ProtonVPN claims Apple won't allow it to update its iOS app over Myanmar unrest
The popular VPN service has alleged that Apple has “blocked” a critical update to its iOS client in connection with the unrest building up in Myanmar after the recent military coup which has also resulted in continuous internet shutdowns
ProtonVPN, a popular VPN service based in Switzerland that supports multiple platforms has alleged that Apple has “blocked” a critical update to its iOS client in connection with the unrest building up in Myanmar after the recent military coup which has also resulted in continuous internet shutdowns, in a blog post criticising the company for holding back important security fixes.
According to a report by MacRumours, Andy Yen, the founder of Proton Technologies wrote that the United Nations had asked the people of Myanmar to “collect and preserve documentary evidence of crimes against humanity” and recommended that they use Signal and ProtonMail. Yen has alleged that Apple blocked the company's ProtonVPN app after the UN recommended use of its tools, after the VPN app saw user signups in the area go up “250 times the previous average daily rate”, according to Yen.
“On the same day the UN recommended Proton apps, Apple suddenly rejected important updates to our ProtonVPN iOS app. These updates include security enhancements designed to further improve safeguards against account takeover attempts which could compromise privacy,” Yen says in the letter.
Apple reportedly sent Proton Technologies a letter stating that the company must change its description - essentially demanding it remove any mention of an action that "encourages users to bypass geo-restrictions or content limitations." The company referred to Rule 5.4 of the App Store which is related to VPN apps and dictates that apps must not violate local laws.
The offending line in ProtonVPN's app description is the sentence “Whether it is challenging governments, educating the public, or training journalists, we have a long history of helping bring online freedom to more people around the world”. However, it is possible that the company added this description as part of a recent update and Apple only caught on after it started to explode in popularity.