Apple The Latest To Convict Wikileaks Despite No Charges Or Trial; Kills Wikileaks App For Violating Unnamed Laws

from the say-what-now? dept

There's been a lot of attention paid this morning to the fact that Apple, in its typically arbitrary manner, has pulled a Wikileaks app from its iTunes store just days after it was approved. While there was a variety of speculation as to why it did so -- from the claim that it was useless to the claim that it allowed users to donate money, Apple released a statement giving similar reasons as Visa, MasterCard and Paypal did before, falsely claiming that Wikileaks obviously violated the law:
"We removed the WikiLeaks app from the App Store because it violated our developer guidelines. Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or targeted group in harm's way."
The thing is, Wikileaks hasn't even been charged with a crime yet, let alone found guilty of one, so it's not clear why all these companies claim that the app does not comply with he law. Also, while we're still waiting for evidence of anyone actually put in "harm's way" due to Wikileaks, that reasoning doesn't make any sense either. The information found on Wikileaks is being written about in all sorts of major news publications -- so if a Wikileaks app is putting people in harm's way, then so is the Safari browser on the iPhone that can be used to access all the same information. And, before anyone says it, yes, Apple is absolutely free to do whatever it wants with the iTunes store, including blocking apps if it doesn't like them. I'm just pointing out that it's stated reason for doing so doesn't make much sense.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 11:50am

    One of the truly amusing things about both the Wikileaks affair and the ICE domain seizures has been how often the blood-howlers completely forget that no charges have been laid yet.

    How many times in the comments here have we seen bets and challenges relating to "the outcome of the charges" or "the judge's decision" by those who insist that convictions are inevitable, even though there are no charges and there is no judge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:19pm

      Re:

      Marcus, during investigations, items are often seized and held as evidence. Police find a big bag of drugs in the middle of the street, and nobody around it. They seize the drugs, and then use whatever methods they have to try to find finger prints or other information that can lead to a criminal indictment.

      It isn't always charges first and investigation after.

      More importantly, Apple isn't a court, and cannot convict anyone of anything.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Designerfx (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:26pm

        Re: Re:

        yes, it is charges first and investigation after. that's what requiring a legal warrant is for.

        if they have evidence to prove they have to file for a warrant to do the investigative work.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, see, without an investigation, they would have no probably cause for the warrant. Do you think they randomly select people out of the phone book and say "let's charge him today"?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Random Selection

            No, first the do an illegal warrantless wiretap, and then say "let's charge him today".

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Hephaestus (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            U R 2 Funny ... "No, see, without an investigation, they would have no probably cause for the warrant."

            So they seized a domain name ... hmmm ... let me see what evidence we can gather from the evidence "Torrent-Finder.com"

            It has 3 r's, 2 t's, 2 o's, 2 e's, 2 n's, one of each of the following letters i, d, c, and m. oops forgot the "-". Its a dot "com" domain name. It contains the words torrent and finder.

            I wonder how long this kid at ICE-Homesec will puzzle over that?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            btr1701 (profile), Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 10:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > probably cause

            The proper term is "probable cause", not "probably cause".

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:33pm

        Re: Re:

        "More importantly, Apple isn't a court, and cannot convict anyone of anything."

        Ugh. That isn't the point. The use of the word "convicted" is obviously tongue in cheek in response to Apple referencing the breaking of local law by the Wikileaks app when that has yet to be either proven or even officially alleged.

        C'mon, people, this ain't that tough....

        Also, this is nothing more than a corporate citizen's response to all the government warmongering over Wikileaks. So silly and so petty. It's a wonder that the American people can't see this for what it is: a false flag of danger in order for the government to do something it wants (internet regulation)....

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 2:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It ain't tongue in cheek, it's an attempt to get a rise out of the TD faithful (and probably to attract a few more of the anarchists and anti-business types that seem to inhabit this place these days). It is a lie, you know it, I know it. Apple didn't convict anyone of anything, they choose not to do business with a group / organization that they feel is breaking the law or may cause them legal trouble.

          I thought higher of you than to fall for this stuff.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            JMT, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 3:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "It is a lie, you know it, I know it. Apple didn't convict anyone of anything..."

