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Apple’s encryption stand: Doing the right thing for the wrong reason

Preston Gralla | Feb. 24, 2016
Apple wants the public to think it cares about our privacy. What it cares about is its market share, particularly in China.

Apple has continued to do the Chinese censors’ bidding. In 2013, Apple banned the OpenDoor app in China, which lets iOS users bypass the Great Firewall. That same year, Apple pulled the Free Weibo app from the App Store in China. The app allows people to read censored comments on China's popular microblogging platform, Sina Weibo.

In October 2015, Apple disabled its news app in China. The app can be downloaded only in the U.S., though it works in other countries — except in China, where it can’t retrieve news.

All this shows that Apple is fighting the U.S. Justice Department because it’s good business to do so, not because it stands for the rights of individuals against the power of governments. So yes, commend Apple for taking this stand against government intrusion. But don’t think for a minute the company is on your side for principled reasons. Its principle is to fatten its bottom line. This time around, that makes it fall on the side of privacy. But there’s no way of knowing where it might lead in the future.


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