The government of China recently attempted to bolster the Great Firewall of China by prohibiting virtual private network (VPN) software. This prohibition caused Apple to remove VPN clients from its App Store in China. Now two senators want to know why Apple didn’t do more to thwart this move by China:
Apple CEO Tim Cook wasn’t pleased about pulling VPN software from the company’s App Store in China, but this July, it happened anyway. As a result, many users who once counted on such software to dodge the country’s Great Firewall were left to their own devices (and we’ve explored the situation at length here). Now, senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have called on Cook in a letter to explain in detail how that process went down, out of concern that Apple is “enabling the Chinese government’s censorship and surveillance of the internet.”
The letter (which can be read in full here) poses 10 questions to the Apple CEO. It asks (among other things) whether Apple formally commented on the Chinese government’s Cybersecurity Law when it was presented as a first draft, whether Chinese authorities requested Apple removed the VPN apps, whether Apple has made any attempt to reintroduce said apps, and how many apps were removed in total. (A report from the BBC when the apps first disappeared put the count at around 60.)
Here’s what I want to know. What did Ted Cruz and Patrick Leahy do to stop the Chinese government from tightening its grip on the country’s Internet? As senators they have access to the full power of the United States government so I assume they wielded it against China when it announced plans to ban VPN software. Is my assumption incorrect? Are Cruz and Leahy demanding that Apple do something that they didn’t even though they were and are in a better position to do so? Say it ain’t so!
Once again we see that the job of a politician is to whine about productive people not being productive enough. I guarantee if Apple had pushed even harder against China’s VPN ban that Cruz and Leahy would have still been upset that the company didn’t do enough because there is no satisfying politicians. They’re parasites that’ll continue to take while providing nothing of value in return.