Apple: Don't Help China Arrest Activists. Re-Allow VPNs Now!
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Last month Apple made an announcement that they were removing Virtual Private Network (VPN) apps from their App store in China. This was an open betrayal of internet freedom and access to information.
VPNs help internet surfers by providing them with a layer of anonymity, especially when browsing politically sensitive content online. By removing them from its China App Store, Apple has made it easier for China to jail people for seeking information! Apple has turned its back on freedom to appease the dictatorship in China. And its kowtowing to Beijing literally puts scores of Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Chinese at risk of imprisonment.
The internet has always been a dangerous place for Tibetans. Just five months ago, a Tibetan youth named Gedhun was left in critical condition after being arrested and severely beaten by Chinese authorities in Sershul, in eastern Tibet. He had been accused of posting pictures of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan national flag online. Apple has made the internet even more dangerous for Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Chinese netizens.
CEO Tim Cook should know that by removing VPNs from the App Store in China, he is making it easier for China to find, arrest and punish people like Gedhun.
Apple must allow VPNs back in the App Store and stop acting as an accessory to censorship. If it cannot help make the internet more free, it certainly should not make it less free and more dangerous.
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