            Have you forgotten that some words have multiple related meanings?

            convict
            v.tr.
            1. Law To find or prove (someone) guilty of an offense or crime, especially by the verdict of a court: The jury convicted the defendant of manslaughter.
            2. To show or declare to be blameworthy; condemn: His remarks convicted him of a lack of sensitivity.
            3. To make aware of one's sinfulness or guilt.

            Guess which definition covers the use of the word in the title. Hint: it's not #1 as you claim.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 3:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And frankly, even if it wasn't in the dictionary definition, what are you, illiterate? If you have ever read a newspaper editorial or a novel or... well... anything... you should know that the word "convict" is regularly used in that way.

            "...that they feel is breaking the law or may cause them legal trouble"

            that = "convicting" someone. No, not in the courtroom sense, but in the general usage sense.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 4:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Let's look at the reason why the app was banned from the itunes store...

            From the Apple press release:
            "We removed the WikiLeaks app from the App Store because it violated our developer guidelines. Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or targeted group in harm's way."

            Point 1: it violated Apple's developer guidelines. Could very well be a valid reason, I don't know their guidelines, but it was approved initially, so it appears a bit doubtful.

            Point 2: Apps must comply with all local laws. No proof has been brought forward that the app and WikiLeaks in question are actually against the law in the USA. In fact many people have pointed out that the site is in fact well within the boundaries of the law. So that one's debunked.

            Point 3: [apps] may not put an individual or targeted group in harm's way. Sure we hear politicians tout this reason for opposing WikiLeaks. But WikiLeaks doesn't publish cables until after they have been scanned, parsed and redacted by news outlets such as The Guardian and El Pais. As of today no-one has offered us proof of the lives that are in danger because of WikiLeaks. So that too is a BS reason.

            "Apple didn't convict anyone of anything, they choose not to do business with a group / organization that they feel is breaking the law or may cause them legal trouble."
            That makes Apple seem rather spineless. And I doubt that the US government would stoop to such a low standard as to blame Apple for any alleged wrongdoing on the part of WikiLeaks.

            That they FEEL is breaking the law?
            Sir, I feel that you are breaking laws, by opposing me, can I have you arrested now? No, of course not, that's why we have due course.

            Sure, Apple is well within its rights to ban an app from their store, as Mike has said in the article, but please be honest and come forth with statements such as "We don't like what WikiLeaks is doing and we want no part in it whatsoever." instead of using weasel words such as "we feel that they are breaking laws" when in fact no proof has been offered that they are in fact breaking laws.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Yeah Right, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You know, Marcel. You shouldn't blast them for not being honest about the reason. The point is that Apple's decision is plain wrong and most likely illegal.

              Let me explain.

              A point that comes up here again and again is the right of businesses to refuse customers. Even Mike refers to it in his post. But think about it: does a hospital have the right to refuse Assange? Can he be barred from public transport?

              I'm sure they all have a clause for denying service to disruptive, violent, ... customers.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:11pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                As long as companies reject customers on the same basis (and that basis is not prejudicial, like not serving black people, example), they can do it. The rules apply the same for everyone, there is no prejudice.

                In this case, all Apple needs is a lawyers opinion that there might be an issue, or there might be some liability (however small) for Apple, and they can exit. One lawyer says "distributing confidential government documents may be illegal", and they are done. No more issue.

                Remember, this is the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt". Companies don't operate on that level. They operate on risk and possibilities. All you need is a possibility, and most companies will run for the hills.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:34pm

        Re: Re:

        Didn't we already go over why seizing domain names is not comparable to seizing physical items? Seizures are for confiscation of items used in an investigation that can be destroyed. A domain name falls under nether of those criteria. It is not involved in an investigation and it can't be destroyed.

        It's a stupid argument, quit using it.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:21pm

        Re: during investigations, items are often seized and held as evidence.

        a) But only by law enforcement authorities, not by private citizens. Apple are not a law enforcement authority.
        b) There is no such “investigation” currently in progress.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Each of these companies see the same thing: The risks of being associated with Wikileaks, and helping to provide financing to them may in the end put them into legal trouble. Rather than take the risk, they are choosing not be participate.

    They are not finding Wikileaks guilty of anything. They are only limiting and mitigating their own legal risks.

    I know, it sound so much better to use charged up phrases like "Apple Convicts Wikileaks", but that just isn't the case. Otherwise, you could have to assume that Apple "convicted" the porn industry by not allowing apps that include nudity.

