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.