Apple is making the Private Relay VPN service unavailable in ten countries, including China and Belarus, due to “regulations.” Private Relay allows users to disguise their Safari traffic from businesses, advertisers and Apple.
Apple told Reuters that the service will not be available in certain countries due to “legal reasons”. No further explanation is given. In addition to China and Belarus, this includes Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Uganda and the Philippines.
This is not the first time that Apple has made a privacy compromise to comply with regulations within a country. For example, the report previously appeared that Apple had developed iCloud hardware security especially for China that, according to security researchers, would be easier to hack than the hardware security that the company uses in other countries.
With the Private Relay function, which for the time being only works in the Safari browser, internet traffic goes through two extra servers. The first server is run by Apple and removes the IP address. The second server is from a third party and gives the user a temporary IP address. This feature is part of the new iCloud+ plan, which replaces the current iCloud subscription.