/2017/07/apple_china_vpn_apps

Comments

anonymous:
JFC like I said in the previous post, "life without an iPhone is not worth living, so it's OK to bow down to an oppressive regime to make your numbers."

Apple is richer than any other company in the world. It's just that shareholders are more important than principles! Because it's not like someone in china could run an Android phone and install a VPN, right? That could never happen and the sheeple of China literally could not live without iPhones.
10:24 pm — Monday, 31 July 2017
Spanky Mulrooney's aerobics instructor's clinical therapist's next door neighbor's daughter's camping bunk buddy:
Wow, Gruber just made the case for a lot of things against humanity
10:29 pm — Monday, 31 July 2017
Grubhub:
So glad that Gruber is here to save democracy by defending the world's richest company, one post at a time.
10:30 pm — Monday, 31 July 2017
Gruber F. Johnson:
This whole thing is actually an excellent argument against the completely closed, app store-only nature of iOS.
11:18 pm — Monday, 31 July 2017
Gruber the Booger:
>Should Apple be doing business in China at all?

Of course. They build almost all of Apples products in China.


>Should the App Store remain the only way to install apps on iOS devices?

Absolutely not. Just allow side loading already.

>Users in China can continue to stay connected to the open internet with ExpressVPN’s apps for Windows, Mac, Android

Using Android seems to be the popular solution. Android phone market share in China is 86.4% iPhone is 13.2%. Apples market share has been dropping in China and continues to drop.
2:59 am — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
My Optional Name:
I don't understand the outrage. If Apple didn't remove the VPNs, then China would either ban the sale of iPhones or render their services useless. Likely both. There's also a non-zero chance that China would interfere with their manufacture of iPhones in some manner, considering its all done in China. So how would "taking a stand" solve anything? Not every Chinese citizen wants to use a VPN. Those that do can simply use something other than an iPhone. Problem solved. This isn't complicated.
3:26 am — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Gruber F. Johnson:
>Those that do can simply use something other than an iPhone. Problem solved. This isn't complicated.

Or Apple could just allow sideloading of apps. Problem solved. This isn't complicated.
3:27 am — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
My Optional Name:
>Or Apple could just allow sideloading of apps. Problem solved. This isn't complicated.

They do. Tutorials abound on how to use the developer tools to do so. This isn't complicated. Even I can do it.
1:17 pm — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Gruber the Booger:
>They do. Tutorials abound on how to use the developer tools to do so. This isn't complicated. Even I can do it.

So you are living in China and purchased your iPhone.

Now just purchase a Mac, purchase a developer account, learn how to use xcode, compile and install.

It's so cheap and simple.

Or buy an Android and side load.
1:22 pm — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Culturally appropriated:
Sideload and get fucked by malware? What's the point?

Let's get less secure by trying to get more secure.
3:16 pm — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Gruber F. Johnson:
>Sideload and get fucked by malware? What's the point?

Because people in China can't get VPN apps anymore? Nobody would force you to do the same but there is no reason not to provide the option.
7:26 pm — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Gruber F. Johnson:
>They do. Tutorials abound on how to use the developer tools to do so. This isn't complicated. Even I can do it.

What a moronic response.
7:27 pm — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
My Optional Name:
>Now just purchase a Mac

If you are in China and can afford an iPhone, you can afford a Mac. Or just borrow one that a fellow dissident has. Or run OS X in a VM on a PC (yes, it can be done). This isn't hard to understand.

>purchase a developer account

Why would they have to purchase a developer account? Apple dropped that requirement a couple years ago. Pay attention.

>learn how to use xcode, compile and install.

Again, tutorials abound. I can do it, and I couldn't code my way out of a cardboard box if your life depended on it.

>What a moronic response.

Well that was soooo enlightening. I feel incredibly humbled.
9:38 pm — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
My Optional Name:
>Or buy an Android and side load.

That was my point in my first post.
9:40 pm — Tuesday, 1 August 2017
My Optional Name:
Guys, I'm an idiot.
3:55 am — Wednesday, 2 August 2017
anonymous:
I don't know why nobody has pointed out that you don't need an app to connect to a VPN with an iOS device as long as you know the configuration settings for your VPN service. Go to Settings->General->VPN.
2:59 pm — Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Sebby:
Gosh, all kinds of misdirection coming from Gruber. And for what, exactly?

> He added, “We view access to internet in China as a human rights issue, and I would expect Apple to value human rights over profits.”

LOL.

But more seriously, Grubs here doesn't agree.

> Too many people reacting to this story think that it’s about Apple deciding to acquiesce to this particular demand regarding VPN apps. It’s not.

But it really is, Grubs. Put aside the sideline questions about how Apple could, in an ideal world, have its cake and eat it too. Do you, or do you not, believe Apple should put human rights--in the form of privacy-enhancing apps in a regime known for oppression--below their requirement for making money?

This is an Apple-centric blog. We are talking about Apple, and iPhones, so we don't have to know or care about what other companies *might* be doing, or whether or not it is legal or not. Apple removed the apps from *its* store, which *it* controls, exclusively allowing access to those apps for its customers. That is the choice they made, Grubs. It's as simple as that.

But the sideline questions are interesting, though. Apple should absolutely allow side-loading. It's the right thing to do, and here's a perfect example, among others, of why. Quite simply, Apple is not a very good guardian. Worse, it's profit-hungry, and lacks vision, so it gets all the good ideas from people who don't have this problem, at the customer's expense. That's unbelievably shitty, even without this latest example to prove the point.

And absolutely Apple shouldn't be in China. Their image depends on good-will and fuzzy-wuzzies. They've just made their products even less attractive in China, *and* tarnished their brand. Best pull out now, while the getting's good. And figure out how, precisely, they're going to distance themselves from their manufacturers, with whom they do business in China, on a strictly needs-based (and profits-based) arrangement.

Finally:

> The thing I keep thinking about is that iMessage and FaceTime are among the few protocols available inside China with end-to-end encryption.

You know, of course, that neither FaceTime nor iMessage are end-to-end encrypted. Apple controls the directory servers; they can absolutely substitute any key in the exchange with public keys that governments have the private keys for. So I think you'll find that, actually, there is no mercy here, but design.

@anonymous:

> I don't know why nobody has pointed out that you don't need an app to connect to a VPN with an iOS device as long as you know the configuration settings for your VPN service. Go to Settings->General->VPN.

Only good for trivially blockable VPN protocols for which iOS has native support, sadly. In fact one of the better arguments for this crackdown has been that the apps wouldn't function, i.e. Apple is "improving" the user experience by removing non-functional apps. But not all apps use trivially identifiable VPN protocols.
3:26 pm — Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Patrick Henry, the 2nd:
> If you are in China and can afford an iPhone, you can afford a Mac. Or just borrow one that a fellow dissident has. Or run OS X in a VM on a PC (yes, it can be done). This isn't hard to understand.

OR something that makes sense is to just allow side loading. This isn't hard to understand.
2:32 pm — Monday, 7 August 2017
Leave a Comment
To leave a comment, install the Safari extension!