President Xi Jinping-led Chinese government has again exhibited its planning to scrutinise the messages and media files being transferred through Apple's file-sharing app- Airdrop and Bluetooth. Earlier, the Chinese Communist Party government had enforced a heavy shield on social media platforms in order to filter contents which authorities believe are not favourable to the current regime.
But, this is the first time when the government attempted to censor the communications that were used by protesters. According to a report by The Guardian, a crackdown on the US-based technology firm came after a large number of protestors used these two Apple applications to exchange messages and media files.
In fact, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s top internet regulator, has released draft regulations, wherein it asked the service providers to make a strong vigil on the "harmful" and "illegal information".
Draft also mandates service providers to share data with authorities
As per the report, under the proposed rules, service providers would have to prevent the dissemination of harmful and illegal information, save relevant records and report their discovery to regulators.
Besides, the proposed draft also asked the service providers to provide data and technical assistance to the relevant authorities, including internet regulators and the police, when they conduct inspections.
Moreover, it also asked internet users to register with their real names.
"The new draft regulations would bring airdrop and similar services firmly into China’s online content control apparatus," The Guardian quoted Tom Nunlist, a senior analyst at the consulting firm Trivium China as saying.
Does Google allow Chinese scrutiny?
Although Google’s Android and other Chinese phone manufacturers, such as Xiaomi and Oppo, have already built a system wherein the Communist government can monitor and filter messages.
However, Apple, as of now, the Chinese government does not have any specific strategy to keep track of Airdrop or Bluetooth. As per experts, the application was a relatively untraceable method for sharing files in China, where most social media and messaging platforms are tightly monitored.