Apple boots WikiLeaks app from iPhone store

Cites clause that bars apps which put people in harm's way, says maker

Apple yesterday pulled an iPhone app from the App Store that let users read secret U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks and follow the controversial organization's Twitter feed.

According to Igor Barinov, the general manager of Moscow-based Hint Solutions, Apple yanked his WikiLeaks App from the App Store shortly after noon on Monday. Barinov posted several screenshots of his program's App Store status as proof.

Tuesday, Barinov said that Apple had called to tell him it would provide an official reason for removing his app in a day or two. In a Twitter message, Barinov said Apple had referred him to several clauses in the App Store developer guidelines, including one that read: "Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms [sic] way will be rejected."

"They named points of apple dev guideline which bans app forever," Barinov said on Twitter.

Apple's move was the latest in a string made by U.S. companies, including Amazon, Bank of America, MasterCard and PayPal, that have terminated services for WikiLeaks.

In late November, the organization began publishing U.S. State Department messages. Since then, WikiLeaks shifted its site to new hosting providers several times; its founder, Julian Assange, was arrested in the U.K. and then posted bail; and pro-WikiLeaks activists launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the firms that withdrew services.

In a Monday press release, Barinov said that $US1 from the sale of each copy of the $1.99 app would be earmarked to "help fund the legal defense costs in the event that high- profile Internet journalists will be charged in a United States Court" for writing about the WikiLeaks cache of U.S. documents.

WikiLeaks does not charge to access its content.

Tuesday morning, Barinov said that his app had been downloaded 4,434 times, and he would contribute $4434 to WikiLeaks from his profit of $5825.

Apple takes a 30 per cent cut of all revenue on the App Store; if Borinov's numbers are accurate, Apple would have made approximately $2500 on the sale of the app.

Neither Barinov or Apple replied Tuesday to requests for comment or to additional questions.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags e-commerceMobile Apps and Servicespaypaltwittergovernmente-businessinternetprivacyGovernment/IndustriesAppleBank of Americasecurity

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?