Apple and Google bend to Russian government pressure on voting app

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Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images

Apple and Google have removed jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s voting app from the iOS and Android stores under pressure from the government. The New York Times reports that the removal followed threats to criminally prosecute company employees within Russia.

A spokesperson for Russian president Vladimir Putin told reporters that the app was “illegal” and Apple and Google had acted “in accordance with the law.” On Twitter, Navalny aide Ivan Zhdanov called its removal “a shameful act of political censorship.”

The Russian government has mounted a sustained campaign against Navalny’s app, which was meant to rally voters against Putin’s party in Russia’s parliamentary election. The country’s internet censor threatened...

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