Apple, Firefox browser-maker Mozilla, and Alphabet Inc’s Google took steps on Wednesday to block the Kazakh government from creating an internet surveillance system using their browsers.
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox will block a government encryption certificate that allows authorities to read anything a user types or posts using the browsers, including account information and passwords, the companies said in separate statements. Apple also said in a statement it would take similar measures to protect the users of its Safari browser.
The former Soviet Central Asian nation routinely blocks websites and applications used by its critics, including Facebook and Youtube, for short periods of time.
The blocks have often coincided with public protests, the most recent wave of which took place around the time of the June 9 election which completed the transfer of power from strongman Nursultan Nazarbayev to his loyal ally Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
MacDailyNews Take: Why can’t citizens of Kazakhstan be trusted with freedom?
Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. — Potter Stewart
Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. ― Benjamin Franklin
If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. ― George Washington
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. ― United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it. — John Perry Barlow