Apple: No wireless partner is blocking iCloud Private Relay

Apple has denied reports that carriers are blocking VPN-like iCloud Private Relay: “None of the carriers we work with have prevented their customers from using Private Relay,” Apple said in a statement to Mac & i. Apple was also unable to confirm the bug cited by T-Mobile US that could disrupt private relay, with iOS 15.2 “No changes were made to iCloud Private Relay that would disable the functionality,” the company stressed.

Possible misrepresentation in iOS settings should be corrected in a future release of the operating system. If a user consciously or unconsciously turns off private paging, iOS 15.2 warns that iCloud mobile tariffs do not support private paging. In the future it will be added there that the function may have been turned off by the user himself. The change has already been implemented in the latest beta version of iOS 15.3.

More and more iPhone users in different countries have complained that their carriers are already blocking private relays. Apple’s renaming of the switch to activate and deactivate the service at the network level has caused additional confusion: From iOS 15.2, it’s now called “Limit IP Address Tracking” instead of “iCloud Private Relay.”

At the beginning of the week, it became known that the major European network operators had already contacted the European Union Commission about Apple’s special relay last year and complained that the service could undermine digital sovereignty. It also makes managing your networks efficiently more difficult.

iCloud Private Relay also hides portions of your traffic from your carrier. Apple relies on “Oblivious DNS over HTTPS” (ODoH), additional encryption and relays from two independent instances. Classic VPNs also hide traffic from your carrier, but their use should be relatively manageable: if Apple activates iCloud Private Relay by default in iOS after the beta phase, hundreds of millions of iPhone users will use the service around the clock in one fell swoop.

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Private relay not available worldwide: Apple doesn’t offer service in certain regions, apparently including Turkey and Russia. Network operators can easily block the relay service, intended for corporate or school networks, for example. But mobile operators can also block the job if the customer has booked a youth protection filter, for example.


(lbe)

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