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Google employees reportedly furious company removed Russian voting app amid legal threat

The employees have reportedly blasted Google for capitulating to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

9/23/2021 12:04:00 AM

The employees have reportedly blasted Google for capitulating to Russia n President Vladimir Putin.

The employees have reportedly blasted Google for capitulating to Russia n President Vladimir Putin.

have grown more powerful over the past decade, so have government ambitions to harness that power for their own ends."Now this is the poster child for political oppression," said Sascha Meinrath, a Penn State University professor who studies online censorship issues. Google and Apple"have bolstered the probability of this happening again."

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Neither Apple nor Google responded to requests for comment from The Associated Press when the news of the app's removal broke last week; both remained silent this week as well.Google also denied access to two documents on its online service Google Docs that listed candidates endorsed by Smart Voting, and YouTube blocked similar videos.

Apple, meanwhile, lays out a lofty"Commitment To Human Rights" on its website, although a close read of that statement suggests that when legal government orders and human rights are at odds, the company will obey the government."Where national law and international human rights standards differ, we follow the higher standard," it reads."Where they are in conflict, we respect national law while seeking to respect the principles of internationally recognized human rights."

A recent report from the Washington nonprofit Freedom House found that global internet freedom declined for the fifth consecutive year and is under"unprecedented strain" as more nations arrested internet users for"nonviolent political, social, or religious speech" than ever before. Officials suspended internet access in at least 20 countries, and 21 states blocked access to social media platforms, according to the report.

Big Tech companies have generally agreed to abide by country-specific rules for content takedowns and other issues in order to operate in these countries. That can range from blocking posts about Holocaust denial in Germany and elsewhere in Europe where they're illegal to outright censorship of opposition parties, as in Russia.

The app's expulsion was widely denounced by opposition politicians. Leonid Volkov, a top strategist to jailed opposition leader, wrote on Facebook that the companies"bent to the Kremlin's blackmail."Navalny's ally Ivan Zhdanov said on

Twitterthat the politician's team is considering suing the two companies. He also mocked the move:"Expectations: the government turns off the internet. Reality: the internet, in fear, turns itself off."It's possible that the blowback could prompt either or both companies to reconsider their commitment to operating in Russia. Google made a similar decision in 2010 when it pulled its search engine out of mainland China after the Communist government there began censoring search results and videos on YouTube.

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Russia isn't a major market for either Apple, whose annual revenue this year is expected to approach $370 billion, nor Google's corporate parent,Alphabet, whose revenue is projected to hit $250 billion this year. But profits are profits."If you want to take a principled stand on human rights and freedom of expression, then there are some hard choices you have to make on when you should leave the market," said Kurt Opsahl, general counsel for the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Big Tech companies that operate around the globe have long promised both to obey local laws and to protect civil rights while doing business, but Apple and Google recently bowed to pressure from Russia. In this Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 file photo, The app Smart Voting is displayed on an iPhone screen in Moscow, Russia.

Read more: Newsweek »

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Apple, Google raise new concerns by yanking Russian appBERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Big Tech companies that operate around the globe have long promised to obey local laws and to protect civil rights while doing business. But when Apple and Google capitulated to Russia n demands and removed a political-opposition app from their local app stores, it raised worries that two of the world's most successful companies are more comfortable bowing to undemocratic edicts — and maintaining a steady flow of profits — than upholding the rights of their users. or lack thereof What commitment to human rights? There is none, they worship at the altar of the almighty dollar.

Apple, Google raise new concerns by yanking Russian appApple’s and Google ’s cooperation with the Russia n government’s efforts to suppress an app opposed to the ruling regime is escalating concerns about whether Big Tech’s pursuit of ever-higher profits has trampled their commitment to protecting civil rights.

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Google Meet declares war on that sunny window behind you that's making you underexposed Google Meet will now automatically fix brightness if it detects that you appear underexposed.

Google To Buy Manhattan Office Building For Over $2 Billion Google plans to purchase an office building in Manhattan for $2.1 billion, the company said Monday, marking the most expensive purchase of a single office building in the country since the pandemic, and reflective of the tech giant’s bigger plan to expand its office space and bring employees back...

WSJ News Exclusive | Google to Buy New York City Office Building for $2.1 Billion Google said it is buying a Manhattan building for $2.1 billion, the most expensive sale of a single U.S. office building since the start of the pandemic Considering the low interest rates today, they probably took out a loan for it and didn't pay a single penny lmao about a short story on the changing pace of life, technology and innovation last the pandemic. The rise of the retail investors taking on Wallstreet at their own game. The SEC, FINRA, and DTCC business ethics of “Friends with Benefits” WallStreet money amc well.. google did very well for thrmselves during the pandemic