Shortly after the Hong Kong government officially approved the new national security law, both WhatsApp and Telegram stated that they do not intend to collaborate with the country’s police authorities and will not attend any of the requests to identify users of its platforms, like Twitter and Google.
Both WhatsApp and Telegram are blocked in the country, like the rest of Facebook services, so that both companies have absolutely nothing to lose. In that article, I didn’t mention Apple’s stance, because we all know what it is: lower your head and fulfill all government requests.
Even so, Apple has to do the paripé facing the gallery and according to Bloomberg, he is evaluating the new situation in which the country finds itself.
Apple has always required that all requests for content from local law enforcement authorities be submitted through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in force between the United States and Hong Kong. As part of the process, the United States Department of Justice reviews the requests for legal compliance from the Hong Kong authorities.
It should be remembered that a few months ago, Apple removed an application from the App Store, following a request from the Chinese government, which allowed locating the demonstration areas to avoid traffic jams (that was the official description of the application).
China’s restrictions reach Hong Kong
The new national security law deals with separatism, subversion, terrorism and politics mainly in addition to other ill-defined crimes and whose maximum penalty, in all cases, is life imprisonment. In addition, violators may be tried without the presence of a judge and extradited to China to serve their sentences.
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This new law is designed to limit the freedoms of Hong Kong citizens and prevent them from seeking the help of foreign entities to boost efforts for democracy. In this sense, technology companies are vitally important since they offer the necessary tools to be able to communicate.
In addition, they also control the availability of applications in the country, so if the current government, in this case Chinese, does not like an application you can request its immediate withdrawal.
Last year, Apple withdrew the Quarz app from the country’s App Store due to wide coverage He was making the protests in Hong Kong, protests that generated by this new law that has finally been approved without the Hong Kong authorities having had the opportunity to review it, if they ever had one.
Apple’s stance in Hong Kong
It doesn’t take a fortune teller to know Apple’s stance. Facing the gallery, he will say the same as always, and then bow his head and comply with all the requests of the Chinese government. Apple is a company that is there to make money, and if you have to temporarily forget about the moral values that it always preaches, it does so without any problem.