Apple Pulls WikiLeaks App for iOS from iTunes

Apple has joined the fight against Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks organization—or so it appears.

A WikiLeaks app was pulled by Apple from its iTunes App Store only a few days after it hit the distribution service. Before the WikiLeaks fan boys and girls start spamming the comments with pro-freedom of speech arguments and bashing Steve Jobs as the harbinger of totalitarian society in the United States, the app would most likely have been pulled even if it had nothing to do with WikiLeaks.

Apps that simply grab data off of a single website and a single Twitter feed usually don’t go over well with Apple. To quote The Register’s headline, “Worthless iPhone ‘WikiLeaks App’ removed from Apple Store: Many fools bought it first, though.” Everything the app did, anyone could do by just stopping by WikiLeaks actual website and looking at their favorite Twitter client. Oh, and the app cost $1.99 before Apple pulled the plug.

As you can see, the app made quite a bit for doing pretty much nothing.

But wait, the app got through Apple’s iTunes testers right? With all the headlines that Apple has been making lately by pulling apps only after someone complains, I’m starting to think they’ve got a problem. Apple finally responded to Business Insider’s request for comment on why it pulled the app. The reason? According to Apple:

“We removed WikiLeaks because it violated developer guidelines. An app must comply with all local laws. It may not put an individual or target group in harms way.”

Apple then refused to respond to all further requests for comment from Business Insider, including a request to clarify exactly what individual or group was put in harm’s way. Hmm. Could Apple just be joining the ranks of Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Amazon…? You get the picture.

At least Raw Insider has been able to confirm that the Android version of the app is still up on Android Marketplace. Any bets on how long until Google shuts this down?

Did Apple pull this because of pressure from the U.S. Government or because the app was basically just a money trap and did nothing particularly useful? Let me know what your opinion is in the comments.

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