Apple Removes WikiLeaks App From App Store

An unofficial iPhone and iPad app that provided access to WikiLeaks site content and follow the site's Twitter account has lasted less than four days in the App Store.

TechCrunch reported that the WikiLeaks App by Hint Solutions had disappeared from the App Store earlier today. The app's developer, Igor Barinov, confirmed the removal via Twitter by posting a screen grab of his iTunes Connect account which showed Apple had taken the app down.

According to the app's official description, now only available via Google cache, the US$1.99 app gave ''instant access to the world’s most documented leakage of top secret memos and other confidential government documents.” Despite the over-the-top description, the app only provided access to information that would have been available to any web user who visited the WikiLeaks website, and did not offer any kind of ''inside access'' to leaked documents.

No reason was given for the removal, but TechCrunch writer Alexia Tsotsis pointed out that the app was charging for information that would otherwise be free, which may have violated Apple's Terms of Service. In a comment on the TechCrunch story, Mr Barinov disputed that argument and claimed his app was intended to raise funds for WikiLeaks rather than charge for access to its content.

''Main idea of semicharity is to collect "white" money to support grey stuff. And from every 1.99$ - 1$ will go to @wikileaks, 0.6$ to fruits company (obligation), and last to cover development costs and to support other free internet projects."

A few hours later, Mr Barinov said via Twitter his app had been downloaded 4434 times and he would therefore be donating US$4434 to WikiLeaks. According to sales statistics also provided via Twitter, the app made around US$5430 in profit during its four days on the App Store.

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35 Comments

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Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Apple, US Government, Most world governments VS Wikileaks !!!

dont u get it ppl ?!

I would love for the U.S. government to tell Google to get rid of their Wikileaks apps. Google will tell them to F@$K off. Google is much bigger than the government.

UndergroundWire said,
I would love for the U.S. government to tell Google to get rid of their Wikileaks apps. Google will tell them to F@$K off. Google is much bigger than the government.
lol the last time I check, Google was working with the the US government to create a type of specific search engine that target terrorists.

Krome said,
lol the last time I check, Google was working with the the US government to create a type of specific search engine that target terrorists.

besides Google loves to share their information to the US government aswell. All to do no evil.

Xypro said,
juilian assange will get revenge, installous will support it though

im sure he will. Hes gonna find all the female apple employees and rape them in thier sleep while the tinfoil heads cheer him on and say he didnt do it.

Rudy said,
What a shame Apple you dropped the ball on this one

The fact that the app was even approved amazes me!

Unless of course Apple wanted to approve it then remove it for press? *shrug* you can never tell with them but they are clever!

Ently said,
The fact that the app was even approved amazes me!

Unless of course Apple wanted to approve it then remove it for press? *shrug* you can never tell with them but they are clever!

LOL Even an application crash is a feature. Isn't it? Apple folks?

This was discussed more in detail on another place . It's not Apple's fault this time, it's against US laws not to declare donations, and for Apple it's not possible to declare donations of apps since they only charge part of the app's price, so this would be tax fraud. In other words, they had no option other than removing the app. The solution is simple: offer the app for free and make a donation button inside, then it can be distributed without any problems.

i think China should start considering to sell "The Great Firewall" to the American Gov't. In the name of freedom of speech, always.....

I really wish Apple wasn't so restrictive when it comes to their app store, as this is all too similar to the political cartoon censorship we saw not long ago. It seems absurd that the company is so politically averse - it's almost as if they see their customer base as being easily offended.

Then again, why would they stop when people are lining up to hand over their money and their freedoms to the company? It seems they have a pretty successful business strategy.

I'm sure this isn't even remotely related to US Government pressure to remove it? </sarcasm>

Apple is a US company. Most of these leaks are coming out because of the US government... They want anything and everything WikiLeaks censored. I would bet Apple had a lawsuit threatened if they didn't pull it.

I can't help feel that this is the start of something... big. If we believe the (not so outlandish, to be honest) theories that the US Government is surreptitiously "nudging" all these companies to banish all their ties with Wikileaks, despite free speech and the freedom of the press supposedly being protected by the First Amendment, it's not going to be long until they either go too far and/or or what the government is doing gets leaked.

Then what? Civil war? The collapse of the government?

Then again, all of these companies may have independently come to the conclusion that they don't want to be associated with Wikileaks.

iKenndac said,
Then again, all of these companies may have independently come to the conclusion that they don't want to be associated with Wikileaks.

PayPal openly admitted it was the government pressure. No doubt it's the same for others too.

SH3K0 said,
Apple should get DoS attacks
Apple already have its own version of heart attack. Remember the reception problem?

If WikiLeaks tweets telling people to ditch Apple, they're gonna lose all the iFans that support them for sure. WikiLeaks might be a strong cause, but nowhere near the religion led by no one else but Steve.

Shadrack said,
What? Like how you stopped using PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard in support of WikiLeaks?

Never used them.

Glendi said,

Never used them.

Do you expect other people to stop using them in support of WikiLeaks? Or is your comment specific to Apple?

azure.sapphire said,
How do you purchase anything?
Other cards exist. Admittedly, Visa and Mastercard are the big ones, but not the only ones.

Shadrack said,

Do you expect other people to stop using them in support of WikiLeaks? Or is your comment specific to Apple?

I should've put sarcasm tags .

How do you purchase anything?

Real life stores?

Glendi said,
Real life stores?
Nice to meet you. I've heard of your kind that keeps only cash under the bed, although I have met only a few. Although it's not a bad practice, given the current laws, I would much rather keep my money in the bank and use credit cards.