Apple and Google please Russia: the map of Crimea has been modified

Apple and Google please Russia: the map of Crimea has been modified

Politics and technology often go hand in hand: we can see it very well in the Huawei-USA question, in which telecommunication structures (old or new generation doesn't matter) are used to spy on entire countries according to one, or are used as a pretext to slow Chinese economic growth according to the other. Smaller, but no less significant, is Apple's decision – and apparently also Google's – to make a change within its applications.

Everything started in 2014, when the peninsula of Crimea was declared by the Kremlin Russian territory after a military intervention. Annexation never recognized internationally, but which the giants of the web have evidently decided to "take into consideration" (although partially, we will explain later) to maintain good relations with Russia.

Apple side, the position is official and has been confirmed by Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly. In practice, if on theWeather app or iOS maps type from Russia Simferopol or Sevastopol, the word "will appear next to them"Crimea, Russia"In other words, if you are in Russia and are searching for a place on the Crimean peninsula, it will be explained that it is a territory under the control of Moscow.

"If you are in Russia", in fact. Yes, because the escamotage applied by Apple is hidden precisely in this detail: to make it short,

  • if you are in Russia Simferopol is in "Crimea, Russia"
  • if you are in the rest of the world Simferopol is … nowhere. The result returned is laconic: Simferopol. Stop. And this also applies to Sevastopol, Dzhankoy, Alušta and all other places on the peninsula.

Crimea and Sevastopol now appear on Apple devices as Russian territory,

the Duma announced in a statement.

Driven by curiosity, we made a comparison with Google Maps. Well, even in Mountain View they seem to have decided to "stay on the defensive" by canceling all geographical references to the Crimean localities. So, if you search for Sevastopol on Maps, the result will always be the same (from Italy): Sevastopol. Point. Unfortunately we have no way of verifying what the result will be if it is in Russian territory. If any of you readers are in Moscow or in some other city of the Federation, we await feedback.

Not attaching Crimea to Russia in the maps would be a crime against the Russian Constitution, said Vasily Piskaryov of the Duma. And if Apple (and Google?) Hadn't made this change it would have risked penalties. "The case is solved"they say from Moscow.