Tue. Oct 26th, 2021
ProtonVPN Founder Says Apple Is Standing ‘in the Way of Human Rights’ by Blocking App Updates

Apple’s trouble with app maker only seems to be mounting. The Cupertino company has taken the flak for high App Store fees as regulators across many regions have launched an investigation. Now the founder of Proton technologies, Andy Yen, has written an open letter to Apple. Proton Technologies is the company behind ProtonVPN iOS and Proton Mail.

In his letter, Andy Yen has accused Apple of standing “in the way of human rights.” Apple has not approved a ProtonVPN iOS app update amidst the political unrest in Myanmar. He also adds that every corporation is responsible for protecting fundamental human rights and accuses Apple of “not sharing this philosophy.”

Proton has long been a defender of freedom and democracy around the world. Protecting these fundamental human rights was one of the main reasons we founded ProtonMail back in 2014. From Hong Kong to Belarus, activists, protesters, journalists, and citizens of the world have turned to our services to securely and privately communicate, express themselves, and overcome internet blocks.

The founder subtly accuses Apple of siding with the government and not ensuring that whistleblowers are protected. Myanmar is currently in the midst of turmoil. The military has carried a coup and declared a year-long emergency. Furthermore, the army has also captured top leaders. Moreover, Myanmar army wrongfully killed 250 peaceful protesters and detained others. That’s not all; the military has forced telecom companies to shut down the internet and block social media access.

ProtonVPN witnessed a 250X spike for new users and is blocked. Interestingly, Apple stopped the VPN app update after the UN suggested Myanmar citizens use ProtonMail and Signal. Apple rejected a crucial VPN update that offered better security features.

Apple’s Response

Apple responded that the app was rejected because it flouted local laws. The App Store guideline 5.4 says VPN apps should not violate local laws. Lastly, Andy Accused Apple of challenging local governments only when it is in the company’s interest.
[via ProtonVPN]

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