Apple caved, thanks to you! But we must keep our pressure up

When we launched our iCensor campaign, quite a few people told us that it was pointless, that ‘Apple is too big to challenge’. But we took action anyways, and now, thanks to your engagement, Apple has been forced to respond.

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After nearly three months of our campaign, and after Senators Leahy and Cruz wrote of their own concerns echoing those raised by UN expert David Kaye at the UN, Apple finally caved and disclosed information about their reasons, and how they enforce censorship in China.

Even though we are happy that our actions made a difference, Apple’s response confirmed our deepest fears. We came to know that Apple removed 674 VPN apps from their China App Store this year alone – including Skype, which allows encrypted messaging.

In their response letter they stated that “Apple can best promote fundamental rights, including the right of free expression, by being engaged even where we may disagree with a particular country’s law.”

It’s clear at this point that Apple’s business priorities far outweigh their moral obligations. But as citizens of free nations, it is our responsibility to make sure that Apple hears of our disappointment, and sides with us against China’s growing censorship.

Let’s make noise until Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledges the depth of their human rights mistake, and changes their business first approach in China. We owe it to all those who have and continue to risk everything for human rights in Tibet.

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