Apple Bans WikiLeaks App from iPhones

Apple has banned the WikiLeaks iPhone app, determining that it could ‘hurt people,’ ‘is illegal’, or both. The company didn’t specially say why 73 million IPhone users are forbidden from using the app, but they did hint at the reason.

Apple’s Trudy Miller told the New York Times that the app “violated our developer guidelines. Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or group in harm’s way.”

This would be fine – except there’s no evidence that Wikileaks has harmed anyone, according to federal officials. Further, WikiLeaks has not been convicted of violating any laws.

The $1.99 WikiLeaks app was taking down yesterday after being available for just three days. It’s not clear how popular it was, but its developer promised to donate $1 for every download to organizations that “promote the future of online democracy.” 

Apple is the latest company to cut off services that in some way support WikiLeaks or channel money to the organization.  In recent weeks, Amazon stopped hosting WikiLeaks content, and PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard stopped processing payments to the organization.

Now, I don’t get it. Since when are we, as Americans, not allowed to choose where we’d like to spend our money? Apple has banned apps before, but they were deemed to be offensive to users. WikiLeaks has not, yet several companies are banning the support of it. What gives?

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Categories: iPhone Apps

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