In Russia, Apple and Google employees were strengthened by the state

At the beginning of this month, When the Kremlin told multiple large technology companies to suppress political opposition across the country election In Russia, their answer is clear: no.However, only two weeks later, Apple and Google deleted From their App Store Smart Voting app, opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his party are the main tools for consolidating votes for the Vladimir Putin regime.Then Telegram and YouTube owned by Google also Restricted Visit Navalny’s advice to opposition candidates shared on these platforms.Putin is of course ecstatic.

The sudden knee-jerk of the US technology platform has not only damaged the opposition’s ability to communicate with the Russian people. This also marks the dangerous effect of the Kremlin’s new policy: forcing foreign technology companies to place their employees on the ground, so that they can be coerced and threatened to accept the Kremlin’s bid. Although politicians and analysts around the world are discussing Internet censorship in technical terms, this incident is a powerful reminder that old-fashioned forces can decisively strengthen the state’s control over the Internet.

The Putin regime has long relied on brutality for oppression, including beating protesters and Clumsy Attempt to assassinate Navalny Go to jail Because he is still recovering from the poisoning.So it’s no surprise that after Navali went to prison Lots of Protests across the country that the Kremlin will try to control all possible election risks, including powerful American technology companies.

One of Putin’s biggest goals is Navalny’s smart voting project, which has successfully disseminated candidate suggestions to interested voters in the past few years in order to take parliamentary seats from Putin’s ruling party, the United Russia Party.Therefore, the absurdity of the Russian Internet regulator Require The US technology platform reviews smart voting.Russian mobile network providers can Blockage Russia has full access to Google Docs simply because Navalny’s team has published a document listing the challengers of the unified Russia. But when Apple and Google refused to delete the opposition’s apps, the regime went from code to muscle.

In July, Putin sign A law requiring foreign information technology companies operating in the Russian market to open offices in the country. The Kremlin will say that this is to ensure compliance with Russia’s national security laws, but this is actually to allow the corpse to bully on the spot. Not every platform has opened a store (Twitter is still a boycott), but Apple and Google have opened.So when they don’t comply with censorship requirements, the Kremlin send The armed men sat in the Google Moscow office for several hours.The Russian Parliament also Be called Representatives of Google and Apple office In a conversation on the Navalny app, they were condemned and threatened.government It is said that If the company does not delete the application, it will sue specific Google employees, and Apple does the same.

And, puff, the next morning, both companies shut down and deleted Smart Voting from their app stores.Apple further admitted Disable Russia’s private relay, a function Designed Ensure that when using Safari to browse the Internet, no entity can see the identity of the user and the content they are viewing at the same time. This undoubtedly enhances the (already powerful) Russian Federal Security Service’s ability to monitor citizens’ online traffic. YouTube, widely used by the opposition in Russia, and then Remove In the video, Navalny’s camp lists the names of the main opposition candidates, and Telegram blocked access to Navalny’s election services.

The collapse exposed the misleading nature of decades of “Internet freedom” speech in the United States push The belief that Western technology companies operating in authoritarian countries will lead to a democratic view.For example, during the Arab Spring, many American experts neglect this importance Local bloggers and civic organizations refer to these movements as the “Twitter Revolution.” A 2010 speech US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about the way authoritarian regimes use the Internet for their own benefit, but still reflects the prevailing view that more Western technology under the dictatorship will promote “freedom.” In the other opposite data, it is the actual presence of these companies in Russia that makes them vulnerable to Putin’s will.

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