From the AP’s “Navalny app removed from online stores as Russian polls open” posted Friday:
An app created by allies of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny disappeared from Apple and Google stores on Friday as polls opened across Russia for three days of voting in a parliamentary election.
Russian authorities are seeking to suppress the use of Smart Voting, a project designed by Navalny to promote candidates that are most likely to defeat those backed by the Kremlin. This weekend’s election is widely seen as an important part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his grip on power ahead of the 2024 presidential polls, in which control of parliament will be key.
Apple and Google have come under pressure in recent weeks, with Russian officials urging them to remove the app, which features Smart Voting, saying failure to do so will be interpreted as interference in the election and threatening them with fines…
Google was forced to remove the app because it faced legal demands by regulators and threats of criminal prosecution in Russia, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter who also said Russian police officers visited Google’s offices in Moscow on Monday to enforce a court order to block the app. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
My take: Apple is a company with principles. One of them, according to Tim Cook, is to obey the laws of the countries in which they do business. Even the totalitarian countries.