As Apple’s court clash with Epic Games continues, campaigners in the U.S and China have reiterated their complaints against the App Store. They accused Apple of “security theater” and said the company was willing “to censor apps on behalf of authoritarian governments.”

App Store Decisions Might be “One of Life and Death” For Chinese Activists

Apple has long said that its insistence that software is bought via the App Store and it’s payment systems helps keep users safe. However, Benjamin Ismail, who works on Chinese organization GreatFire’s AppleCensorship.com project, said:

None of Apple’s attempts to convince us that they act fairly in a highly competitive environment can pass scrutiny. Apple’s behavior is authoritarian and one only needs to read the App Store review guidelines to see the company’s claims itself. There is no competition between Apple and other companies when it comes to the App Store. Apple owns the App Store, which is the only marketplace for iOS devices, and exercises its right to life and death over apps, sometimes to axe a competitor and others to please repressive regimes. In the latter cases, Apple’s right might literally become one of life and death when applied to Chinese activists, which is terrifying but first and foremost intolerable.

Epic Games vs Apple About Human Rights, Not Tech

Evan Greer, Deputy Director at U.S. organization Fight for the Future added to this criticism. She asserted that it comes down to being a human rights, not a tech, issue:

This issue has largely been portrayed as a spat between big companies: mobile giants like Apple and Google vs app giants like Epic and Spotify. But this issue is much bigger than that: it’s about whether the future of technology is open and accessible or locked down into walled gardens that benefit incumbents and elites. Apple’s stranglehold over what software can run on iPhones creates a choke point that governments have used to crack down on political dissent, target marginalized people like LGBTQ folks, and worse. App store monopolies aren’t just a competition issue, they’re a human rights issue.

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App store monopolies aren’t just a competition issue, they’re a human rights issue . So much hyperbole. If I looked, I would most likely find no mention of these rights in any document of the EU, USA or People’s Republic of China. Apple’s right might literally become one of life and death when applied to Chinese activists, which is terrifying but first and foremost intolerable. Google opted to pull out of China decades ago. Considering how much of Apple’s product is manufactured in China, if Benjamin Ismail is accurate, I don’t see Apple (or any US corporation thumbing its nose… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by khurt
AppleCensorship

Wrong. Articles 35 and 36 of China’s constitution protect freedom of speech, publication assembly, protest and religious freedoms. Article 40 protects right to privacy. By removing news apps, such as BitterWinter, a publication on religious freedom, apps related to TIbet and the Dalai Lama, VPNs services and many others, both the Chinese Government and Apple are violating China’s constitution. Chinese citizens would be better off without Apple’s devices in the country. And to say that they just have to stop using iOS is not relevant: here is why : https://applecensorship.com/human-rights-groups-based-in-the-us-and-china-issue-joint-statement-condemning-apples-app-store-monopoly/

geoduck

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.