    Another truly misleading post.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:10pm

      Re:

      But I'm reading secret government leaks and watching pornography on my iPad at the moment so you're right. Totally misleading.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re:

        Nobody stops you from doing either. In the same manner, you cannot force Apple to directly help finance either of them.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          MrWilson, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "you cannot force Apple to directly help finance either of them."

          You're right, you can't. This is a downside to Apple's dictatorial method of app approval.

          An Android app for Wikileaks doesn't require Android market approval to run on Android devices.

          Yet Steve Jobs will say that Android is a closed system and the iOS platform enhances the freedom of its users...

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          s256, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 1:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This isn't about money lol

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:30pm

      Re:

      Although I agree the title of the post may be a bit biased, Apple did state its reasons for removing the app were due to its non-compliance with the law. Apple never implied the pornography companies whose apps it banned were engaged in some sort of illegal activity.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re:

        Read the quote again carefully!

        "We removed the WikiLeaks app from the App Store because it violated our developer guidelines. Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or targeted group in harm's way."

        When an app has to comply with all local laws, that would include the local laws that Apple has to live in. Helping to finance Wikileaks is something that could come back to haunt them legally. It may put some people at risk. They have no reason to be involved. Their lawyers figure that it is likely they are breaking the law, so they take no risk.

        As for porn, they use the same logic. They don't want to take the legal risk that they may distribute porn to minors, so they pull the plug. That is their right as a company to do so.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:51pm

      Re:

      No, you're being misleading. And disingenuous.

      The point here is simple: Apple made a corporate decision. You seem to get that.

      But they aren't owning up to that, or taking responsibility for it. Instead they strongly imply that their hands are tied, and that Wikileaks is breaking the law, in order to deflect scrutiny from the fact that they freely made this decision.

      Yes, they carefully worded it to avoid directly calling Wikileaks guilty, but the implication is strong and apparent. Nobody's saying they shouldn't be allowed to do that, we are just calling them on their misleading PR statement.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 2:41pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, their hands are tied. If they feel that the Wikileaks is breaking the law (local or otherwise) and they continue to help fund it, they could find themselves in legal trouble. They have decided that the risk / return on this isn't worth it. It is, not remarkably, pretty much the same decision made by every other institution on record in the matter.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 3:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So before Wikileaks, can you show me other examples of financial institutions or other service providers refusing service to a private business that hasn't been charged with anything or even accused of breaking any specific laws? Who then went on to claim that was the reason anyway?

          You keep trying to make it sound like this is business-as-usual, but I've never seen anything like it happen before. Maybe I'm wrong, but if I'm not and this is indeed a first or near-first, then it seems like you are rationalizing it for no reason.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            American Express will not process for porn companies, nor will they process for adult "sex related" business of any sort. It is their standard rules, even though adult material is legal. It is their choice.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    I'm sure that we'll find, somewhere down the road, that the US gov't has pressured these companies to take the stance that they have. Of course, such disclosure will occur when someone leaks the info to Wikileaks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:17pm

      Re:

      The govt and big corporations are one. The govt goes to war with countries to promote its corporate agenda (ie: spread its empire and impose ridiculous laws on those countries to benefit big corporations) and big corporations support the government because the government supports big corporations. A threat to the U.S. govt is a threat to the U.S. corporate agenda because they both have the same agenda. and wikileaks also leaks the misbehavior of big corporations, the same corporations that the government works for and protects, and such a threat to big corporations is just as much of a threat to the U.S. government. They're all the same and they look after each other.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    V, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    At Apple...

    Unlike Burger King, where you get things YOUR way... at Apple, you get thing STEVE JOB'S WAY.

    He believes absolute control and power of the user experience delivers the best user experience.

    Sadly, that is true with stupid users. With intelligent users, the opposite is true. That is why Windows PC's won the PC war over apple. The PC was open, the Apple was closed.

    Sure, Apple always had hardcore fanboi's but in the end, it's the freedom to do what you want on your device that wins out.

    At least, it did when there were fewer sheople (sheep people who blindly follow). Now that the government is breeding the sheoples, who knows.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:03pm

      Re: At Apple...

      In what world was Microsoft Windows "open"? Or do you somehow think that Gil Amelio had to personally approve every Macintosh application back in the 90s?

