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US Senator Marco Rubio wrote a letter criticizing Apple and Google for “complying with Moscow’s demands” and suppressing the application of an opposition leader in Russia.
The Russian government has requested the removal of the app, intended to promote opposition candidates, since early 2021. In September, Apple and Google complied with the demands, angering the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who helped create the app. .
Congressman Senator Rubio from the Republic of Florida blasted the decision in a letter sent to the two companies on Friday, according to Washington Examiner.
“By complying with Moscow’s request, Google and Apple have made themselves complicit in the censorship of an oppressive and authoritarian regime,” Rubio wrote. “You have set a worrying precedent for both of your companies and their peers, a precedent that has ramifications for billions of users of your technologies around the world.”
Rubio said the move, which he called aid to the Russian government, was “beyond comprehension.”
This is not the first time that Rubio has criticized Silicon Valley. In 2017, he accused Apple of bending to Chinese authoritarianism in order to gain market share.
Apple complies with local government regulations as necessary. Earlier in 2021, for example, it capitulated to a new Russian law that requires device makers to offer preinstalled and government-approved apps on a device.