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Apple pulls Wikileaks app without explanation

updated 06:25 am EST, Tue December 21, 2010

Could spark retaliation from supporters

Apple has pulled an unofficial Wikileaks app from the App store for the iPhone and iPad without explanation. The paid $2 app purported to offer users the ability to get "instant access to the world's most documented leakage of top-secret memos and other confidential government documents." Just as interesting as the app's disappearance is that it made it through Apple's notorious approval process in the first instance. Developer Igor Barinov supplied TechCrunch an image of the official Apple status update (included below).

The removal of the app from the Apple app store is the latest in a string of high profile companies who have tried to distance themselves from Wikileaks. Apple now joins Amazon, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and Bank of America in putting space between themselves and the controversial whistle blowing site.

Apple will have weighed the decision to remove the app against a possible backlash from Wikileaks hacktivists who have already launched web attacks on the Mastercard and Visa websites. [via TechCrunch]

by MacNN Staff



  1. chas_m



    Before ...

    ... we all go jumping to conclusions -- which may or may not be correct -- let me throw one out there you may not have thought of:

    This pull may have been initiated by WikiLeaks *itself.* I can't imagine that they would be happy someone has made a for-profit app off their work.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, Apple is a capitalist tool of The Man etc ... maybe so. I'm just sayin' there COULD be another explanation. I have NO IDEA what the real story is, and frankly the whole WikiLeaks affair is starting to morph into a bad episode of the X-Files ...

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Statement From Apple, Please

    Considering all the hoopla in the USA( the rest of the world hardly gives a S**T), Apple should give an explanation as to why the app has been dropped. If it is to jump on the wikileaks bashing bandwagon, then Apple should suffer just fruits: cyber attacks, boycotts, and perhaps a bit of vandalism.
    If Apple is bowing to USA Government pressure, then it's more just fruits.
    I see this as an issue of freedom of the press and dissemination of information. If this was classified information, why did 3.5 million Americans have access to it? And why go after Assange(the messenger), when some whistle blower gave him the information( Assange did not remove the info from the governments computers). And every major newspaper and television network in the world is publishing and broadcasting the information.
    Is this the just and free and fair world that we live in? Yes, The world is none of these, and this whole circus makes it clear had we started to forget it.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So you advocate cyber attacks, vandalism, and treason/espionage? Then you justify this advocacy by cloaking it in the name of "freedom and fairness!"

    Let me guess: Bachelor of Arts in (insert whatever touchy-feely degree you wish) from (read whatever whiny Liberal Arts School you want), and never a lick of REAL public service in your dossier.

  1. facebook_Benjamin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2010


    If this is Apple's doing...

    ...then Apple won't ever get any of my money again. I'll wait for some sort of official word before ranting though.

  1. facebook_Benjamin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2010



    I don't know about Chippe but I have a degree and masters in Computer Science, I work in the British public sector, I also served in the army but feel free to try and stereotype any and all that don't agree with you, you've probably already noticed you're very bad at it.

    Loving the above comment being voted down because a consumer decided to voice with his wallet, the only thing corporations will listen to. I don't like the stance they take, so I refuse them my money.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Doesn't sound like you qualify for my "stereotype" of Chippie, nor do I note you actually rebutting my summation of Chippies apparent high regard for breaking a few federal and international laws. I hold capitalism and voting with your wallet in the highest regard...please feel free to continue to do so.
    If, however, you feel not buying a new iMac or iPod is sending a clear and direct message to Steve Jobs not to cave to US government pressure I'm afraid your strategy may be a little less effective than you would hope.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tom Sawyer

    Judge, Jury and Executioner all in one eh?

    if laws have been broken, let them charge and get a conviction.

    They haven't even done that yet.

    And btw, what is making you angry, is absolutely not a crime - reporting on leaked documents.

    What would be a crime is if they organized/provided aide/caused the documents to be leaked - that would be espionage in the United States.

    And if Julian Assange committed a crime, then he should be punished. But WikiLeaks itself is perfectly legal, and will continue to provide a very valuable service - to republish leaks without editorial slant. To do the job of journalism, that modern day journalists refuse to do.

    Sunshine is a good thing.

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What I advocate is the right of people to protest. And to protest how they see fit. The manners in which people protest are many and change over time to use the current technologies(and of course hold on to old effective ones). I just listed three common ones. There are many more methods.
    The touchiest and most felt issue with your response is how treason/espionage is defined in relation to a third party publishing and disseminating stolen information. Government(1st party)information stolen by government employee( 2nd party) then given to the press( 3rd party). The crime occurred between the 1st and 2nd parties.
    Now you introduced the murky terms treason/espionage, not I. Treason is a charge that is only used by governments against people who catch them out and embarrass them. And treason is so not clearly defined in law that any act can be considered treason if the concerned government chooses to USE the word. And espionage is a game that most governments play, so to make this charge towards another individual or government is pure hypocrisy. These two words are thus rendered meaningless to me. You introduced them not I.

    I received a bachelor of science in Electrical Engineering in 1988 from a good university in Philadelphia. I regularly exercise my right to protest, but I have never been a politician, haha!( in reference to "REAL public service in your dossier") Oh, but I have served jury duty three times.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's the loss?

    Assange is a criminal for his actions. He knew the documents were stolen, and they should have never been published.

  1. Greengo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Whether you approve of the actual WikiLeaks or not, the fact remains that this app was called "WikiLeaks App" and was $2, but wasn't created/released by the official WikiLeaks...if WikiLeaks wasn't behind Apple pulling this app, they should be.
    It would be like someone creating a "MacNN App" to follow all MacNN postings and charging money for it...ummm no.

    I fully agree with chas_m.

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