      And Apple losing was the best thing to ever happen to them. Once they realized they weren't going to beat Microsoft, they stopped trying to be Microsoft. No more licensing of the OS (Oh wait, I thought they were "closed". But yes, there were legal Mac clones in the 90s). Instead they went back to what they were best at. Marketing.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:40pm

      Re: At Apple...

      That is a very simplistic and somewhat innaccurate view of why the PC won and Apple lost the battle for the mainstream computing platform.

      The PC won, not because the "users" were somehow more intelligent than Apple users, but yes, the PC won because it was a more open technical design. The open design allowed for just about anyone to develop clone h/w to the IBM PC. The increased product breadth on the market created competition and drove prices down so that the mainstream population could easily get them.

      In a similar vein, the Apple learned from this experience and iPod won the MP3 war because it too was open such that just about anyone could develop a slew of supporting products where competitors just could not keep up. Of course, the iTunes store also helped.

      As for Apples overall proprietary strategy to the market, right, wrong or indifferent, no one is forcing you to use their products. You don't like their policies, don't buy their products.

      As someone that has military personell in the family, I do think Wikileaks has endangered our service personell by posting some of this confidential information. Of course the fault lies most with the person that released the confidential info in the first place and that could be grounds for treason.

      Now, had the military exercised more caution over what they were doing and things being communicated, some of this could have been avoided all together.

      If we all don't say, do or behave in any manor that would embarrass ourselves or our parents and all would be good.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 3:37pm

        Re: Re: At Apple...

        As someone that has military personell in the family, I do think Wikileaks has endangered our service personell by posting some of this confidential information."

        Do you think that because you've seen actual evidence that anybody has been harmed or genuinely endangered, or because that's what the grandstanding, self-serving politicians keep saying in the media?

        I've seen plenty of the latter, but none of the former.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Michael, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 5:43am

      Re: At Apple...

      Well really windows machines won (PC is a misleading term as all computers are we're referring to are personal computers) because there cheaper. Windows is in no way more or less free then apple as neither source code is open and both systems use proprietary software. If anything Apple is more open because the kernel is unix, the root of Linux and all of it's many presentations. That's why commands like Sudo and others work in the apple command line. The kernel (GUI if I remember correctly) is open source, although Apple like to keep the vast majority of their development in house. Next time learn about what your talking about before spewing misinformation.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Don, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    Job's getting personal

    This is Steve Jobs making his personal views well known. This is definitely not a corporate or procedural decision.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 3:53pm

      Re: Job's getting personal

      Interesting take... I hadn't even thought of it that way. What makes you say that?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        np, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 7:38am

        Re: Re: Job's getting personal

        You hadn't thought of it that way because that is complete BS. I don't like Steve Jobs as much as the next guy, but to suggest that this is somehow his doing is just... well like you said previously, misleading & disingenuous.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    I wonder...

    Maybe your going to see an upswing in virii and exploits for Ios and apple systems now... its not like its terribly difficult to do, just never really been useful to go after the tiny market. Either way Apple can do what it wants, and consumers can decide. I won't buy an apple product, or allow any of my kids to own them at all now. I wonder how many others will decide they don't want to do business with them after this?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      np, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 2:00pm

      Re: I wonder...

      Wow, everybody in here is being so melodramatic about this whole thing. I mean really, how many people actually had that app? If it weren't for so many people's strong hatred of Apple and all the publicity this is getting, how many of you would even have know it was removed?

      Just to be clear, I hold no favoritism toward Apple. I treat them with a healthy dollop of apathy. I just try to call it like I see it.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      JMT, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 3:28pm

      Re: I wonder...

      "Either way Apple can do what it wants, and consumers can decide."

      Consumers except for your kids...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Michael, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 6:02am

        Re: Re: I wonder...

        Last I checked I DECIED what my kids buy until they can make their own money. Not that I'll stop using apple products over this as most corporations are crooked somehow (Don't forget kids, Bill Jesus Gates stole his operating system from Apple, who stole it from Xeorx. And let's not forget the theft of novell's file system.) and it doesn't surprise me one bit that they'd do this. I guarantee Windows would make the same move if they had control over the majority of their widgets.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Different App Still Available

    You can still get an app to read Wikileaks documents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ron Rezendes (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Want a casualty from the Wikileaks fiasco?

