Hong Kong app: Lawmaker asks Tim Cook to Prioritize ‘Values over Profits’

October 11, 2019

A prominent Hong Kong legislator and IT entrepreneur, Charles Mok, has warned Apple from becoming “an accomplice for Chinese censorship and oppression” in an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple has come under fire in recent days for withdrawing a map app which showed the location of police during the Hong Kong protests from the App Store.

Mok’s letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, published on Twitter, said the app’s removal “cause problems for normal Hong Kong citizens trying to avoid police presence while they are under constant fear of police brutality.”

Tim Cook has defended the app’s removal, claiming it was being used to “maliciously target individual officers for violence.”

A Hong Kong lawmaker has warned Apple from becoming an “accomplice for Chinese censorship and oppression”, and expressed disappointment in the firm for banning a map app that helped Hong Kong protesters track police presence.

Charles Mok, who represents the Information Technology functional constituency on the Hong Kong Legislative Council, made the comments in an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Mok’s letter focused on Apple’s recent decision to remove an app called HKmap.live, which allows its users to track  Hong Kong police presence.

Defending the app, Mok wrote that HKmap.live “helps citizens avoid areas where pedestrians not involved in any criminal activities might be subjected to police brutality,” adding that “there had been “numerous cases of innocent passerby [sic] in the neighbourhood injured by the Hong Kong Police Force’s excessive force in crowd dispersal situations.”

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Apple Safari browser sends some user IP addresses to Chinese conglomerate Tencent by default.

During the last week, the reality that US companies often bend the knee to China has been thrown into the spotlight. Apple, one of the biggest US tech companies, has appeased China by hiding the Taiwan flag emoji and ignoring US lawmakers when choosing to ban a Hong Kong protest safety app. Now it’s been discovered that Apple, which often positions itself as a champion of privacy and human rights, is sending some IP addresses from users of its Safari browser on iOS to Chinese conglomerate Tencent – a company with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Apple admits that it sends some user IP addresses to Tencent in the “About Safari & Privacy” section of its Safari settings which can be accessed on an iOS device by opening the Settings app and then selecting “Safari > About Privacy & Security.” Under the title “Fraudulent Website Warning,” Apple says:

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