Apple Dropped WikiLeaks Over Legal Concerns

After leaving developers and users wondering why it pulled the WikiLeaks app from its App Store, Apple has offered up an explanation: The app violated developer guidelines by potentially violating local laws.

In a statement to Business Insider, an Apple spokesperson commented “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 representatives declined to elaborate on the statement.

The WikiLeaks app for the iPhone and iPod touch gives users access to classified government documents that are being released through the wikileaks project. When the app was pulled on Tuesday, the developer, Igor Barinov, wasn’t told why the decision had been made.

Since viewing classified documents, even if they have been leaked, could be seen as a legal issue, Apple may have been distancing itself from any potential liability allowing WikiLeaks to remain on the App Store may have caused.

Apple isn’t the only company to distance itself from the wikileaks controversy. Bank of America, Mastercard, Visa and PayPal have all stopped processing transactions related to WikiLeaks, and Amazon blocked the wikileaks project from using Amazon Web Services to host the leaked documents.