries because of local restrictions.



    edited June 8 tokyojimumartinxyzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,382member
    danyak said:
    How shocking that a private American corporation should be required to comply with the laws of another - OMG - sovereign nation.  Who needs that - our corporations and our government should of course dictate how every other country should handle their internal affairs. We know best for everyone!
    Craig’s first words when talking Privacy yesterday were, verbatim: “At Apple, we believe Privacy is a fundamental human right.”  

    You can’t make a statement like that and then turn around and support a communist regime’s ability to inject itself into consumer’s personal information.  If you truly believed Privacy was a “fundamental human right,” you would fight at every turn to preserve it.  

    Given the way Apple behaves, they should just say, “We believe privacy is important.”  Words matter…especially when you describe your personal values.
    So you’re saying customers in China and the like are better off not having an iPhone entirely, because they can’t have all the features? They’re better off with an android knockoff that lacks other iPhone features and apps? How does that benefit these customers looking for a good smart phone?

    I dispute this. I’d rather have my iPhone today, than not have it without this upcoming feature. Wouldn’t you?
    edited June 8 tokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 37
    ednlednl Posts: 61member
    Wow, nice list of countries to align yourself with, South Africa. Also thought better of Colombia.
    AlexMorellowatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 37
    mike1 said:
    danyak said:
    How shocking that a private American corporation should be required to comply with the laws of another - OMG - sovereign nation.  Who needs that - our corporations and our government should of course dictate how every other country should handle their internal affairs. We know best for everyone!
    Craig’s first words when talking Privacy yesterday were, verbatim: “At Apple, we believe Privacy is a fundamental human right.”  

    You can’t make a statement like that and then turn around and support a communist regime’s ability to inject itself into consumer’s personal information.  If you truly believed Privacy was a “fundamental human right,” you would fight at every turn to preserve it.  

    Given the way Apple behaves, they should just say, “We believe privacy is important.”  Words matter…especially when you describe your personal values.
    Oh, please. Simplistic and naive. So, Apple and every other American company should close up shop in every country or jurisdiction that has policies or a law that Apple or the US might not agree with? Heck, there are laws all over the US that I do not agree with, but if I am in the city or state, I obey them. As a shareholder and customer, do I want Apple to forgo the revenue from China, because Chinese citizens can't access a feature or three? Do I want them to stop selling in Russia because they are forced to include certain apps by default. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or worse, should Apple not make features available to the rest of the world because the Chinese can't have them?!

    Declaring a privacy a fundamental human right and needing to compromise in certain jurisdictions are not mutually exclusive things. How do you know if Apple is working to  "fight at every turn" to deliver the best experience possible in every area of the world?

    Yes. I want Apple selling as many iPhones in China as possible, even with limitations.
    I want Caterpillar exporting as much heavy equipment as possible.
    I want 7-11 to be profitable even if they can't sell beer in certain countries because of local restrictions.



    They should stop pontificating how moral and ethical of a company they are.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    mike1 said:
    danyak said:
    How shocking that a private American corporation should be required to comply with the laws of another - OMG - sovereign nation.  Who needs that - our corporations and our government should of course dictate how every other country should handle their internal affairs. We know best for everyone!
    Craig’s first words when talking Privacy yesterday were, verbatim: “At Apple, we believe Privacy is a fundamental human right.”  

    You can’t make a statement like that and then turn around and support a communist regime’s ability to inject itself into consumer’s personal information.  If you truly believed Privacy was a “fundamental human right,” you would fight at every turn to preserve it.  

    Given the way Apple behaves, they should just say, “We believe privacy is important.”  Words matter…especially when you describe your personal values.
    Oh, please. Simplistic and naive. So, Apple and every other American company should close up shop in every country or jurisdiction that has policies or a law that Apple or the US might not agree with? Heck, there are laws all over the US that I do not agree with, but if I am in the city or state, I obey them. As a shareholder and customer, do I want Apple to forgo the revenue from China, because Chinese citizens can't access a feature or three? Do I want them to stop selling in Russia because they are forced to include certain apps by default. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or worse, should Apple not make features available to the rest of the world because the Chinese can't have them?!

