Apple strikes down WikiLeaks app for iPhone
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has confirmed it removed from the App Store an iPhone and iPad application enabling users to view content from the controversial WikiLeaks website and follow the nonprofit's Twitter account. An Apple spokesperson tells The New York Times the computing giant deleted the WikiLeaks App "because it violated our developer guidelines... Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or group in harm's way."
The WikiLeaks application, priced at $1.99, promised to donate $1.00 per download to "organizations that promote the future of online democracy"; it disappeared from the App Store on Monday, about 72 hours after launch. BBC News reports more than 4,000 iOS users downloaded the app prior to its removal. Developer Igor Barinov tells BBC News "[Apple] said there is no way back for this application."
WikiLeaks publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources and news leaks; in November, the organization began issuing U.S. State Department diplomatic cables, a move that has generated both enormous praise and scathing criticism. Apple is only the latest company to terminate services supporting WikiLeaks or channeling money to the group--over the last month, Amazon.com stated it will no longer host WikiLeaks content, and financial services providers PayPal, Visa and Mastercard all ceased processing payments earmarked for the organization.
The WikiLeaks App is the latest in a long line of applications to run afoul of App Store rules and regulations. Late last month, Apple deleted an iPhone application opposing gay marriage in response to an online petition calling for its removal. The application, dubbed Manhattan Declaration and described as a "call of Christian Conscience," advocated "the sanctity of life, the dignity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and religious liberty"--social activism website Change.org led the charge against the app, launching an online petition calling it "anti-gay" and "anti-choice" and encouraging Apple to remove it. Change.org reported that close to 8,000 members emailed Apple to protest the app. "We removed the Manhattan Declaration app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people," Apple said in a statement.
- read this New York Times article
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