Ivan Zhtanov, a key ally of the jailed dissident, tweeted a picture of an email confirming that Apple had banned the use of an apple. The email states that the processor, also known as Navalny, was removed because Russia referred to the Kremlin critic’s anti-corruption trust as “extremist”. This processor contains content that is considered “illegal” in the country.
The Navalny process includes recommendations for the opposition leader’s “smart vote” strategy, which urges Russians to tactically vote in favor of a candidate from the ruling United Russia party in the state Duma election. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he considered the voting strategy to be “provocative” and harmful to voters.
American technology companies have been under great pressure from the Russian government in recent months. Some have been fined for failing to remove content that authorities consider “extremist” or “undesirable.” Russian state media also reported earlier this week that city executives had visited Russia’s Google office.
Russia’s Internet monitoring company Roskomnadzor has demanded that Google and Apple remove the “Navalny” processor from their online stores. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement last Friday saying that the US ambassador to Russia had been “summoned” and that Russia “had undeniable evidence that US digital giants had violated Russian law.”
Millions of Russians are expected to go to the polls in three days, starting Friday, in the wake of last year’s unprecedented attack on democracy.
Navalny’s press secretary, Gir Yarmisch, tweeted that the decision by American technology companies was “a great disappointment” and “an act of political censorship” that “could not be justified.” Zdanov said Navalny’s team was considering filing a lawsuit against Apple and Google.
Someone familiar with Google’s decision told CNN that the company had blocked the processor Google Play Store due to legal “requests” from the Internet Controller of Russia. The man said Google had received both public statements and private warnings against its employees in Russia.
Russian officials have threatened to prosecute local Google employees in Russia, according to a source familiar with the company’s decision. Russian state-run media outlet Toss issued a direct warning on Thursday that criminal proceedings would be instituted for “deliberate” illegal activities and criminal inaction after the warning.
A person familiar with the company’s decision said it would block further downloads of the Google app, but users who have already downloaded should not be affected.
Peskov, The A Kremlin spokesman said the decision to remove the application was welcomed by both sites because the move was “legally necessary” in accordance with Russian law.
“That application is illegal in the territory of our country. Both sites are in need. And in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law, they made such a decision, most likely, but this question must be addressed to those services,” Peskov said.
“Communicator. Music aficionado. Certified bacon trailblazer. Travel advocate. Subtly charming social media fanatic.”