Different countries have different rules and regulations, so what might be legal and allowed in one country might not be in another country. Take for example VPN apps which used to be widely available in the iTunes App Store in China, but in recent times have been removed following China’s new law that requires such apps to be approved by the government first.
It seems that Apple was pretty much just conforming to the rules in one of the countries that they operate in, but US Senators Ted Cruz and Patrick Leahy do not seem to be too thrilled by it, and have recently questioned Apple’s CEO Tim Cook over the removal of the apps. In an open letter to Cook, it suggests that Apple could be “enabling” China’s censorship of the internet.
The letter reads in part, “VPNs allow users to access the uncensored Internet in China and other countries that restrict Internet freedom. If these reports are true, we are concerned that Apple may be enabling the Chinese government’s censorship and surveillance of the Internet.” Cook and Apple had previously responded to the controversy back in August, but it is unclear if Cruz and Leahy are aware of his statement.
Cook’s statement back then reads, “We would obviously rather not remove the apps, but like we do in other countries we follow the law wherever we do business. And we strongly believe that participating in markets and bringing benefits to customers is in the best interest of the folks there and in other countries as well. So we believe in engaging with governments even when we disagree.”