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You are here: English BoingBoing ibag Apple bans an app because Hong Kong protesters might use it to avoid the murderous, out of control police

Apple bans an app because Hong Kong protesters might use it to avoid the murderous, out of control police

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Hkmap Live is a crowdsourced app that uses reports from a Telegram group to track the locations of protesters, police, and traffic, as well as the use of antipersonnel weapons like tear gas, mass arrests of people wearing t-shirts associated with the protest movement, and mass transit closures in proximity to demonstrations (it's a bit like Sukey, the British anti-kettling app). The escalation of indiscriminate violence by Hong Kong's police has driven mainstream opposition to the Chinese state and the Hong Kong authorities. The protests continue to grow, the the police continue to attack families, elderly people, bystanders, and the main body of protesters, with no mercy or quarter -- including the on-camera, point-blank shooting of an unarmed, nonviolent protester. In this context, Hkmap isn't just a way for protesters to evade police, it's a survival lifeline for innocent people facing an occupying army of sadistic armed thugs. But Iphone owners in Hong Kong can't access the Hkmap Live app anymore. Apple has removed it from the App Store, telling the app's creators that "Your app contains content - or facilitates, enables, and encourages an activity - that is not legal ... Specifically, the app allowed users to evade law enforcement." This isn't the first time that Apple has used its monopoly over which apps can be used on Ios devices to help the Chinese state abuse human rights: in May 2018, the company removed all working VPNs from the App Store, leaving only compromised ones that the Chinese state could surveil. Read the rest

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