In an example of situational ethics, if not outright hypocrisy, Apple appears to be helping China censor Internet content.
Apparently caving to pressure from the communist government there, it has removed Virtual Private Network (VPN) software apps from its app store in China. The regime now requires VPN developers to obtain a license from the government pursuant to a cyber-security law enacted in January. Approximately 60 VPN apps abruptly disappeared from the Apple platform last week.
VPNs “give users access to the unfiltered internet in China,” the New York Times noted.
Specifically, VPNs allow users to conceal their actual IP address during web browsing, a technique which takes on greater significance for those living under a communist dictatorship, who seek to bypass the access-restricting “Great Firewall” of China with anonymous surfing.
While many would agree Apple makes products that in various ways have improved the quality of life across the world, the company is apparently elevating profits over principles by caving in to Beijing’s demands. China is second only to the U.S. in terms of Apple’s market share, and provides about 20 to 25 percent of the company’s overall revenue.
The New York Times separately observed in an earlier article:
Whatever Apple may have done in private to fight the Chinese internet law, the company has not offered a peep of criticism in public. … While American tech companies frequently criticize decisions by American officials, they appear loath to do so in China.
In similar fashion, Facebook initially banned a pro-democracy commemoration of the June 1989 student massacre in Tiananmen Square.
In an apparent contradiction of their foreign policy, Apple seems quick to challenge U.S. authorities on various fronts.
You may recall that Apple refused to help the FBI unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone last year, and may have had legitimate reasons for its lack of cooperation.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has also criticized the Trump administration for withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement and for enforcing a temporary travel ban against seven terror-prone countries.
Several years ago, while simultaneously doing business with numerous countries in the Middle East and Africa with dismal human rights records, particularly as it relates to gay citizens, Apple denounced Indiana’s religious freedom law. Apple also condemned North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill.
Natural News founder Mike Adams has previously highlighted the inherent contradictions in Apple’s policies:
Tim Cook … has condemned Indiana’s religious freedom law as an attack on gays, yet his own company buys its products from slave labor camps in China and then sells those products to nations that execute gays.
To date, Apple has also declined to include the app for Twitter alternative Gab in its app store. Unlike Twitter, Gab does not censor or shadow-ban users or content for political reasons. (Related: Read more about attempts to suppress free speech at Censorship.news.)
It’s no secret that the Silicon Valley oligarchy leans Far Left, and worked hard to get Hillary Clinton elected as the U.S. president. With all its lofty talk of diversity and inclusion, however, the Left is increasingly hostile to freedom of speech and comfortable with authoritarian control – with Apple’s decision to comply with Chinese Internet regulators a perfect example of this.
The Times concluded:
Apple’s quiet capitulation to tightening censorship in one of its largest markets is still a dangerous precedent.
Russian President Vladimir Putin just signed a law that restricts VPNs. The ban takes effect November 1.