Silicon Valley companies might need to offer an explanation after a voting app created by allies of imprisoned Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny vanished from Google and Apple stores on Friday.
The Russian people head to the polls on Friday to elect a new parliament. The vote lasts three days and the current party in charge, the United Russia, is anticipating a win. The app disappeared when voting started across Russia for the elections, raising concerns about what the reasoning was behind the move.
“Allies of Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest domestic opponent, planned to use the mobile app to organise a tactical voting campaign to deal a blow to United Russia,” Reuters reported.
As The Washington Post reported, “Roskomnadzor, the Russian censorship agency, had threatened to fine the Silicon Valley giants if the app, which encourages voters to cast ballots against the party of President Vladimir Putin, was not removed. The censorship agency argued that the companies were interfering in the nation’s electoral processes.”
The top companies appeared to cave to Russian authorities instead of standing up to them, upsetting opposition allies and digital rights advocates around the world. (Read more from “Voting App Disappears After Russia Pressures Tech Companies Ahead of Elections” HERE)
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