RUSSIA URGES APPLE, GOOGLE TO REMOVE NAVALNY APP FROM STORES
Techlife News|Techlife News #514
Russia’s state communications watchdog warned Apple and Google on Thursday that they could face fines if they fail to remove an app created by allies of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny from their stores.

The agency, Roskomnadzor, warned Apple and Google that their failure to remove Navalny’s app could be interpreted as interference in Russian elections.

Navalny’s app promotes his Smart Voting strategy — a project designed to support candidates who are most likely to defeat those from the Kremlin’s main United Russia party.

Russian opposition supporters, independent media and human rights activists have face increased government pressure in the run-up to the Sept. 19 parliamentary election. Navalny’s allies have linked the crackdown to the Kremlin’s effort to steamroll the opposition and try to preserve a dominant position for United Russia.

In June, a Russian court outlawed Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and a network of his regional offices as extremist organizations, a ruling that barred people associated with the groups from seeking public office and exposed them to lengthy prison terms. Even those who occasionally mention Navalny’s projects could face reprisals for spreading extremist materials.

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