What you need to know
- Apple is blocking a root certificate Kazakhstan ISPs were forced to install to spy on citizens.
- Google and Mozilla are also blocking the certificate.
- This protects users of Safari, Chrome, and Firefox from the certificate.
ISPs in Kazakhstan were forced to install a root certificate that allowed the government to effectively spy on their citizens by breaking HTTPS encryption and monitoring what web pages they went to and what information was being sent back and forth.
Apple, which makes the Safari browser pre-installed on Macs, iPhones, and iPads, Mozilla, which makes Firefox, and Google, which makes Chrome, the browser on ChromeOS and Android, have all now moved to ban that certificate.
Apple sent me the following statement:
ZDNet also has statements up from Google and Mozilla.
From now on, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome will throw up errors if and when they encounter the Kazakh root certificate. And good for them. Once any government starts to sink its surveillance fangs into core internet technology, and breaks the encryption fundamental to not only privacy but security, all governments and enterprises, fearful and malevolent, will follow.
It's much easier to stop it before it starts.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.