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<h2>Proprietary Jails</h2>

<p><a href="/philosophy/proprietary.html">Other examples of proprietary malware</a></p>

<div class="infobox">
<hr class="full-width" />
<p>Nonfree (proprietary) software is very often malware (designed to
mistreat the user). Nonfree software is controlled by its developers,
which puts them in a position of power over the users; <a
href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">that is the
basic injustice</a>. The developers and manufacturers often exercise
that power to the detriment of the users they ought to serve.</p>

<p>Here are examples

<p>This typically takes the form of proprietary malicious functionalities.</p>
<hr class="full-width" />
</div>

<div class="article">
<div class="italic">
<p>The “jails” are malicious operating systems that are
<em>jails</em>: they do not allow
designed to impose censorship of which applications the user to freely install
applications. can install.
The <a href="http://i.imgur.com/ZRViDum.jpg">image of the iPrison</a>
illustrates this issue.</p>
<!-- embed http://i.imgur.com/ZRViDum.jpg here -->
<!-- Linking to it. Not possible to embed due to licensing. See RT #887471 -->

<p>These systems are platforms for censorship imposed by the company
that owns the system.  Selling products designed as platforms for a
company to impose censorship ought to be forbidden by law, but it
isn't.</p>

<p>This page lists a few jails, along with some of the methods they use
to censor apps, and includes specific examples of apps that were blocked
using this censorship power.</p>
</div>

<div class="important">
<p>If you know of an example that ought to be in this page but isn't
here, please write
to <a href="mailto:webmasters@gnu.org"><webmasters@gnu.org></a>
to inform us. Please include the URL of a trustworthy reference or two
to serve as specific substantiation.</p>
</div>

<div id="TOC" class="toc-inline">
<ul>

<li>
  <li> <a href="#apple">Apple</a> </li>
  <li> <a href="#microsoft">Microsoft</a> </li>
  <li> <a href="#consoles">Game consoles</a> </li>
</ul>
</div>

<h3 id="apple">Apple</h3>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201904080">
    <p>Apple plans to require that <a
    href="https://www.macrumors.com/2019/04/08/mac-apps-notarization-macos-10-14-5/">
    all application software for MacOS be approved by Apple first</a>.</p>

    <p>Offering a checking service as an option could be
    useful and would not be wrong.  Requiring users to get
    Apple's approval is tyranny. Apple says the check will
    only look for malware (not counting the malware that is <a
    href="/proprietary/malware-apple.html#TOC">part of
    the operating system</a>), but Apple could change that policy step
    by step.  Or perhaps Apple will define malware to include any app
    that China does not like.</p>

    <p>For free software, this means users will need to get Apple's
    approval after compilation.  This amounts to a system of surveilling
    the use of free programs.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200803070">
    <p><a href="http://boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-yo.html"> href="https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=IOS_jailbreaking&oldid=835861046">
    iOS, the operating system of the Apple iThings, is the prototype
    of a
jail.</a> jail</a>.  It was Apple that introduced the practice of
    designing general purposes purpose computers with censorship of application
    programs.</p>

<p>Apple used

    <p>Here is an article about the <a
    href="http://weblog.rogueamoeba.com/2008/03/07/code-signing-and-you/">
    code signing</a> that the iThings use to lock up the user.</p>

    <p>Curiously, Apple is beginning to allow limited passage through the
    walls of the iThing jail: users can now install apps built from
    source code, provided the source code is written in Swift.  Users
    cannot do this censorship power freely because they are required to identify
    themselves. <a href="https://developer.apple.com/xcode/">Here
    are details</a>. While this is a crack in 2014 the prison walls, it is not
    big enough to mean that the iThings are no longer jails.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<h4 id="apple-censorship">Examples of censorship by Apple jails</h4>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M202008300">
    <p>Apple is <a href="http://boingboing.net/2014/02/07/apple-yanks-last-remaining-bit.html">
ban
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/aug/30/this-isnt-the-1990s-apple-under-pressure-from-app-developers">
    putting the squeeze on all bitcoin apps</a> business</a> conducted through apps
    for iMonsters.</p>

    <p>This is a symptom of a very big injustice: that Apple has the iThings for
    power to decide what software can be installed on an iMonster.
    That it is a time.  It
also jail.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201910100">
    <p>Apple has <a href="http://www.gamespot.com/articles/apple-removes-game-about-growing-marijuana-from-app-store/1100-6419864/">banned
a game about growing marijuana</a>, while permitting games
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/10/hong-kong-protests-apple-pulls-tracking-app-after-china-criticism">
    banned the app that Hong Kong protesters use to communicate</a>.</p>

    <p>Obeying the “local laws” about other
crimes such what people can do with
    software is no excuse for censoring what software people can use.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201910070">
    <p>Apple <a
    href="https://boingboing.net/2019/10/07/apple-ios-13-1-2-for-hong-kong.html">
    censors the Taiwan flag in iOS</a> on behalf of the Chinese
    government. When the region is set to Hong Kong, this flag is not
    visible in the emoji selection widget but is still accessible. When the
    region is set to mainland China, all attempts to display it will result
    in the “empty emoji” icon as killing people.  Perhaps if the flag never existed.</p>

    <p>Thus, not only does Apple considers killing more
acceptable than marijuana.</p>

<p>Here is use the App Store as an article about instrument
    of censorship, it also uses the iThing operating system for that
    purpose.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201905150">
    <p>Users caught in the jail of an iMonster are <a href="http://weblog.rogueamoeba.com/2008/03/07/code-signing-and-you/">code
signing</a>
    href="https://boingboing.net/2019/05/15/brittle-security.html"> sitting
    ducks for other attackers</a>, and the app censorship prevents security
    companies from figuring out how those attacks work.</p>

