Archived – this site ended its life on 2022.01.02. For the next microblogging site from Chris Krycho, see

One of the very strongest arguments for ending the App Store monopsony — that it is by definition user-hostile precisely on security and privacy:

The mere existence of such a killswitch is a moral hazard. If you can cut off your users’ privacy  —  or their tools that improve competition or undo lock-in  —  then you invite others to demand that these tools be used to their advantage. The fact that Apple devices are designed to prevent users from overriding the company’s veto over their computing makes it inevitable that some gov­ernment will demand that this veto be exercised in their favor. After all, the Chinese government wasn’t the first state to demand that Apple expose its customers to surveillance  —  that was the Obama administration, which sought a back-door for Apple’s devices in order to investigate the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Apple resisted the US government demands, something it was able to do because the US constitution constrained the government’s ability to compel action. China faces no such constraint.…

That means that any government that orders Apple to use its killswitches to achieve its goals knows that Apple’s customers will be helpless before such an order.

On the other hand, what if Apple  —  by design  —  made [it] possible for users to override its killswitches?

 — Cory Doctorow, Neofeudalism and the Digital Manor