    Documented casualty #1 from Wikileaks controversy

    I'm in the market for a smart phone and after doing my homework for several months I was down to two choices:
    iPhone 4 from Apple or an HTC EVO 4G

    I understand Apple has the right to do business with whomever they choose based on the reasons they see fit (that are not race/color/religion/creed/aged based) and this is the result.

    You have KILLED me as a possible customer for kowtowing to whatever external forces may be present and for siding with those who believe suppression of the truth by the US government, whose actions obviously need to be questioned based on the content released, is a good idea.

    Congratulations Apple!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    ignorant_s, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    Blah Blah Blah

    HMMM..."We removed the WikiLeaks app from the App Store because it violated our developer guidelines. Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or targeted group in harm's way."

    What I find interesting is that this particular language falls under "Personal Attacks" in their "App Store Review Guidelines". Here is the language:

    "14. Personal attacks
    Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or
    group in harms way will be rejected."

    Who is the targeted group? The public? Why does this app place me in "harm's way"?

    As far as complying with "local" laws, apparently "Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available"....wouldn't that mean the world? Pretty vague language.



    Wikileaks hasn't even been charged with a crime yet, let alone found guilty of one, so it's not clear why all these companies claim that the app does not comply with he law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 3:51pm

      Re: Blah Blah Blah

      Who is the targeted group? The public? Why does this app place me in "harm's way"?

      I think it's more that they are toeing the mostly-debunked line of "the leaks endanger government personnel and operations overseas"

      apparently "Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available"....wouldn't that mean the world? Pretty vague language.

      I'm guessing developers can geo-restrict their apps so they don't need to appease every country's laws, but you are right - jurisdictional issues online are pretty complex from what I understand. The language is vague because it's not at all clear (even in the U.S. courts, let alone all the courts in the world) which laws digital content has to obey in relation to where it is created and where it is made available. Throw in an international intermediary like Apple and I'm guessing it's a legal mess.

      Of course in a situation like this, one would still think there would need to be specific allegations at the very least.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      athe, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:43pm

      Re: Blah Blah Blah

      As far as complying with "local" laws, apparently "Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available"....wouldn't that mean the world? Pretty vague language.

      Good point - here in Australia, Federal Police have established that Wikileaks haven't broken any local laws. Does this mean that we are still able to download the app here in Aus?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    billy, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:08pm

    Can companies be charged with crimes?

    I keep hearing people say that "wikileaks hasn't been charged with any crime" which I agree is true. However, is it even possible to charge an entity like a company with a crime? I've never heard of a company facing criminal charges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    mjb5406 (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    Then they better remove their "App of the Year"

    The FlipBoard app, the 2010 App of the Year, allows you to view WikiLeaks. Based on Apple's draconian (that is, head up the ass) policies, they should remove it, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    ofb2632 (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    convenience

    Isn't it amusing that these corporations convently forget how many laws they break each and every day. The credit card companies have done everything they can to skirt or walk all over any law they do not like.
    Fricken hypocrites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Howard the Duck, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    What I read

    The developer guidelines said that any app that donated to a charity or cause had to be free of charge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    letherial (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:53pm

    i would boycott apple, but i already did

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:56pm

    Put the App on Android and see what Google does about it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Alatar, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Apple is right, I side with them on this one

    "Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or targeted group in harm's way."

    The Wikileaks app does violate Chinese, North Korean and Iranian laws. It also does violate laws soon-to-be-adopted in the US, based on those wonderful countries which are a wonderful example of how to deal with "people who endanger national security". So Apple is right, the Wikileaks app does not "comply with all local laws"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jeff, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    THERE YOU HAVE IT.

    Apple doesn't not stand for freedom. You don't have freedom to your musics, or your apps, or even your devices.