    <p>Apple's censorship of apps is fundamentally unjust, and would be
    inexcusable even if it didn't lead to security threats as well.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201710130">
    <p>Apple is <a
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/10/iranian-hardliners-want-isolated-internet">
    censoring apps for the US government too</a>. Specifically, it is
    deleting apps developed by Iranians.</p>

    <p>The root of these wrongs is in Apple. If Apple had not designed
    the iMonsters to let Apple censor applications, Apple would not have
    had the power to stop users from installing whatever kind of apps.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201707290">
    <p>Apple <a
    href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/29/technology/china-apple-censorhip.html">
    deleted several VPNs from its app store for China</a>, thus using its
    own censorship power to strengthen that of the Chinese government.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201701064">
    <p>Apple used its censorship system to enforce Russian surveillance <a
    href="http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/technology/linkedin-blocked-in-russia.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0">
    by blocking distribution of the iThings use LinkedIn app in Russia</a>.</p>

    <p>This is ironic because LinkedIn is a surveillance system itself.
    While subjecting its users to lock up the user.</p>

<p>Curiously, Apple its own surveillance, it tries to
    protect its users from Russian surveillance, and is beginning therefore subject
    to allow limited passage through Russian censorship.</p>

    <p>However, the
walls of point here is the wrong of Apple's censorship of
    apps.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201701050">
    <p>Apple used its censorship system to enforce China's censorship <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/05/apple-removes-new-york-times-app-in-china">
    by blocking distribution of the iThing jail: users can now install apps built New York Times app</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201605190">
    <p>Apple censors games, <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/05/apple-says-game-about-palestinian-child-isnt-a-game">
    banning some games from
source code, provided the source code is written in Swift.  Users
cannot do this freely cr…app store</a> because of which
    political points they suggest. Some political points are required to identify themselves. apparently
    considered acceptable.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201509290">
    <p>Apple <a href="https://developer.apple.com/xcode/">Here are details.</a></p>

<p>While this is href="http://ifixit.org/blog/7401/ifixit-app-pulled/">
    banned a crack in program from the prison walls, it is not big enough to
mean that App Store</a> because its developers
    committed the iThings are no longer jails.</p> enormity of disassembling some iThings.</p>
  </li>

<li>

  <li id="M201509230">
    <p>As of 2015, Apple <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/23/apple-anti-choice-tendencies-showing-in-app-store-reproductive-rights">
    systematically bans apps that endorse abortion rights or would help
    women find abortions</a>.</p>

    <p>This particular political slant <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/dec/01/siri-abortion-apple-unintenional-omissions">
    affects other Apple services</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201506250">
    <p>Apple has banned iThing
    applications that show the confederate flag.  <a
    href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/25/apple-confederate-flag_n_7663754.html">
    Not only those that use it as a symbol of racism</a>, but even
    strategic games that use it to represent confederate army units
    fighting in the Civil War.</p>

    <p>This ludicrous rigidity illustrates the point that Apple should
    not be allowed to censor apps.  Even if Apple carried out this act of
    censorship with some care, it would still be wrong.  Whether racism
    is bad, whether educating people about drone attacks is bad, are not
    the real issue.  Apple should not have the power to impose its views
    about either of these questions, or any other.</p>
  </li>

<li>
  <p>
    <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/11/papers-please-game-ipad-nude-body-scans">More

  <li id="M201412110">
    <p><a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/11/papers-please-game-ipad-nude-body-scans">
    More examples of Apple's arbitrary and inconsistent censorship</a>.
  </p> censorship</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201405250">
    <p>Apple used this censorship power in 2014 to <a
    href="http://boingboing.net/2014/02/07/apple-yanks-last-remaining-bit.html">
    ban all bitcoin apps</a> for the iThings for a time.  It also <a
    href="http://www.gamespot.com/articles/apple-removes-game-about-growing-marijuana-from-app-store/1100-6419864/">
    banned a game about growing marijuana</a>, while permitting games
    about other crimes such as killing people.  Perhaps Apple considers
    killing more acceptable than marijuana.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201402070">
    <p>Apple rejected an app that displayed the locations
    of US drone assassinations, giving various excuses. Each
    time the developers fixed one “problem”, Apple
    complained about another.  After the fifth rejection, Apple <a
    href="http://mashable.com/2014/02/07/apple-app-tracks-drone-strikes/">
    admitted it was censoring the app based on the subject matter</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="microsoft">Microsoft</h3>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201706130">
    <p>Windows 10 S was a jail: <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/03/windows-10-s-microsoft-faster-pc-comparison">
    only programs from the Windows Store could be
    installed and executed</a>. It was however possible to <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/13/15789998/microsoft-windows-10-s-upgrade-windows-10-pro-guide">
    upgrade to Windows 10 Pro</a>. The successor of Windows
    10 S is a special configuration of Windows 10 called <a
    href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4020089/windows-10-in-s-mode-faq">
    S mode</a>. The major difference with Windows 10 S is that there is
    an easy way to switch out of S mode.</p>
  </li>

<li>

  <li id="M201210080">
    <p><a
href="http://www.itworld.com/article/2832657/operating-systems/microsoft-metro-app-store-lock-down.html">Windows
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20190917162027/https://www.itworld.com/article/2832657/microsoft-metro-app-store-lock-down.html">
    Windows 8 on “mobile devices” is (now defunct) was a jail.</a></p>
    jail</a>.</p>
  </li>

<li>
<p>Game consoles are jails, too: no
</ul>


<h3 id="consoles">Game consoles</h3>

<p>No game can run on the console unless the console's manufacturer
has authorized it.  Alas, I we can't find a article to cite as a reference
for this fact.  Please inform us if you know of one.
</p>
</li>

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