Russian opposition leader slams Apple for acting as Putin "accomplice"

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 24
Imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny says Apple and Google acted as accomplices of Russian president Putin when they gave in to demands and removed a voting app ahead of the country's elections.

Alexei Navalny | Image Credit: Evgeny Feldman / Novaya Gazeta
Alexei Navalny | Image Credit: Evgeny Feldman / Novaya Gazeta


Both Apple and Google removed the app "Smart Voting" from their App Stores hours ahead of the Russian election, and did so at the insistence of the country's government.

Russia's Roskomnadzor (RKN) watchdog alleged that the app was being used to promote extremist activity of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). The app was devised by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, currently imprisoned, and he has now commented publicly on Twitter.

Thread.

(1/14) If something surprised me in the latest elections, it was not how Putin forged the results, but how obediently the almighty Big Tech turned into his accomplices.

-- Alexey Navalny (@navalny)


In a long series of tweets, Navalny accused Big Tech firms of capitulating.

"The giants Apple and Google have complied with the Kremlin's demands and removed our app from their stores," he wrote. "My beloved YouTube has deleted our video, and the Telegram messenger has blocked our bot."

"I know that most of those who work at Google, Apple, etc. are honest and good people," he continued. "I urge them not to put up with the cowardice of their bosses."

According to the New York Times, Russia's election saw the incumbent governing party retain a two-thirds majority in its lower house of Parliament.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Apple and Google obeying governments is not surprising me: they usually comply to local legislation. But Telegram also blocking a service does indeed surprise me, since they take pride in being independent…
    wonder what their rationale is…
    narwhalwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 40
    's not like they had a choice.
    mike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 40
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    They always have a choice… but they choose political and monetary profit over freedom of speech. 
    elijahgnarwhalOferK!llSwitchbyronl
  • Reply 4 of 40
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,815member
    I don't blame Apple for removing it, but I do blame them for creating an environment where they are the sole gatekeepers of app functionality, which enables this kind of censorship.  And then removing it.
    elijahgOferbyronl
  • Reply 5 of 40
    You risk getting blood on your hands when profit is your overriding criteria. I’m not proud of Apple.
    elijahgnarwhalOferbyronl
  • Reply 6 of 40
    factsonly said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    They always have a choice… but they choose political and monetary profit over freedom of speech. 
    Well, that political speech wouldn’t have lasted very long. If they refused to remove it, then they would have been forced out of the country.
    mike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 40
    factsonly said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    They always have a choice… but they choose political and monetary profit over freedom of speech. 

    "Free Speech" is an American concept.
    Apple has to obey the laws of the country it is operating in -- in this case Russia.  

    Just as it should not and does not invoke Russian law on Americans it should not and does not invoke American law on Russians.
    mike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 40
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    Of course they had a choice.
    OferAI_lias
  • Reply 9 of 40
    factsonly said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    They always have a choice… but they choose political and monetary profit over freedom of speech. 

    "Free Speech" is an American concept.
    Apple has to obey the laws of the country it is operating in -- in this case Russia.  

    Just as it should not and does not invoke Russian law on Americans it should not and does not invoke American law on Russians.
    Yup; that’s a fair statement.  But then they need to get off their pulpit about how much they care about human rights and data privacy.  Because they don’t.  They use them as marketing tools…and it’s duplicitous.  
    edited September 24 OferAI_liasbyronl
  • Reply 10 of 40
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,343member
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    Of course they had a choice.
    The choice was either they remove it or the government removes it.  The end result for Navalny would be the same in either case.
    mike1GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Alexei Navalny is right, of course, but it's ultimately up to Russian citizens to overthrow Putin, if they can. Apple, Google, the US, and NATO aren't going to take out a dictatorship superpower. Maybe after Vlad is dead, there will be actual elections in Russia.
    Alex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 40
    auxio said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    Of course they had a choice.
    The choice was either they remove it or the government removes it.  The end result for Navalny would be the same in either case.
    There choice was to stand for a principle or take the money. They chose the latter. They chose to be accomplices to a state that is an adversary (along with China) of the United States. It is probably the most basic simplest concept in ethics. If a person does something against their principles based on the rationalization that someone else will just do it instead they don’t understand the simplest concepts of ethics.
    muthuk_vanalingamOferAI_liasbyronlbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 13 of 40
    factsonly said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    They always have a choice… but they choose political and monetary profit over freedom of speech. 

    "Free Speech" is an American concept.
    Apple has to obey the laws of the country it is operating in -- in this case Russia.  

