Apple Blocking 'Secret' in Brazilian App Store After Court Ruling

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has started blocking downloads of anonymous communication app Secret [Direct Link] following a preliminary injunction that was granted recently by a Brazilian civil court judge (Via 9to5Mac). According to the injunction ruling shared by Gigaom earlier this week, Apple is required to remove the app from the Brazilian App Store and remotely delete the app from customers' devices.

    Local media noted earlier today that Secret was still listed in the Brazilian App Store, but that Apple was preventing users from installing the app on their iOS devices. The app now appears to have been removed entirely from the the Brazilian store.

    Apple reportedly has not started deleting the app from user's devices per the injunction requirements, and it is unclear whether Apple plans to comply with that portion of the order or pursue the issue further. The injunction also applies to the Android version of Secret and a similar Windows Phone Secret client titled Cryptic, but Microsoft and Google are not yet complying with the injunction terms.

    The injunction stems from a civil case filed by public prosecutor Marcelo Zenkner, who took action after receiving complaints about bullying on the anonymous social network. Secret allows users to post messages and comment while keeping their identity hidden. This anonymity provision violates Brazilian law, prompting the judge to issue the injunction earlier this week. Google, Apple and Microsoft have ten days to comply with the ruling or face daily fines of 20,000 reals ($8,890 USD).

    Article Link: Apple Blocking 'Secret' in Brazilian App Store After Court Ruling
  2. TantalizedMind macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    $9,000 to Apple is chump change. $9,000 to Microsoft on the other hand is what they make a whole year from Surface sales! Ouch!

  3. Dave-Z macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2012
    Remotely delete? So if I buy book at a local store and the courts then say that book should not be sold, the retailer must come into my house and physically remove the book? What kind of totalitarian society do we live in? :confused:
  4. markyr17 macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2010
    How ridiculous!!

    Does it sound like Topix over here in the US? And... There's a law saying that it's illegal to stay anonymous online? Wow.
  5. tagyro macrumors newbie


    Oct 22, 2009
    I have a different view on this.
    Anonymity brings out the worst in people and although I believe in freedom of expression, I think people should not be allowed to make statements anonymously.
    If you make a statement be prepared to assume responsibility for it, especially if you slander/attack someone (see where this whole thing started).
    Yes, there are some exceptions, but I doubt they apply here (whistleblowers, abuse etc)
    As for the fact that it was removed remotely, it's a decision from a judge, Apple can't really do much but comply.
  6. Dave-Z macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2012
    I don't disagree that people should put an identity to online comments many times. But I do think anonymity online is an important thing and should be allowed.

    While Apple must comply to remotely delete the app, I disagree with this aspect of the ruling for the example I previously stated. Also, hammers are great tools but can hurt people; we don't outlaw the hammer, we outlaw the behaviour.
  7. ProVideo, Aug 22, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014

    ProVideo macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2011
    Between Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Foxconn it seems like they carry enough weight to persuade government officials to address this.
  8. boast, Aug 22, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014

    boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Freedom fighters!

    Thats how i feel every time some Chinese blogger gets captured and tortured for criticizing the government. Got to take responsibility. Gaddafi should of done this.

    True. And if Apple was Google, they would of kept running a censored search engine in China.
  9. iAshley macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    I don't know who you are, you're using an alias which allows you to stay anonymous.

    Please provide your full name, address and telephone number.

    Actually I don't care, do what you want.
  10. lacg macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2012
    I completely agree with you.

    Anyway the main point is that the actual interpretation from the Brazilian Supreme Court is Brazilian Constitution forbids anonymity. You are allowed to express whatever you want, as long as you bear the consequences of your acts. It doesn't forbid the use of a hammer, as long as it is possible to track the hammer's users. Of course this is a very debatable subject, but for now dura lex, sed lex.

    What is the main thing is that the app could provide "relative" anonymity as long as they can track who said what and provide that information to Justice if demanded by a formal process. That's the way it works down there... :\
  11. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Great way to ensure nobody says anything that is unpopular or criticize the powerful.


    How can you be bullied by an app that you can just delete and ignore?
  12. tennisproha macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2011
    so Apple can remotely access specific data on our phones? this is actually news to me. can anyone confirm if they have insight on this?
  13. Reason077 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2007
    Do you live in Brazil?

    Not all citizens of the world enjoy the same freedoms and liberties as those of us in the "west". And there are many countries out there far worse than Brazil.
  14. nt5672 Suspended

    Jun 30, 2007
    The west is no longer free like it was either, it seems most people don't care about freedom and long as they get something for free in return.
  15. WB2Colorado macrumors regular


    Aug 1, 2008
    Durango, Colorado
    Apple has been able to remotely remove apps from your phone since the beginning, if they needed too. It was a huge controversy a few years back.
  16. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    App Kill Switch, frequently argued over, never used by Apple. All systems have it, Google used it once.
  17. Dave-Z macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2012
    Thankfully, no. I live in one of the "free" countries of the west. My word choice was to draw attention to the fact that a ruling which orders a non-government company to violate what should be the rights of private citizens seems inappropriate.
  18. tennisproha macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2011
    I thought Kill Switch was the anti-theft system started last year, where it's locked to icloud account.

    how would the remote access work…
  19. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    2 different things:
    App kill switch
    Phone kill switch

    These are really just common terms, people call them various things.


    That's the real trick, isn't it? See, some citizens are violating rights of other citizens. So, when does your local govt step in and decide that protection is warranted for the victims? Apparently Brazil has chosen their time in this case.
  20. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Apple is a US company, subject to US law. Why can't they just tell Brazil to **** themselves? What's the worst that can happen?

    Maybe Brazil doesn't let the iPhone be sold in the country. However, the resulting uproar is probably something they don't want, so they probably wouldn't go that far.

    I can't believe how paranoid some governments are about letting people express themselves freely. They can't take criticism! It's sad because criticism tells you what you're doing wrong and allows one to govern/do things better.
  21. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Apple is subject to Brazilian laws when operating in Brazil, just like they're subject to UK laws in the UK, German laws in Germany, etc, etc

    I would imagine the absolute worst that could happen would be the board of directors could be held in contempt of court and jailed...
  22. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    This has actually happened before with Amazon's ebooks:
  23. Dave-Z macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2012
    I didn't mention it in my original post, but that's the story I was thinking about when I gave the example.
  24. ZacNicholson macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2011

    totally agree man. if you don't like what you read then stop reading it. you don't know the person who wrote it so who cares. kids are just overly sensitive now a days. Everyone cries about getting bullied when in reality its just part of growing up.
  25. PocketSand11 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2014
    Actually, they've been losing money on sales.

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