Apple and Other Browser Makers Ban Kazakhstan HTTPS Certificate Used to Surveil Citizens

ios7 safari iconApple has teamed up with Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla to block a web browser root certificate that was being used by the Kazakhstan government to surveil its citizens.

The certificate allowed authorities to monitor people's online activity by intercepting and decrypting HTTPS traffic from residents in Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan.

Local ISPs were required to block foreign websites including Google and Twitter, unless users had the certificate installed, but Apple and the other browser makers on Friday acted in unison to ban the certificate, according to ZDNet.

Since the ban, Chrome, Edge, Mozilla, and Safari refuse to work with the certificate, and the browsers throw up error messages to users who installed it, telling them the certificate can't be used because it isn't trustworthy.

As ZDNet notes, this is the second time the four browser makers have banned a certificate issued by the Kazakh government for man-in-the-middle attacks. The first block came in August 2019, and acted to prevent a certificate used to intercept traffic for various Russian and English-speaking social media sites.

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Top Rated Comments

Mac Fly (film) Avatar
45 months ago
They'll do the same with China right?
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Schizoid Avatar
45 months ago

They'll do the same with China right?
Tim Cook is a great advocate of non-chinese human rights...
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
baryon Avatar
45 months ago
The sad thing is that this is only possible because Apple has no significant relationship with Kazakhstan. China is a whole other story.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
45 months ago

They'll do the same with China right?
China uses a much more sophisticated system of censorship there, unlike Kazakhstan’s lousy job of ... installing a Certificate? ?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
amartinez1660 Avatar
45 months ago

Unfortunately not. But I can’t blame Cook, he would be fired if he pissed off China and quickly replaced with somebody who is willing to follow every single one of China’s demands.
That’s an incredibly fair point.
We have no idea what being on that seat entails and how much wiggle room there is to make a dent without losing the head in the process.
I mean, for sure he is not waking up in the morning thinking “I’m going to make a lot of people unhappy today”.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
45 months ago
Kazakhstan is the greatest country in the world~~~ ?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)