Tim Cook Defends Removal of Hong Kong Protest App in Email to Apple Employees

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Tim Cook wrote to Apple employees Thursday, defending the company’s decision to remove an app used by protestors in Hong Kong from the iOS App Store (via Guardian). He said some people had used HKMap.live to “to target individual officers for violence.”

Hong Kong

‘App in Violation of Hong Kong law’

In the email, Mr. Cook insisted the app broke local law. He said:

It is no secret that technology can be used for good or for ill. This case is no different. The app in question allowed for the crowdsourced reporting and mapping of police checkpoints, protest hotspots and other information. On its own, this information is benign. However, over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimise individuals and property where no police are present. This use put the app in violation of Hong Kong law.

A version of HKMap.live remains accessible via the web.

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Seems to be going well for Blizzard at least.