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"Excessively Crude or Objectionable Content": Apple Doesn't Want You to Know Too Much About Our Drone Strikes


"Excessively Crude or Objectionable Content": Apple Doesn't Want You to Know Too Much About Our Drone Strikes

Evidently believing too much substantive information is bad for business, Apple just pulled a free app that catalogues and maps drone killings by the U.S. because it found its content "objectionable." The Metadata+ app, developed by Intercept editor Josh Begley and only accepted by Apple after he removed the word "drone" from it, listed the date, location and victims of drone strikes, and buzzed users when a new strike occurred. He created it to see if "we want to be as connected to our foreign policy as we are to our smartphones." Apple's answer: No thanks.


Apparently Apple agrees with Obama that truth tellers are to be silenced!


thank you for this article and a huge THANK YOU to Mr.Begley for developing this app. now if someone could do the same for CIA black ops around the world,u.s. Intel events and police shootings we would finally be getting some important news.also consider creating an app noting another u.s. citizen being locked up, oil spills around the world, fracking petmits issued.....why we might get some real use from this techno babble that surrounds us.


And I'll bet the Apple employee who wouldn't join in silencing truth knows they run the risk of having their employment disappear. Apple is as much a part of the war machine as Boeing--and I just accepted an offer for an Apple iPhone. I am a creature of contradiction--but that doesn't prevent me from still acting, teaching, learning, giving for a better world.


I am waiting for the app that allows the user to know:
Where the latest cop killing has taken place. (color coded for the race of the victim)!
Where the latest ambush of a police officer has taken place (color coded for the race of the victim).
Where and how many abortions are taking place where (color coded for the race of the fetus)
Which political candidate is getting how much from whom (or in the case of corporations--from what, Citizens United to the contrary not withstanding).
The possibilities are endless and the net effect is for each and everyone (with sufficient apps that suit their preferred socio-economic-cultural-political leanings) to create their own virtual reality of "what is" while being blind to the greater picture of what is going on around them.

Bernays, Gallup, Lippman, Goebbels, and company would be so envious of the tools that modern tyrants have to mold the realities perceived by their masses! Though obviously done for the wrong reason (to avoid controversy that might hinder gross sales volume of their smart phones) the Apple decision was the right one and the implications of such apps are to further distort an already warped public attention.


Those who want such apps --they could run on anything-- should consider being the one to create them. They're not magical, they're just a database hooked to a map.

There are free databases (e.g. MaridDB) and free maps (e.g. Open Street Map), and web software is not excessively hard to learn to write. The hardest part would probably winkling out the data to put into the database, since databases are not yet self-updating (though for these purposes a front end app could make one so, though it'd be tricky to write).


I know nothing about smartphones, but like any other computer software, this "app" is still available - just not from Apple, right? So what is the big deal?


It is unfortunate that we acquiesce to a corporation censoring for political content. Unless this app showed pornographic dismemberment or dead bodies etc, it is being restricted because it criticizes content that can only be called political. While some may applaud restricting the truth of what is being done in our name, since this app gathers info only from public news sources it is being censored for being an opposing political speech.

Corporate censorship = corporate control. Someone decided that we should not know this information - not classified information but open source information. Someone who is a private citizen deciding what other people should know and not know.

Anybody else noticing how we subtly shift over to corporate control of our lives. Think about why should a corporation decide for us what is appropriate? This is not classified data after all and is reported in newspapers and on TV etc.

This app shouldn't be restricted.


1984 won't be like 1984....but 2015, that's a different matter.



Censorship - almost certainly under government pressure - is the big deal .


There is a provision in the PATRIOT Act (noted but little commented on at the time of passage) that makes it a crime to gather and collate information from open sources , if the government should deem it a threat . In other words , what it really does is to make it a crime to be in possession of a human brain .


Apple received the message from the top: " Shut down that F_ _ _ _ _ G app NOW!" Transparency is only practiced when having an Easter egg hunt on the White House lawn.


I am unaware of this provision and fail to see how it could be prosecuted as a crime in any case. If you mean the collection of specific data to enable a crime (such as acquiring the times when a sentry was changed for example) that would be used as evidence but the transmission of those times to an enemy could be construed as a crime although I doubt that it would hold up. Please cite a reference for this provision because I think you mean that open source data can be used as evidence of a crime.