Smartphone users in Russia can no longer download the LinkedIn app on iPhone or Android devices, following a similar move in China to block The New York Times app on iPhones.
The demand by Russian authorities to remove LinkedIn in Apple and Google app stores comes weeks after a court blocked the professional networking service for flouting local laws that require internet firms to store data on Russian citizens within the nation’s borders.
Direct blocking of websites has been done by China, Russia, Turkey and several other nations for years, usually through their state-run internet service providers. But civil rights groups say the pressure authoritarian governments are now placing on Apple and Google is a new wrinkle.
“Apps are the new choke point of free expression,” said Rebecca MacKinnon, who leads a project on open internet tracking at New America.
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