GOOGLE to Delete Links to Sites Banned in Russia? APPLE, GOOGLE Host Saudi Govt App That Tracks Women

Reports: Russian authorities make deal with Google

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian news reports say that Google has agreed with national authorities to delete links to websites banned in Russia.

The daily Vedomosti reported Thursday that Google has reached an agreement with the Russian state media oversight agency, Roskomnadzor, to regularly receive updated lists of banned sites and delete links to them upon review. The newspaper says Google has already removed about 70 percent of the banned websites from its search results.

 

Apple and Google accused of helping ‘enforce gender apartheid’ by hosting Saudi government app that tracks women and stops them leaving the country

  • Apple and Google have been criticized by rights groups for hosting Absher, an app which allows men in Saudi Arabia to track and control where women travel.
  • Absher is a Saudi government website, which INSIDER reported on at length last week. It is available on Google Play and iTunes, and has been downloaded more than one million times.
  • Under Saudi law, every woman has a legal “guardian” who can restrict her travel to specific airports and routes, and get automated alerts when they cross borders.
  • Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a women’s rights activist told INSIDER that Apple and Google should reconsider hosting the app.
  • Yasmine Mohammed, a critic of Saudi Arabia, said: “There’s a definite tragedy in the world’s most technologically progressive platforms, Apple and Google, facilitating the most archaic misogyny.”
  • Neither Apple nor Google responded to repeated requests for comment.
  • Read INSIDER’s full report on Absher here.

Apple and Google have been accused of helping to “enforce gender apartheid” in Saudi Arabia, by offering a sinister app which allows men to track women and stop them leaving the country.

Both Google Play and iTunes host Absher, a government web service which allows men to specify when and how women can cross Saudi borders, and to get close to real-time SMS updates when they travel.

Absher also has benign functions — like paying parking fines — but its travel features have been identified by activists and refugees as a major factor in the continued difficulty women have leaving Saudi Arabia.

Neither Apple nor Google responded to repeated requests for comment from INSIDER over several days prior to publication.

INSIDER reported on the existence of Absher last week, along with the story of Shahad al-Mohaimeed, a Saudi teen refugee who evaded the system to claim asylum in Sweden.

This is a screenshot from a desktop version of Absher, labelled with added labels to explain its functions:

Absher 2
On this form guardians can say where women can go, how long for, and which airports they can go to.
Absher
Absher 3
A page on Absher where a guardian can see which permissions are active, and easily change them if needed.
Absher

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