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Apple pulls WikiLeaks app from the App Store


Apple has quickly pulled a WikiLeaks app (Google cache) it approved for sale on the App Store earlier this week. The unofficial app went live on the App Store on December 17. The WikiLeaks app gave "instant access to the world's most documented leakage of top secret memos and other confidential government documents," according to The iPhone Download Blog. The blog noted less than two days before the app was pulled that it was "actually surprising that Apple approved such an app, with all of the legal problems that Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks organization have been facing worldwide."

TechCrunch has reached out to Apple and the developer for comment, but only the developer has responded so far, saying that Apple changed the official status of his app to "Removed From Sale." It's not too much of a shock that Apple pulled the app, as being seen as associating with or even facilitating funding to WikiLeaks is as about as controversial as you can get right now. The WikiLeaks app sold for US$1.99, but the developer, Igor Barinov, was donating half of his proceeds to WikiLeaks, which could be the ultimate reason why the app was pulled.

There are sure to be many questions about why Apple approved then pulled the app in the days to come, but I would love to know what's more worrisome for Apple: the potential pressure/sanctions from various governments if they didn't pull the app, or the fact that the Cupertino company has now probably really, really irritated Anonymous.

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