Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny hit out at Apple and Google in a series of tweets criticizing companies for removing a voting app that promoted opposition candidates in Russian parliamentary elections.
“If anything surprised me in the last election, it’s not how Putin forged the results, but how obediently the almighty Big Tech turned into his accomplices, ”Navalny said in a series of tweets on Thursday.
(1/14) If anything surprised me in the last election, it’s not how Putin forged the results, but how obediently the almighty Big Tech turned into his accomplices.
– Alexey Navalny (@navalny) September 23, 2021
Google and Apple have complied with the Russian government’s request for companies to remove a Navalny-connected voting app that promoted opposition candidates in parliamentary elections.
Russia has threatened to impose fines on companies and even jail local employees if they don’t close the app before the election.
“The media write that the Kremlin forced Big Tech to make concessions by showing them a list of their employees to be arrested. If so, then keeping silent about it is the worst crime. It’s an encouragement for a terrorist taking hostages, ”Navalny said.
Even some Google employees spoke against the decision to give in to Russia’s request to withdraw the application.
Russia has said the app violates Russian law and said companies participate in election interference if they uphold it.
“By law and common sense, each of us has the right to campaign to vote (or not vote) for any candidate,” Navalny said.
Navalny says YouTube also deleted a video from his team, and Telegram deleted a bot created by his team.
The opposition leader has now been in prison for two and a half years for violating his parole by leaving the country in 2020. Navalny left the country after a poison attack on him which he claims was carried out by the Kremlin, which denies the allegation.
Russian president Vladimir PoutineVladimir Vladimirovich Putin Federal agencies warn of prolific strains of ransomware.The United Russia party won a majority in the September election, with some saying there was fraud throughout the election.
The Hill has contacted Google and Apple for comment.