WikiLeaks App for iPhone gets pulled from the App Store
Well it was a good short run for developer Igor Barinov and his WikiLeaks application but Apple has officially pulled it from the App Store just four short days after first approving it. I wouldn't expect to see it back anytime in the future.
The app gave instant access to the WikiLeaks web content as well as provided access to the site's Twitter account. WikiLeaks has at the center of political and media controversy lately for publishing secret information in the form of documents, memos or other confidential transmissions about the government. Recently other big companies like Amazon, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and Bank of America have all tried to get their names away from anything associated with WikiLeaks and it appears as Apple might be trying to do the same thing.
Did you download the WikiLeaks app before it got pulled from the App Store? Do you think Apple should have pulled the app even though it doesn't appear to violate any of the terms of services set forth by Apple themselves? Tell us your thoughts about the issue below.
[ TechChrunch ]
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"Apple pulled the WIkiLeaks app. Shame on you, Apple."
"Yay! Here are America's national secrets! It's all in the spirit of openness. Down with censorship! Putting lives and undercover officials at mortal risk be damned! We need our fountain of official smut!"
Ridiculous. Glad it's gone.
That is a beautiful summation of exactly what is wrong with the App Store, and why most of us developers treat a partnership with Apple as a necessary evil. (That, and their tech is pretty good.) The "we can do what we want, when we want, no matter what it costs you, and we don't have to tell you" mantra is anathema to any business relationship, and I will be sad when it eventually leads to iOS's decline, because it is my favorite platform to use, and pretty fun to code for.
That said, if Apple took the time to read their own rules, they could have avoided any stink whatsoever in this case. I believe somewhere in the App Store Terms (don't have it handy at the moment) that you cannot solicit donations in a paid app. Barinov's app was not free, so if it offered means to donate to WikiLeaks (or any other organization), it would clearly be in violation of those terms, and it would be fair grounds for removal according to published guidelines.
However, the fact that Apple apparently did not include any reason for its removal strongly suggests this was another arbitrary decision made by Apple.
I am not incensed eiher way, though. The WL stuff is some deep, complicated $#!+.
Now, that prohibition might be a different reason to hate Apple, but they aren't necessarily going after Wikileaks.
Steve has always been our benevolent dictator, but now the people are starting to demand more freedom from the sovereign.
The NYTimes quoted an Apple spokeswoman saying that Apple did not remove it for donations, but that apps
"must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or group in harm’s way"
Setting aside for the moment the question of whether Wikileaks endangers anybody, I do not recall reading anything about harm's way in Apples terms, but, like I said earlier, I do not have the agreement handy. As for local laws, there is certainly a precedent for Apple pulling apps from localized App Stores due to violation of a country's laws (think skin apps in certain Middle East countries), but, if that is the case, they should also cite the relevant law or explicit government request.
He is not facing a real crime, he is facing nothing more then a conspiracy made by the American government... Everyone knows that they are not doing anything else then an attempt to shut wikileaks down.
@Icewing and @DJ
You seriously dont think people have the right to know the crimes of their own government?
How the hell is this any different from the guys running the convenience store down the street deciding that they don't want to sell a certain brand of cookies or soda anymore…?!
You should actually read the court documents. "Sex by surprise" is the actual charge, and it would not rise to the level of any crime in the US. It does in Sweden, but Assange's personal creepiness is totally irrelevant to the Wikileaks app.
and see here I thought the british had more class. Guess throwing paint cans at the prince and his wife raping woman and leaking doucments counts as class now?
And I guess throwing around irrelevant insults about a country when you do not even know the nationality of the person counts as intelligence now?
This is the way the world works. If you don't like it, make billions of dollars and throw your weight around. Until then you and I have to deal with others throwing their weight around. Sit back, relax and enjoy your insignificant self.
Revealing our governments dirty deeds !
Why the hate ?! If you wanna keep on hating , start by looking at the people we trust and voted on the office.
Anytime anybody steals and then decides to spill our national secrets to the "rest" of the world, I would consider them an enemy of the state. Does there need to be more transparency by our government? Yes! Do we need classified secrets that 'most people' are already aware of leaked, thereby jeopardizing American lives and security? NO!
Good for Apple staying clear of this one.
A governments dirty deeds isn't anything to be proud of. Why should our government get involved in crap that might jeopardize our peoples lives if their crap is revealed.
With your logic , our nation might as well get rid of freedom of speech :roll:
Apple doesn't owe you an explanation on why an app is removed any more than any other vendor decides to discontinue a product for whatever reason they choose.
Get over it.
Wikileaks didn't steal the docs. They reported and published them. Same thing happened with Nixon and the watergate scandals. The news agencies didn't steal the tapes, they reported and published them. What's the difference? Both were classified materials. Or do you think that watergate was a "ggod" thing to have kept concealed too?