Russia: Navalny slams Apple, Google over voting app elimination

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United States tech giants acted as accomplices of Russian President Vladimir Putin by eradicating anti-government tactical voting app from shops, jailed opposition chief alleges.

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has accused Google and Apple of displaying “cowardice” and performing as accomplices of Russian President Vladimir Putin by eradicating a voting app earlier than a parliamentary election final week, based on messages posted on the social media accounts.

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Navalny’s supporters earlier accused the United States-based tech giants of caving in to Kremlin stress by eradicating the anti-government tactical voting app from their shops initially of three days of parliamentary voting, which ended on Sunday. Devised by allies of Navalny, the app gave individuals detailed suggestions on who to vote for in an effort to thwart the ruling, pro-Kremlin United Russia occasion.

Navalny, who’s in jail, has added his criticism, based on feedback carried by his social media accounts on Thursday.

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“The giants Apple @Apple and Google @Google have complied with the Kremlin’s demands and removed our app from their stores. My beloved YouTube has deleted our video, and the Telegram messenger has blocked our bot,” Navalny stated in a submit relayed by way of his legal professionals.

“I know that most of those who work at Google, Apple, etc. are honest and good people. I urge them not to put up with the cowardice of their bosses,” he stated.

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Navalny additionally stated he was “terribly upset and disappointed” with Pavel Durov, founder and proprietor of the Telegram messaging app. The Smart Voting bot additionally disappeared from the app in the course of the election.

Russia-born Durov had stated he was following Apple and Google, which “dictate the rules of the game to developers like us”.

‘Worst crime’

Election outcomes on Monday for the State Duma decrease home of parliament handed a win to United Russia amid accusations of mass fraud from backers of Navalny and different events. United Russia obtained 49.eight p.c of the vote for the 225 seats apportioned by events and gained 198 out of 225 seats for lawmakers who’re chosen instantly by voters. The election fee stated the vote was clear and the Kremlin known as it an sincere vote.

Google determined to take away the app after being informed its native employees may in any other case face jail time, one particular person accustomed to the scenario stated final week, declining to be named.

Responding to that remark, Navalny stated in his social media posts: “If so, then keeping silent about it is the worst crime. This is encouragement of a hostage-taking terrorist.”

The Kremlin welcomed the elimination of the app, saying the tech giants had conformed with “the letter and spirit” of Russian legislation.

Navalny was detained in January and has seen his allies arrested or flee the nation and his organisations banned.

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