Bipartisan Letter to Apple: Why Did you Delete VPN Apps in China?

By NTK Staff | 10.19.2017 @2:55pm
Bipartisan Letter to Apple: Why Did you Delete VPN Apps in China?

Sens. Ted Cruz and Patrick Leahy teamed up to demand answers from Cook, who ironically received a free speech award earlier this year.

In a letter sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are openly questioning Apple’s decision to appease the Chinese government by shutting down virtual private networks (VPNs), the avenue by which Chinese citizens can access the uncensored internet.

The Hill reports:

In a letter that was released by the senators on Thursday, Cruz and Leahy criticized Apple for going along with China’s internet regulations.

“If these reports are true, we are concerned that Apple may be enabling the Chinese government’s censorship and surveillance of the Internet,” the senators wrote.

NTK Network covered Apple’s decision in July, noting the irony behind Cook’s public criticism of President Trump and the quiet deletion of these VPN apps to appease China’s anti-free speech policies.

The free speech issue was not lost on Cruz and Leahy. Cook received a free speech award earlier this year in which he said, “At Apple we are not just enabling others to speak up, we are doing so ourselves.”

But given Apple’s decision to side with the Chinese government on this free speech issue, Cruz and Leahy inquired about Apple’s efforts to oppose this decision.

“The threat that the Great Firewall poses to the freedom of the people of China is similar to the threat that the Berlin Wall imposed on the people of East Berlin for twenty-eight years,” they wrote.

“As long as the Great Firewall operates and is enabled by American technology companies, Internet freedom in China will remain at risk.”

Time will tell if Cook decides to respond.

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