New Voice APP
On Russian devices will be an app like Alexa, but it will be call CHEKA!
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on the law requiring most electronics sold in the country to be pre-bundled with domestically produced software. Monday's approval from Putin means that, from July, all handsets, tablets, PCs, and smart TVs sold within the country's borders will be required to include software …
I'm from Russia. There's a company called Yandex that do our most popular search engine, among other things. They also do an Alexa clone, called "Алиса" (Alisa -- not being too subtle there, are we lads?), and a client of that is in every Yandex app.
They're basically the Google of Russia -- they do maps, weather, they've bought out Uber, they run (one of the versions of) GrubHub, etc. -- so everyone has at least one of their apps installed.
Yandex likes the profits though so they comply with a lot of government's requests. It would appear that if the goal is to get everyone equipped with spyware (which, at least to me, seems to be the case), there's an easier option.
(Almost everyone also has VK, the local Facebook, which is run by Mail.Ru Group, the local Facebook Inc., and they also seem pretty okay with following government's orders. We essentially have a carbon-copy of the entire Western tech industry -- and with this I don't have a problem -- but the way it is set up with the government ready to roger everyone with no warning at all is what bothers me a lot.)
Yeah. Let's see just how long Apple takes before deciding that it actually can tolerate that kind of risk.
After all, it's not about morals, it's just about how much Apple will lose if it doesn't comply.
Ah, the beauty of Capitalism.
Sorry Apple, but if you think for one second that I believe you give a flying shit about morals, I have a bridge to sell you.
Russia isn't that important market for Apple, they don't even have Apple store there.
Despite the territorial size of Russia, it's population is slightly higher than Japan (about 140 mil). The low income for large portion of the population is pricing them out of Apple products.
Even if Apple officially pulls out, there will be plenty of sales on the black market and people just buying from abroad during their holiday etc. So the financial loss to Apple will be minimal, while the "moral" gain will be significant.
Now if China decides to pull something like that....
China don't need to force OEMs to pre-install their surveillance software, as their police just forcibly install it after-market.
So, what's to stop people from uninstalling the government mandated spyware and installing Google's or Apple's spyware?
In android based device land, most vendor installed crapwares are under System, which without rooting, oem boot unlocking, fastboot uninstalling, and/or app disabling options available will make it impossible to remove it.
you might sneer, but given the way of "progress" in Russia (and China, of course, way ahead of the game) it is _absolutely_ possible that all visitors will, sooner or later, have to install such tracking applications "to ensure their safety, well-being, and enhance their positive image of the country and its people". Install, and have it constantly on, or else.
When I was a kid living in 80s Hong Kong, we went on several holiday trips to mainland China. At that time, China was still quite an undeveloped country - I remember watching from one guesthouse window in Guilin City as what seemed like an army of peasants were digging by hand the excavations for a new building next door, climbing up out of the pit on ladders with sacks of dirt over their shoulders - and I think they were extremely suspicious of any Westerners wanting to go on holiday there.
On that trip, we had two fat CCP goons following us around everywhere we went - never more than 50 metres away, and when we took buses outside of the city, sure enough, when we got to where we were going they'd turn up a few minutes later in their car. I don't know why they were surprised, Guilin is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever visited.
A few years later, they'd upped their game significantly, once we arrived in Shanghai, this charming English speaking mid-20s girl just attached herself to our group and acted as our de-facto tour guide and was much less obtrusive than the chain smoking fatties. Of course, this might have been down to the differences between Guilin and Shanghai too.
Foreign travelers to install a "Visit Russia" App during their stay?
When I visited Russia a dozen years ago foreign visitors were supposed to register their mobile phones upon entry. No-one ever asked me for my number at any stage so I didn't go looking for a kindly policeman* to report myself to. My phone automatically picked up a connection (presumably due to whatever roaming agreement my provider had at the time) and I assumed that would give them all the info on me they wanted.
* The joke goes that if you want to tell a kind Russian militsia from an unkind one, pick the one who spends his day harassing gypsies rather than the one who is stopping motorists to extort a bribe.
I think China is already going there...
