China Punishes Apple Over Encryption by Shutting Down iTunes and Movies
“Despite years of Apple Inc. succeeding in gaining huge market share by apparently granting China state security authorities “backdoors” into its product encryption, communist regulators shut down Apple’s iBook Store and iTunes on April 22.
Key to China’s State Internet Information Office allowing Apple to grow in the “Forbidden Kingdom,” which is now the largest smartphone market on the planet, has been Apple willingness to cooperate with the “needs” of the China security agencies.
State-run People’s Daily reported in January that Apple chief executive Tim Cook had informed Internet czar Lu Wei that the company would let China’s State Internet Information Office conduct “security checks” on all products sold on the mainland. The Beijing News Agency added that Apple was the “1st foreign firm to agree to rules of Cyberspace Admin of China.”
But the very public announcement regarding Apple’s full cooperation in China came at same time Apple was refusing to give the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation source-code-level-access to the iPhone 5C of Syed Farook, who slaughtered 14 people and seriously wounded 22 in the San Bernardino terrorist attack.
In a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit filed to force Apple to cooperate, the San Bernardino District Attorney’s told a federal court that law enforcement needed a backdoor into the iPhone because there was “compelling governmental interest in acquiring any evidence of criminal conduct, additional perpetrators, potential damage to the infrastructure of San Bernardino County, and in protecting the California Constitutionally guaranteed due process rights of the victims, deceased and living, arising from state crimes committed on December 2, 2015,”
An embarrassed Cook quickly denied there was a double standard on cooperation between the U.S. and China by stating, “There were rumors that Apple built back doors in its devices, and let third parties have data and access those devices, but that was never true and that we would never do that in the future either.”
When questioned by Beijing News about Apple reneging on their China deal, Lu Wei said, “It doesn’t matter what you say, you should let our internet safety department do a safety assessment. We need to reach our own conclusions to put the consumer at ease.”
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