Apple, Google Raise New Concerns By Yanking Russian App

FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 file photo, The app Smart Voting is displayed on an iPhone screen in Moscow, Russia. Big Tech companies that operate around the globe have long promised both to obey local laws and to protect civil rights while doing business. But when Apple and Google capitulated to Russian demands and removed Smart Voting, a political-opposition app from their local app stores, it raised worries that two of the world's most successful companies are more comfortable bowing to undemocratic edicts — and maintaining a steady flow of profits— than upholding their stated principles.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

(AP) — Apple’s and Google’s cooperation with the Russian government’s efforts to suppress an app opposed to the ruling regime is escalating concerns about whether Big Tech’s pursuit of ever-higher profits has trampled their commitment to protecting civil rights. The debate is being spurred by last week’s abrupt removal of an voting app organizing opposition to Russia President Vladimir Putin. Both Apple and Google expunged the Smart Voting app from their respective app stores in Russia  after being repeatedly warned that it was breaking that country’s laws. That galled supporters of free elections and raised worries other government leaders will resort to similar tactics.


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