In defending China demands, Apple loses privacy high ground

Apple, seen as a bastion of privacy and security, has boxed itself into a corner.

Last year, the company pushed back on a court order that demanded it build custom software that would crack the encryption on a terrorist’s iPhone. Apple refused, arguing the precedent could be used again on other devices, potentially putting all iPhones at risk. The company had mixed but strong political and legal support in favor of its case, and the matter went to court. The day before a critical hearing, the FBI dropped its case when it found hackers able to access the data in spite of Apple’s refusal.

Then, this week, Apple acquiesced to China’s demands to remove almost every VPN provider — used to bypass China’s strict online censorship –…

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