Public Services – Tri Cap Fri, 17 Sep 2021 19:34:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Public Services – Tri Cap 32 32 Apple and Google remove ‘Navalny’ voting app in Russia Fri, 17 Sep 2021 19:14:28 +0000

MOSCOW – Apple and Google have removed an app to coordinate the protest vote in this weekend’s Russian elections in the country on Friday, a blow to opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of the limits of Silicon Valley when it comes to resisting the crackdown on dissent around the world.

The decisions came after Russian authorities, who claim the app is illegal, threatened to sue local Apple and Google employees – a sharp escalation in the Kremlin’s campaign to curb the largely unsuccessful internet censored nationwide. A person familiar with Google’s decision said authorities had named specific people who would be prosecuted, prompting them to remove the app.

The person declined to be identified for fear of angering the Russian government. Google has over 100 employees nationwide.

Apple did not respond to phone calls, emails, or text messages asking for comment.

The app was created and promoted by allies of opposition leader Alexei A. Navalny, who hoped to use it to consolidate the protest vote in each of Russia’s 225 constituencies. He disappeared from both tech platforms by the time voting began in the three-day parliamentary elections, in which Mr Putin’s United Russia party – in a carefully managed staged system – holds a huge advantage.