by Jim Hoft
Apple helped the Chinese Communists this month suppress the mass protests against the regime. Sadly, the freedom protesters were not able to use AirDrop, a file-sharing feature on iPhones that allows users to share content in authoritarian states. Apple removed the feature in their latest update in China and did not notify users.
AirDrop, the file-sharing feature on iPhones and other Apple devices, has helped protestors in many authoritarian countries evade censorship. That’s because AirDrop relies on direct connections between phones, forming a local network of devices that don’t need the internet to communicate. People can opt into receiving AirDrops from anyone else with an iPhone nearby.
That changed on Nov. 9, when Apple released a new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 16.1.1, to customers worldwide. Rather than listing new features, as it often does, the company simply said, “This update includes bug fixes and security updates and is recommended for all users.”