Apple provides Russian iPhone users with state-approved apps
Apple provides Russian iPhone users with state-approved apps

Apple last month agreed to require Russian users to install certain apps for the first time when activating iPhones or other devices before the new law comes into effect.

Despite the struggle for civil liberties at home, Apple was forced to obey the orders of authoritarian foreign governments.

This is a clear concession from the company, which generally maintains strict control over the settings of its devices.

In addition, Apple has in the past been willing to make explicit changes to comply with Russian national laws, including changes to the map to represent Crimea as a Russian territory.

The statement said: To fulfill Russia's legal requirements, please continue to view the apps available for download before continuing to view a list of dozens of apps.

The list of government approved services includes local applications such as, MIR payment system, VKontakte social network, Odnoklassniki antivirus software, and Kaspersky Lab.

With the law going into effect, Russians used social media to show iPhone users what the law really means.

As part of the iOS setup process, Russians now have an extra step to direct them to the app store's recommended software list.

These applications include the following services: Yandex.Browser and Yandex.Maps, public service applications of the Russian Federation. A "Get" icon appears next to each app, giving users a shortcut to install it.

As reported by local media, iPhone users do not need to download apps to use their phones. However, there is no way to cancel the subscriptions.

On the other hand, Android devices are reported to come with pre-installed software, and Apple previously mentioned that it will only display recommended apps that meet the guidelines for review on the App Store.

Critics of the law say it could be used as a surveillance tool. The law was originally passed in 2019 and applies to all devices sold in Russia, including personal computers and smart televisions.

According to Reuters, the law is part of a larger effort by Moscow to reduce dependence on foreign companies and gain more control over the Internet.

Russia has already imposed sanctions on US companies that misused their strict internet rules.

After Twitter recently slowed down not wanting to remove illegal content, the government threatened to ban it altogether if it didn't meet the conditions.

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