Unofficial WikiLeaks app pulled from iTunes store

The Guardian

An unofficial WikiLeaks iPhone app has been pulled from the iTunes store less than a week after being approved for sale.

The app, which cost $1.99 and donated $1 of each sale to WikiLeaks, provided a mobile version of the controversial website. Jemima Kiss reports that the app’s developer was given no reason for its removal from the store.

A search in the iTunes store reveals several other apps that include WikiLeaks RSS feeds, and Kiss points out that a few WikiLeaks apps are also available for download in the Google Android Marketplace.

While the iPhone app may have been removed for violating Apple’s terms of service, the abrupt action adds to the perception that the company is tone deaf in its role as media gatekeeper.

At TechCrunch, Alexia Tsotsis points out a number of U.S. corporations have recently distanced themselves from WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. But, without an explanation for Apple’s decision in this case, consumers and pundits are left to guess if the Wikileaks App was removed for internal policy violations or external political considerations.

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  • Anonymous

    The Guardian is also pursuing the ‘charity donations’ angle: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/dec/21/apple-wikileaks-app-ban-charity

    But, the latest reports indicate the app was pulled for putting individuals “in harm’s way.” We will be posting an update shortly.

    Damon

  • Anonymous

    Brian -

    The app did not enable direct donations to WikiLeaks, the developer simply donated a portion of his proceeds. The same issue was discussed on TechCrunch but it does not seem like that was the reason for the removal. Of course, anything is possible.

    Damon

  • Anonymous

    Brian -

    The app did not enable direct donations to WikiLeaks, the developer simply donated a portion of his proceeds. The same issue was discussed on TechCrunch but it does not seem like that was the reason for the removal. Of course, anything is possible.

    Damon

  • Brian Schallhorn

    The App Store Guidelines state “Apps that include the ability to make donations to recognized charitable organizations must be free” and “The collection of donations must be done via a web site in Safari or an SMS”. Clearly this wasn’t the case for this particular app.