Google has now removed the “On Votar 1-Oct” app from the Play Store following a ruling by Spanish courts. The removal only affects Spanish users but it’s still available in other countries; the app publisher updated the app’s description asking those who could, to download the app in order to show defiance against “Google doing political censorship.”
The Catalonia independence referendum, deemed illegal by the Spanish constitution, is due to take place at the start of October. In the past week, the Spanish state has been moving to close down any attempts of a referendum being held. Earlier this month, the High Court in Catalonia issued an order allowing police to take down referendum-related websites which were linked to by members of the Catalan government on social media.
The judge who issued the warning said:
“[It’s] clear once again [that] they mean to dodge said blockades with computer applications for mobile devices, which, like the web pages, only promote and facilitate the holding of the referendum on October 1.”
Those behind the 'On Votar 1-Oct' app, which provides the locations of polling stations, said that the app doesn’t violate Google’s terms of service and that Google was simply engaging in political censorship.
With websites being closed, pro-independence force has launched the Referèndum 2017 website atop IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) in order to provide people a decentralized portal with information about where they can vote. Doing this, makes the website more resilient to takedown requests.
Source: The Spain Report