As part of the cat and mouse game with the Chinese Great Firewall, Apple has started using https to mask searches and downloads from the Chinese App Store. Why? So people can buy VPN apps and other apps the Chinese government might not want them to have.
The Register and Greatfirewall.org have the story:
Apple has adopted HTTPS for searches and downloads on the version of iTunes used in China. The move comes at a time when China’s government prepares to step up regulation of online app stores and continues its crackdown on VPNs.
Greatfirewall.org, which tests blocked URLs and popular web platforms to provide info on censorship in China, blogged on Thursday that the switch to HTTPS has effectively enabled Apple to bypass the Great Firewall, for now.
“Before this adoption, searching for certain keywords such as ‘vpn’ would lead to a connection reset on iTunes and visiting the page for certain apps, such as VPN Express would also cause a reset, which means there is no way for users in China to search for or download certain apps even if they are available in China App Store,” it said.
Which is great, but makes me wonder if the iTunes store searches and downloads shouldn’t be using https all the time for all of us?
Via: The Register