    Declaring a privacy a fundamental human right and needing to compromise in certain jurisdictions are not mutually exclusive things. How do you know if Apple is working to  "fight at every turn" to deliver the best experience possible in every area of the world?

    Yes. I want Apple selling as many iPhones in China as possible, even with limitations.
    I want Caterpillar exporting as much heavy equipment as possible.
    I want 7-11 to be profitable even if they can't sell beer in certain countries because of local restrictions.



    danyak said:
    How shocking that a private American corporation should be required to comply with the laws of another - OMG - sovereign nation.  Who needs that - our corporations and our government should of course dictate how every other country should handle their internal affairs. We know best for everyone!
    Craig’s first words when talking Privacy yesterday were, verbatim: “At Apple, we believe Privacy is a fundamental human right.”  

    You can’t make a statement like that and then turn around and support a communist regime’s ability to inject itself into consumer’s personal information.  If you truly believed Privacy was a “fundamental human right,” you would fight at every turn to preserve it.  

    Given the way Apple behaves, they should just say, “We believe privacy is important.”  Words matter…especially when you describe your personal values.
    So you’re saying customers in China and the like are better off not having an iPhone entirely, because they can’t have all the features? They’re better off with an android knockoff that lacks other iPhone features and apps? How does that benefit these customers looking for a good smart phone?

    I dispute this. I’d rather have my iPhone today, than not have it without this upcoming feature. Wouldn’t you?
    He didn't say that Apple should STOP selling iPhones in those countries, did he??? He is only expecting Apple to "choose their words" better. Apple should choose the words which match with their "action". They are way over the top while choosing the words to describe their "beliefs". But when it comes to "action", the reality is different. I completely agree with him that they have to tone down their words.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 20 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,382member
    mike1 said:
    danyak said:
    How shocking that a private American corporation should be required to comply with the laws of another - OMG - sovereign nation.  Who needs that - our corporations and our government should of course dictate how every other country should handle their internal affairs. We know best for everyone!
    Craig’s first words when talking Privacy yesterday were, verbatim: “At Apple, we believe Privacy is a fundamental human right.”  

    You can’t make a statement like that and then turn around and support a communist regime’s ability to inject itself into consumer’s personal information.  If you truly believed Privacy was a “fundamental human right,” you would fight at every turn to preserve it.  

    Given the way Apple behaves, they should just say, “We believe privacy is important.”  Words matter…especially when you describe your personal values.
    Oh, please. Simplistic and naive. So, Apple and every other American company should close up shop in every country or jurisdiction that has policies or a law that Apple or the US might not agree with? Heck, there are laws all over the US that I do not agree with, but if I am in the city or state, I obey them. As a shareholder and customer, do I want Apple to forgo the revenue from China, because Chinese citizens can't access a feature or three? Do I want them to stop selling in Russia because they are forced to include certain apps by default. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or worse, should Apple not make features available to the rest of the world because the Chinese can't have them?!

    Declaring a privacy a fundamental human right and needing to compromise in certain jurisdictions are not mutually exclusive things. How do you know if Apple is working to  "fight at every turn" to deliver the best experience possible in every area of the world?

    Yes. I want Apple selling as many iPhones in China as possible, even with limitations.
    I want Caterpillar exporting as much heavy equipment as possible.
    I want 7-11 to be profitable even if they can't sell beer in certain countries because of local restrictions.
    They should stop pontificating how moral and ethical of a company they are.
    Nonsense. Sounds like you have a problem with them speaking up for gay rights and privacy here in the US. But they’re based here, and can affect policy here. Of course they should stand up for equal civil rights and privacy. 

    You cannot affect the world in China, so should you stop voting in the US? Stop writing your legislatures? Stop advertising what’s important to you and your customers? No, of course not, that’d be stupid. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
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