    Just as it should not and does not invoke Russian law on Americans it should not and does not invoke American law on Russians.
    Yup; that’s a fair statement.  But then they need to get off their pulpit about how much they care about human rights and data privacy.  Because they don’t.  They use them as marketing tools…and it’s duplicitous.  
    Can you show me where in Apple.com Apple makes such statement about human rights? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 40
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,770member
    auxio said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    Of course they had a choice.
    The choice was either they remove it or the government removes it.  The end result for Navalny would be the same in either case.
    There choice was to stand for a principle or take the money. They chose the latter. They chose to be accomplices to a state that is an adversary (along with China) of the United States. It is probably the most basic simplest concept in ethics. If a person does something against their principles based on the rationalization that someone else will just do it instead they don’t understand the simplest concepts of ethics.

    Oh, please. Crawl back into your shell with all the unicorns and rainbows. Multinational corporations, need to abide or at least tolerate the laws of each country in which they choose to do business. You are implying that Apple and Google and Coca Cola and Caterpillar and Exxon and Procter and Gamble should stop doing business in those countries because they don't necessarily agree with the ruling government.

    Last I checked, the US and every western country still maintains and embassy in Russia and recognizes Putin as the leader. May not be friends or allies, but it is the recognized leadership by the entire world.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 40
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,815member
    factsonly said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    They always have a choice… but they choose political and monetary profit over freedom of speech. 

    "Free Speech" is an American concept.
    Apple has to obey the laws of the country it is operating in -- in this case Russia.  

    Just as it should not and does not invoke Russian law on Americans it should not and does not invoke American law on Russians.
    Yup; that’s a fair statement.  But then they need to get off their pulpit about how much they care about human rights and data privacy.  Because they don’t.  They use them as marketing tools…and it’s duplicitous.  
    Can you show me where in Apple.com Apple makes such statement about human rights? 
    https://s2.q4cdn.com/470004039/files/doc_downloads/gov_docs/Apple-Human-Rights-Policy.pdf
  • Reply 16 of 40
    crowley said:
    factsonly said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    They always have a choice… but they choose political and monetary profit over freedom of speech. 

    "Free Speech" is an American concept.
    Apple has to obey the laws of the country it is operating in -- in this case Russia.  

    Just as it should not and does not invoke Russian law on Americans it should not and does not invoke American law on Russians.
    Yup; that’s a fair statement.  But then they need to get off their pulpit about how much they care about human rights and data privacy.  Because they don’t.  They use them as marketing tools…and it’s duplicitous.  
    Can you show me where in Apple.com Apple makes such statement about human rights? 
    https://s2.q4cdn.com/470004039/files/doc_downloads/gov_docs/Apple-Human-Rights-Policy.pdf
    The text said Apple will obey international human rights standard set by UN. Therefore, only UN has the authority of forcing Apple.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    factsonly said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    They always have a choice… but they choose political and monetary profit over freedom of speech. 

    "Free Speech" is an American concept.
    Apple has to obey the laws of the country it is operating in -- in this case Russia.  

    Just as it should not and does not invoke Russian law on Americans it should not and does not invoke American law on Russians.
    Yup; that’s a fair statement.  But then they need to get off their pulpit about how much they care about human rights and data privacy.  Because they don’t.  They use them as marketing tools…and it’s duplicitous.  

    They DO care about human rights.
    They also care about the law.

    Of the two, the law always comes first.
    byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 40
    narwhal said:
    Alexei Navalny is right, of course, but it's ultimately up to Russian citizens to overthrow Putin, if they can. Apple, Google, the US, and NATO aren't going to take out a dictatorship superpower. Maybe after Vlad is dead, there will be actual elections in Russia.

    Let it be a warning to all those trying to undermine American democracy (or thinking it could never happen here).   Hitler gained unstoppable power through democracy as well.
    Alex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 40
    auxio said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    Of course they had a choice.
    The choice was either they remove it or the government removes it.  The end result for Navalny would be the same in either case.
    There choice was to stand for a principle or take the money. They chose the latter. They chose to be accomplices to a state that is an adversary (along with China) of the United States. It is probably the most basic simplest concept in ethics. If a person does something against their principles based on the rationalization that someone else will just do it instead they don’t understand the simplest concepts of ethics.

    Apple chose the law.  
    And Apple is very far from being the only company doing business in both Russia & China.

    Personally, I'd rather us be doing business with them than fighting either a hot or a cold war.
    Doing business helps both.   Doing war hurts all.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 40
    factsonly said:
    DAalseth said:
    's not like they had a choice.
    They always have a choice… but they choose political and monetary profit over freedom of speech. 

    "Free Speech" is an American concept.
    Apple has to obey the laws of the country it is operating in -- in this case Russia.  

    Just as it should not and does not invoke Russian law on Americans it should not and does not invoke American law on Russians.
    I said nothing about invoking American law on Russians, all I said is that Apple is all about making a statement when it’s in their interest political or monetary interest. They want global equality but not at the cost of their profits. Truth. 
    byronlgatorguy
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