Apple and Google forced to delete Russian opposition app ahead of election

An app created by Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been removed from the Apple and Google apps stores after they were threatened by the government.

While there seems to be little public comment on the matter from either of the US tech giants, a combination of media reporting and tweets from people close to him reveal Navalny has an app designed to facilitate tactical voting against Russian premier Vladimir Putin. There’s going to be a general election today, you see, and even after a couple od decades Vlad still likes the gig and doesn’t feel like getting voted out.

So, according to Reuters, the Russian state has been hassling Apple and Google about this app for a while, but to no avail. As is so often the way these days, Putin and co decided to abandon persuasion in favour of force and apparently threatened to prosecute the respective country managers if they didn’t do what they were told. Presumably not relishing life in a Russian prison they caved in and got rid of the Navalny app.

Ivan Zhadanov is the head of team Navalny with the man himself currently spending time in a corrective labour colony. He shared the reason Apple gave for booting the app.

To be fair to Apple and Google, it’s hard to see what else they can do if the app is declared illegal, even if they do have doubts over the due process involved in creating that law. This seems to just be the latest example of an authoritarian leader using force to co-opt big tech into their personal pollical agenda. And it’s not just the usual suspects, Western governments seem to be using antitrust as a bargaining chip to exert influence over tech companies so expect this to come to a country near you too.

  • TechXLR8

One comment

  1. Avatar wei 17/09/2021 @ 2:19 pm

    sideload iit on Android

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