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Alongside iOS 15, Apple introduced an iCloud+ service that adds new features to its paid ‌iCloud‌ plans. One of these features is ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay, which is designed to encrypt all of the traffic leaving your device so no one can intercept it or read it.

icloud.jpg

According to Apple, "regulatory reasons" prevent the company from launching Private Relay in China, Belarus, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and the Philippines.

Apple mentioned these country limitations in June, but it seems that Private Relay will not be available in Russia either, after Apple apparently disabled the feature there over the last day or so.

Based on reports from Twitter users and as reported by iPhones.ru, the feature was previously available to use in Russia via beta versions of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, but now when they try to enable it, those same users are met with the message "Private Relay is not supported in this region."

Private Relay works by sending web traffic to a server that is maintained by Apple to strip the IP address. Once IP info has been removed, Apple sends the traffic to a second server maintained by a third-party company that assigns a temporary IP address and then sends the traffic to its destination, a process that prevents your IP address, location, and browsing activity from being used to create a profile about you.

Involving an outside party in the relay system is an intentional move that Apple says was designed to prevent anyone, including Apple, from knowing a user's identity and the website the user is visiting.


Why Apple has apparently disabled Private Relay in Russia only recently isn't entirely clear, but the company has bowed to demands from the Russian authorities in the past, so there's good reason to presume this is down to another regulatory issue.

iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 will be released on Monday, September 20.

Article Link: Apple Seemingly Adds Russia to List of Countries Where iCloud Private Relay Won't Be Available
 
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visualseed

macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2020
286
493
“Bowed to demands”

It’s interesting that many of the same people advocating legislation around the world to change how Apple conducts business, seem to also be the ones to suggest that Apple should ignore or resist laws in countries that they don’t like.

I’m all for being opposed to authoritative regimes and repressive laws, but foreign policy should not be left to corporations to enforce. This should remain the realm of governments and citizens should pressure them into legislating trade with countries that abuse human rights.
 
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beerseagulls

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2021
275
187
"......designed to encrypt all of the traffic leaving your device so no one can intercept it or read it"

wait a minute... does this mean someone has always been able to read the traffic between my iPhone and iCloud in the last several years? I've been paying extra for iCloud for years and never realized that.
 

Feyl

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2013
738
1,567
Czech Republic
"......designed to encrypt all of the traffic leaving your device so no one can intercept it or read it"

wait a minute... does this mean someone has always been able to read the traffic between my iPhone and iCloud in the last several years? I've been paying extra for iCloud for years and never realized that.
Exactly my thoughts. All this time Apple was making privacy their image but you have to pay for it now? I ask the same question as you. Does it mean that they lied about their efforts amd iCloud wasn’t private? Why do I have to pay extra for privacy now? I was already paying for iCloud until the CSAM debacle. Apple is just full of you know what. Don’t trust them.
 

laptech

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2013
1,010
1,379
Earth
"......designed to encrypt all of the traffic leaving your device so no one can intercept it or read it"

wait a minute... does this mean someone has always been able to read the traffic between my iPhone and iCloud in the last several years? I've been paying extra for iCloud for years and never realized that.
Not 'ALL' traffice is encrypted, email and imessages for one. Using the private relay nows means everything is encrypted.
 

dmylrea

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2005
3,600
4,790
"......designed to encrypt all of the traffic leaving your device so no one can intercept it or read it"

wait a minute... does this mean someone has always been able to read the traffic between my iPhone and iCloud in the last several years? I've been paying extra for iCloud for years and never realized that.
It is my understanding that Private Relay is like a VPN. It's for ALL internet traffic, not necessarily just traffic between your iPhone and iCloud. It's to make your internet activity more private.
 

laptech

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2013
1,010
1,379
Earth
I think you will find the relay chat has been disabled in those countries because those countries have laws that 1) prevent encryption of the countries citizens data because the authourities require access to citizens electronic data for legal reasons and 2) countries laws demand that any electronic information held about their citizens must be held on a server in their country.
 

Sandstorm

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2011
666
1,616
Riga, Latvia
Also Apple (and Google) today removed the app of the (first poisoned, now jailed) opposition leader Alexey Navalny. That app was one of the last remaining routes Navalny could communicate with supporters inside Russia.

 

visualseed

macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2020
286
493
I think you will find the relay chat has been disabled in those countries because those countries have laws that 1) prevent encryption of the countries citizens data because the authourities require access to citizens electronic data for legal reasons and 2) countries laws demand that any electronic information held about their citizens must be held on a server in their country.
On Sept 1, Putin signed a law that required all VPN and Proxy services to allow Roskomnadzor to see their traffic. Aside from this being a technical nightmare to implement, it renders the whole point of encryption useless.
 

DougieS

macrumors member
May 31, 2019
69
82
Exactly my thoughts. All this time Apple was making privacy their image but you have to pay for it now? I ask the same question as you. Does it mean that they lied about their efforts amd iCloud wasn’t private? Why do I have to pay extra for privacy now? I was already paying for iCloud until the CSAM debacle. Apple is just full of you know what. Don’t trust them.
You’re not paying extra. iCloud+ is a free upgrade for already paying for storage.
 
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unclemax

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2015
246
162
It’s basically internet privacy s***list. Russia standing separately from China, Turkmenistan, and Saudi Arabia in that regard - now that would be surprising!
 
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winxmac

macrumors regular
Sep 1, 2021
114
128
Does this depend on what country your iCloud/Apple account is set to or is it the country the IP address your device is using?

Has anyone ever tried to bypass this geo-restriction?
 

begemotik228

macrumors member
Aug 2, 2014
37
56
EU
"......designed to encrypt all of the traffic leaving your device so no one can intercept it or read it"

wait a minute... does this mean someone has always been able to read the traffic between my iPhone and iCloud in the last several years? I've been paying extra for iCloud for years and never realized that.
No, this thing is like a VPN. And VPNs have really excelled with their marketing making people believe that their traffic is unencrypted without them. Fact is, most connections are encrypted anyway via HTTPS. Like when browsing websites, your browser will show you a lock icon on most websites, means that it's encrypted. The vast majority of websites these days do that. Goes for apps too. You don't need to pay extra for any VPN.
 
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