Apple appears to have disabled iCloud Private Relay in Russia for reasons unknown
What you need to know
- Russians are reporting that iCloud Private Relay is no longer supported in their country.
- The iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey feature is supposed to help keep users' data private during internet usage.
Apple's upcoming iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey updates will bring iCloud Private Relay to the masses — but not in Russia after Apple seemingly disabled the feature over the last day or so.
As spotted by people on Twitter and reported by iPhones.ru, the feature was available but now no longer works, with Apple telling users that iCloud Private Relay is not supported in the country.
iCloud Private Relay is no longer supported in Russia pic.twitter.com/df4z1q0gLQiCloud Private Relay is no longer supported in Russia pic.twitter.com/df4z1q0gLQ— Абдулла Хасан Иванов (@abdulla_hasan) September 16, 2021September 16, 2021
Apple's iCloud Private Relay feature is designed to help keep users' browsing data private by first connecting you to an Apple-owned relay, then back out to the internet via a third-party-owned relay, before forwarding you to the website you want to see. That prevents anyone from seeing which websites people you're accessing. Anyone really looking will see that someone is connecting to a website, but they won't know who. We have an iCloud Private Relay explainer if you're looking for the technical details.
Why Apple has disabled the feature in Russia isn't clear and we don't yet know whether this is a temporary situation or a change in policy. Apple has already said that iCloud Private Relay won't be available in all countries, but it seems odd to make it available and then remove it during the beta process.
Apple will make iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 available on Monday, September 20. Who knows whether Apple will have re-enabled Russian access to its internet privacy feature by then.
iMore has reached out to Apple for comment on the reasons behind disabling iCloud Private Relay and awaits a response.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
By Tammy Rogers