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Proposed Law Against Apple's 'Walled Garden' Software Approach Sparks Fears of iPhone Ban in Italy

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera [Google Translate] published a headline today that translates to "the bill that could ban the iPhone in Italy."


The bill in question, Senate Act 2484, is aimed at ensuring Italians have open access to software, content, and services. The portion of the bill potentially relevant to Apple essentially says that users should have the right to download any software, whether proprietary or open source, on any platform.

An excerpt from Article Four of the loosely translated bill:
Users have the right to, in an appropriate format to the required technology platform […] use fair and non-discriminatory software, proprietary or open source […] content and services of their choice.
It's well known that iOS is a walled garden, in which apps can only be distributed through the App Store, and only if developers adhere to Apple's guidelines. The only way to download apps outside of Apple's parameters is by jailbreaking, which is in violation of Apple's end-user agreement.

Naturally, there are some concerns about how the iPhone and other devices could be affected if the bill is approved, although the prospect of any Apple product being outright banned in Italy seems highly unlikely.

The bill was introduced last year by Stefano Quintarelli, an Italian entrepreneur and member of the Scelta Civica political party in Italy. The bill was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in July 2016, and it now must be approved by the Senate of the Republic, within Italy's parliamentary government.

(Thanks, Macitynet and iSpazio!)

Tag: Italy


Top Rated Comments

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18 months ago
And here we have another example of politicians not understanding how anything works.
Rating: 92 Votes
18 months ago
I am completely against this. I like the walled garden. Occasionally there's something I'd like to do but can't but that's rare and (despite some notable exception cases) I prefer the safeguards of app store only. If Apple has to build a process to load apps untethered I would expect that to be exploited for malware.
Rating: 40 Votes
18 months ago
Well, we've seen this before, and it worked out really well.

The sheer quantity of apps being removed from the App Store recently is proof that there are a lot of shady developers out there that don't care about end users, but just want to make a quick million. The "walled garden" filters much of that junk. It's nice inside here.
Rating: 40 Votes
18 months ago
I’ve noticed over the past

All iPhone would need to do is use the Android approach: You can download anything from the official app store, if you download from other stores, a warning appears saying something to the effect that this is from an untrusted source, if you install this things may not work properly. They could even add in a clause that says if you need warranty service you have to uninstall all apps from untrusted sources first.

This would actually be a reasonable balance between the two positions.
[doublepost=1498231951][/doublepost]
Not really, Android allows for it and has found a way to do so as safely as possible, so it CAN be done.


As an IT manager, this would be a complete nightmare. The last thing I want is for people to bring their iOS devices to me and bitch about poor performance or worse a compromised device. Apple would never make such a compromise.

Apple is slowly opening up their ecosystem in a way that makes sense to Apple. The next step would be to allow users to assign default apps in iOS. If a user really needs to download a program outside of the App Store, they should learn how to sideload apps.
Rating: 24 Votes
18 months ago
All iPhone would need to do is use the Android approach: You can download anything from the official app store, if you download from other stores, a warning appears saying something to the effect that this is from an untrusted source, if you install this things may not work properly. They could even add in a clause that says if you need warranty service you have to uninstall all apps from untrusted sources first.

This would actually be a reasonable balance between the two positions.
[doublepost=1498231951][/doublepost]

And here we have another example of politicians not understanding how anything works.

Not really, Android allows for it and has found a way to do so as safely as possible, so it CAN be done.
Rating: 21 Votes
18 months ago

I’ve noticed over the past


As an IT manager, this would be a complete nightmare. The last thing I want is for people to bring their iOS devices to me and bitch about poor performance or worse a compromised device. Apple would never make such a compromise.

Apple is slowly opening up their ecosystem in a way that makes sense to Apple. The next step would be to allow users to assign default apps in iOS. If a user really needs to download a program outside of the App Store, they should learn how to sideload apps.

As an IT manager you’d have given out managed devices. Don't be so melodramatic.
Rating: 18 Votes
18 months ago

All iPhone would need to do is use the Android approach: You can download anything from the official app store, if you download from other stores, a warning appears saying something to the effect that this is from an untrusted source, if you install this things may not work properly. They could even add in a clause that says if you need warranty service you have to uninstall all apps from untrusted sources first.

This would actually be a reasonable balance between the two positions.
[doublepost=1498231951][/doublepost]
Not really, Android allows for it and has found a way to do so as safely as possible, so it CAN be done.

Their method is complete unsafe as it requires non technical people to understand technical stuff. 90% can't and half of the rest just won't. That's why malware is ao prevelent on android.
Tech heads lure non techs to use it but they put them at risk.
Rating: 16 Votes
18 months ago

I am completely against this. I like the walled garden. Occasionally there's something I'd like to do but can't but that's rare and (despite some notable exception cases) I prefer the safeguards of app store only. If Apple has to build a process to load apps untethered I would expect that to be exploited for malware.

If it comes to pass no one is saying you need to leave the walled garden.
If an alternate App Store for iOS does come to fruition, just don't use it.
Simple.
Rating: 15 Votes
18 months ago

As an IT manager you’d have given out managed devices. Don't be so melodramatic.

You either have limited experience or have no idea what your talking about.
Some companies IT departments allow BYOD and have corporate apps that employees use on those devices.
Some executives in these companies expect and want the tech department to look at other issues with their personsal devices.
I have worked at couple of companies like this in NYC and I'm talking companies with staff greater than 200 thousand employees worldwide.
Of course this is ancdeotal.
YMMV
Rating: 11 Votes
18 months ago
So what is Italy going to do? Sue Apple? If Apple decides to stop selling phones in Italy as a result of this, who are the people going to blame? And if they do, what's to stop them from simply ordering a phone from France or some other EU nation?

For that matter, wouldn't such a law violate EU law? Can they ban a product that is legal in the rest of the EU? Won't they have to get the rest of Europe to buy-in to this ban for it to be legal?

Android allows for it and has found a way to do so as safely as possible, so it CAN be done.

Can be done, but definitely not safely. Have you seen the sheer volume of malware that infects Android phones all the time? Apple made their decision for a very good reason.

That having been said, there are already ways to get apps in from other sources. Apple already supports an "enterprise deployment" mechanism where you can install a corporate site certificate that will let it install apps signed and distributed by that corporation. There are already third-party "app stores" that exploit this loophole. And people have been known to get infected with malware from apps on those stores as well.
[doublepost=1498233046][/doublepost]

Its not the job of a politician to 'understand how it works'.
The job of a politician is to set policy/enact law and have government employees/regulators and the private sector understand how 'things work' and how to implement the policy.


Ah yes. It is the obligation of every citizen to serve the government, no matter how unreasonable that government may be. Not the other way around. It is very refreshing to see someone willing to admit to having such an opinion instead of trying to obscure it with double-speak.
Rating: 11 Votes

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