    I am proud, to be a PC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    RobertH (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:03pm

    What's up with the mass insanity concerning Wikileaks?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    abc gum, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:42pm

    Censor the internet?
    There's an app for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    jeff dillon (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    MUST HAVE @)!2010

    The computer has become every bit as critical to basic needs as the telephone was in the past. There is a fine line between telephone communication and electronic via internet communication, email. Courts have ruled that internet structures in New Mexico are to be upgraded; they are every bit as equal as telephone communication in the fifties and beyond.These are public commodities. However, at this stage, the ability to send and recieve data is controlled by all private corporations, phone companies, ISP's and their laws or regulations are being written by the lawyers who work for them. See post this discussion. The computer when I bought it did not give me any warning that access to content would be changed by the whim of the CEO. I could care less that he has kids. I feel sorry for the man who fears his child will look through his aps while driving, 'cause he can't figure out how to eeither lock it, instruct the kid; hands off, or provide reasonable alternative entertainment for the kid. I use these devices for communication and that is my right how. In the long run, he will lose it all, I think, because people chose Apple in a sense that they were more freedome and simple oriented, ie, user friendly, user controlled. Now they are the status qou. Hurray and welcome to the free market system China and others. We welcome your products. We will not live in tyranny. The corporation that attempts to usurp the power of government, the people, is destined to fail. So, sorry. Your work and ideals will go on with others who share your original visions. Peace.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    jeff dillon (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:16pm

    NO FLASH

    I was a somewhat dumb consumer suckered in by the flash. Getting home and learning there is no flash support teaches me some lessons. All that glitters is not gold. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. (Does that work?) In any case, its a cool machine, 11 hours battery, nice for watching video podcast when itunes remembers my settings...but can't watch many shows, videos, newscasts on it. No flash! Seriously, it's a downside. If you got one for Christmas, you are lucky. It's a decent item, but if you are out to buy one, consider the 512 RAM, the locked system, the corporate control of apps and music/video download, and that it has no flash.

    I would bet that this level of control on the part of Jobs is ruining the company. Really, I was very disapointed when it sunk in that youtube was like a partner to Apple and google is a partner to youtube. WHERE IS FREEDOM TO BE FOUND> How much control must these people have?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    David, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 3:02am

    "Apps must comply with all local laws"

    Surely this is Apple doing what other companies (namely banks and credit card companies) have already done? Acting like sheep, they seem to have inferred by that statement that Wikileaks has done something illegal. Apple have ignored due process; set themselves up as judge and jury and publicly denounced Wikileaks as law breakers. Totally wrong, in my opinion. It is up to the courts of the land to decide the matter after appropriate investigation, trial (if enough evidence points to any wrong-doing), verdict and only then (if found guilty) should punishment be meted out. Apple and others seem to have taken the law into their own hands and perhaps should be dealt with accordingly in a civil court.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Sensible, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 5:13am

    Apps must comply with all local laws

    People always are making legal arguments as if the whole world was a courtroom and everyone was a lawyer. Hello? Duh.
    No matter which side of the wiki leaks issue you are on, Apple gets to decide what apps they allow; if you think you disagree, go start a company or get appointed Chief Justice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 9:10am

    Apple is free to do as they please?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 9:14am

    Apple is free to do as they please?

    You are likely right; but oh, how the law has changed! There was a time when if one offered a PUBLIC service, and the service became critical to doing business (or, in some cases, even if not) the owner could NOT arbitrarily block access.
    So, refusing to serve blacks (or Jews, or similar moves against women), even by PRIVATE companies - not allowed in most places.
    Here, add restraint of trade.
    Sad state of affairs. When I was doing civil litigation, many years ago, I would have found a way to get rich off Apple for such conduct - and I wouldn't have done it for the money!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    isaac the k, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Unless...

    The claim isn't that the LEAKS endangered anyone, but that the companies CONNECTION to Wikileaks ENDANGERED APPLE/MASTERCARD/ETC. - Basically, the US gov't saying "Shut them down or we'll shut YOU down."

    As a result, it would be a move in self-defense, as the existance in the Apple marketplace of a Wikileaks app would be a threat to APPLE by opening it up to litigation, thereby enabling it to legally shut down the app without violating developer guidelines.

    In a side note - anyone interested in filing an amici brief to contest these attempts to shut down a legal, independant company?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    The Visible Dentist, Jan 1st, 2011 @ 8:11pm

    Who is Behind Wikileaks?

    I wouldn't worry too much over it; the upper echelon of corporations seem to work a script together; I think it's all theater, propaganda, a calibrated psyop carefully designed to direct the thought form.

    More info:
    Who is Behind Wikileaks?

    John Barremore
    Houston, TX

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This