I'm looking for the article, though, about mandatory installed government services software in China. I saw a news story today about foreign companies NOT being able to encrypt data sent from within China, i.e. the government MUST be able to spy on anything they transmit [or store, for that matter] within the middle kingdom. I'm trying to google-fu for it but seem to fall short on my search results for some reason...
(don't tell me they're filtering the search engines... ?)
and I think that may chase a few companies out of China. They'd almost be doing us a favor by driving people out, in my bombastic opinion.
"backers of the law believe it will raise public awareness about Russian developers."
So now it's official ransom/spyware, as opposed to the messy and unregulated ransom/spyware from before the law...
"Apple bods have been anonymously quoted as saying the mandate would "be equivalent to jailbreaking, it would pose a security threat, and the company cannot tolerate that kind of risk."" ( emphasis added)
The real pain.. We all know how much a fan Apple is of people breaking out of its walled garden...
"Foreign travelers to install a "Visit Russia" App during their stay?"
Don't need to.. They can always fall back to the Official Guide employment project of the Good Old Days..
with exception of those that hold and publicly proclaim their unpatriotic, i.e. less than favourable opinion about the Russian regime, e.g. Telegram. But then, Telegram's owner is most probably already classed as "foreign agent" (which is Russia and Soviet Union before has had unambiguous meaning). Now, if gospadin Putin and Co could somehow make those millions of Russians un-love Telegram... Perhaps business comrades in China could give a helping hand?
Par for the course for countries like Russia or China. They allow varying degrees of freedom, but with unexpected (to the western eye) barriers. Don't forget, to paraphrase, one man's right is another man's curtailment. I won't go so far as to say 'respect other cultures' but... it's a different culture.
to add (and in no way to dilute Putin's awful record), our own, democratic leaders are not above using the same cheap trick if it suits them. Trump recently called that whistleblower a traitor, and Obama did before, re. Snowden, never mind the hapless Assange. UK's pro-brexit politicians, more than once suggested remainers are traitors too, paid by the EU. And then, you have those painted democrats, like Orban in Hungary, also denouncing their opponents as traitors (paid by, what else, Jewish money), or that tin-pot democrat in Turkey, or yet another shit-head in Brazil; for them all around are traitors and plotters. Clearly, millions of average, intelligent (arguably) people around the globe believe such shit, otherwise politicians wouldn't use it to score quick points, and get re-elected.
the biggest enemies of both privacy and liberty are the State, now ably assisted and enabled by the Surveillance Capitalists. Both Russia and China are merely the more overt examples of what is being quickly normalised around the globe.
Apple flackey says putting on an app would "be equivalent to jailbreaking, it would pose a security threat, and the company cannot tolerate that kind of risk."
It's not, not at all. Apple, just like Google, doesn't have to give an app full control of the phone just because it's installed on it, Apple in particular heavily restricts what ordinary apps can do, and an app absolutely can be preinstalled and still be an ordinary app.
That said, obviously I'm not for some country saying the vendor MUST put locally produced apps. Even if it has the best intentions of boosting the local company etc., ask a Canadian sometime about what they think about their requirement to have some percentage locally produced shows on their television networks. (To answer that, some fraction think it's great, supporting local economy etc; the rest comment on how the required number of hours a day exceeds the even reasonably decent locally produced content, so several hours a day are just whatever they can find no matter how bad, instead of being able to import something better to air.)
The problem I'd see (aside from the assumption that the required apps will be spyware, which although this kind of law is extremely misguided, don't think that's the point of it...), governments are almost invariably slow and inefficient. So once a vendor's app is on this list, what incentive does that vendor have to do, well, anything? They're no longer competing in any kind of free (or restricted) market, they're competing with other apps on a possibly very short list; they don't have to keep their app relevant to users, make any improvements, or even fix bugs at that point. There's probably nothing stopping them then from changing the app from original function to doing nothing but show 50 banner ads when you open it. After all, it'd probably be pulled from the list then, but remember gov't is slow and inefficient, so it'd probably take them months or years to come up with an updated list with that app pulled from it.
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