Apple deletes WikiLeaks App - UpdateDecember 21, 2010: 8:13 AM ET
Has it found common cause with Amazon, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Bank of America?
Igor Barinov's WikiLeaks App didn't get much attention when it appeared on the App Store last Saturday.
That's not a big surprise. After all, the iPhone app wasn't an official WikiLeak's project and it didn't bring much to the party. For $1.99 ($1 of which was apparently donated to Julian Assange's organization) you didn't get anything you couldn't see for free by going to wikileaks.ch or by following #wikileaks and @wikileaks on Twitter.
But the app is going to get a lot of press now that Apple (AAPL) has yanked it from the App Store. No reason was given. Just a "Dear Igor" message on iTunes Connect alerting him that the status of his app had been changed to "Removed From Sale."
It's not clear whether Apple was trying to disassociate itself from Assange and his organization -- joining Amazon (AMZN), PayPal (EBAY) and a bunch of credit card companies -- or if it just didn't think much of Barinov's app.
UPDATE: Asked why it removed the app, Apple PR on Tuesday offered an explanation of sorts: "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."
Below: The original iTunes screen shot, from Google's cache.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]