An unofficial WikiLeaks app for iPhone which went on sale in the Apple App Store for $1.99 and allowed you to follow the WikiLeaks Twitter feed, as well as browse the information that WikiLeaks provides for free, has been pulled by Apple.
Developer Igor Barinov has confirmed to TechCrunch that the app has been removed at Apple’s behest.
We are in two minds about this one :
Firstly charging $1.99 for this app, unless at least a portion of the funds were going to support WikiLeaks itself is certainly a matter of concern.
But Apple removing this without a good reason, on the surface of it, tends to put them in the same dubious group as PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Amazon and Bank of America, as having made a controversial and potentially unpopular decision. Or worse perhaps as being influenced by US politicians. Something which to me, as a long time Apple devotee, flies in the face of their “Think Different” approach of old.
Perhaps Apple sees this app as “duplicating the existing functionality” of Mobile Safari, as that app is part of iOS and allows you to do everything that the WikiLeaks app would. And that in itself is a legitimate reason that Apple have previously outlined as one yard stick they may use for removing apps. If that is the case then perhaps they simply should not have approved it in the first place?
What do you think? We’d love to know if some of the app’s proceeds were going to WikiLeaks. Have your say in the comments…