Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WikiLeaks app yanked from Apple's App Store

Apple has removed a WikiLeaks app from its App Store just a few short days after its release.
Launched on December 17, the $1.99 WikiLeaks App offered access to the whistleblower site and the @wikileaks Twitter stream and was described as providing "'instant access to the world's most documented leakage of top secret memos and other confidential government documents," according to a Google cached version of the site provided by TechCrunch. The app was created by a third-party development firm called Hint Solutions, which lists Igor Barinov as its general manager.
But as of late last night, Barinov has confirmed both in his own Twitter feed and in an e-mail to TechCrunch that Apple has removed the WikiLeaks app from sale without further explanation at this point.
Though no specific reasons were given for the app's ouster, the move isn't surprising given both the controversy over WikiLeaks and Apple's tight control over which apps it feels are suitable for the App Store. We've contacted Apple for further details and will update the story if the company responds.
In the meantime, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains out on bail following his recent arrest in London. The controversial Assange is wanted for questioning by Swedish authorities over allegations of sexual assault. WikiLeaks itself roused the ire of the U.S. government after it published thousands of sensitive U.S. State Department and Pentagon documents. The uproar prompted several companies, including Amazon, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal to shut off access to WikiLeaks, triggering a wave of cyberattacks from "hactivists" in support of the whistleblowing site.

It's funny that Apple is worried about their reputation...

1 comment:

  1. Apple is rightly worried --not so much about their reputation (public perception), but rather about getting on the wrong side of our increasingly paranoid, repressive, secretive, unethical, ruthless government. We are seeing a lot of self-censorship in all forms of media. The bigger the company, the more they have at risk if the Feds decide to punish them for helping to expose the truth.

    In case you haven't noticed, our government is no longer "of the people, by the people" (if it ever was). It is run by corporate interests. Politicians are elected with the help of significant corporate campaign support. In return, the government props up the companies (who are their real constituents) with deregulation, tax breaks, and bailouts. Woe be unto anyone who rocks the boat.

    Apple may or may not be a significant political player, but they still stand to lose if they don't toe the line.