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Briefly: Offender Locator returns; 8GB iPhone 3GS sighting denied

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
The controversial iPhone application that allows users to locate nearby sex offenders has returned to the App Store, and more evidence of an 8GB iPhone 3GS surfaced only to be revealed as a mistake.

Offender Locator back in App Store

After it was removed last week for legal reasons, the iPhone application Offender Locator has returned to the App Store with appropriate modifications to make it acceptable. The new version of the software does not include California sex offender data, as it is illegal in the state for anyone to profit from the distribution of such publicly available information.

Originally released in June, the software from ThinAir Wireless has regularly existed among the top 10 paid App Store offerings. But because of the legal complications in California, it was banished last week. This weekend, the $0.99 application returned, and immediately reclaimed its place among the top 10.

The software allows users to see nearby registered offenders based on the phone's current location or by manually entering an address. The program then pulled up a map with pinpoints for each nearby offender. The locations were each selectable, giving users access to the person's picture, a physical description, and information on what crime they were convicted of.

Another reference to 8GB iPhone 3GS, denied

Numerous outlets have reported more evidence of an 8GB iPhone 3GS based on information on the Web site for Canadian wireless carrier Rogers, but it has since been disputed by the company.

In a note to Gizmodo, Rogers confirmed that the listing for an 8GB iPhone 3GS was a "formatting error."

However, last week it was alleged that an internal document from Rogers stated that the company is "aiming to reduce" the inventory of the 8GB iPhone 3G, in anticipation of the replacement iPhone 3GS model.

At WWDC in June, when Apple unveiled the new iPhone 3GS, the handset maker dropped the price of the 8GB iPhone 3G to $99. The 16GB iPhone 3GS sells for $199 while the 32GB model retails for $299.
post #2 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After it was removed last week for legal reasons, the iPhone application Offender Locator has returned to the App Store with appropriate modifications to make it acceptable. The new version of the software does not include California sex offender data, as it is illegal in the state for anyone to profit from the distribution of such publicly available information.

So, Apple was right. Again.
post #3 of 26
Its too bad they have to join in the Predator Panic fray. I guess they'll keep it up until a few dozen people get killed first by crazed vigilantes using the app to target people.

Stephen Marshall, the man who murdered two registrants in Maine, used a wireless service to locate his victims and plot their brutal murders. A registrant holding his baby son is shot to death. Over 200 registrants shot to death. Forty percent of registrants and an equal number of family members have experienced vigilante violence as a result of over-saturation of the public registry coupled with abuse of the information contained within. The truth is, such information should be regulated, as these stories consistently show the public abuses the information rather than use the info wisely. These apps do not educate the public as to the truth about *ex offenders. FACT: most *ex crimes are committed by someone NOT on the list and most often by someone the victim knows. FACT: Most registrants never re-offend IN SPITE of the law. If you want more truth, go to www.oncefallen.com
post #4 of 26
I'm unsure about how the laws work regarding distributes, but wouldn't the company who made the product and is selling it to Apple be the ones who would get in trouble with the CA law, and not Apple? Or is distributing a known illegal software also punishable by law?

I'm trying to figure out, was this Apple trying to protect someone else, or just themselves?
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post #5 of 26
This could just be me, but I don't think that it's the price of the iPhone that's killing it for some people... it's the extra $30 a month for the data plan. Lower the monthly data plan, not the cost of the iPhone. That's one of the main reasons why it took me 2 years to finally break down and get one.
post #6 of 26
What is really annoying are the smackers criticizing Apple for initially taking it down. As usual, those basement-dwelling, wannabe-know-it-all, Anarchists shot from this hip accusing Apple with everything censorship to downright conspiracy.

I live in California and I have to deal with Megan's Law issues. Even I wondered how they can charge for this app using data that is not allowed to be profited from. Apple had to play by the legal guidelines and did the right thing. The amount of detective work that the folks running the App store have to go through to make sure applets behave is simply staggering. I'm surprised they are able to do what they can do considering the vast array of different apps covering so many different areas.

For future reference, when Apple finds it necessary to take an up down refrain from shooting your mouth off with ridiculous nonsense until you get your facts in order. Those people really take away from the criticisms that are valid and based on educated facts in these threads.

I would bet money that this particular thread will have certain folks conveniently quiet that shot off about this issue in a prior thread.

</rant>
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post

This could just be me, but I don't think that it's the price of the iPhone that's killing it for some people... it's the extra $30 a month for the data plan. Lower the monthly data plan, not the cost of the iPhone. That's one of the main reasons why it took me 2 years to finally break down and get one.

You've hit the nail on the proverbial head! (note to self: 'Avoid cliches, like the plague!')

I am considering NOT upgrading my 1st gen iPhone to the 3GS and just using it as an iPod and getting a cheap ATT phone instead. I could save $50-$60 a month! Love the iPhone, like ATT's rollover minutes but the data plan just blows!
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

So, Apple was right. Again.

No, they were wrong for allowing it in the first place. You should 1Infinite Loop tattooed on your forehead....
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

No, they were wrong for allowing it in the first place. You should 1Infinite Loop tattooed on your forehead....

Don't be ridiculous. If Apple screened for legal tidbits like *this* the App review process would be outrageous. Problems like this they'll just have to address when they come up. And I think the main point here is that a lot of this App Store bitching is turning out to be the developer blowing something legitimate out of proportion.
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post #10 of 26
Quote:
as it is illegal in the state for anyone to profit from the distribution of such publicly available information.

The info is not part of the application. It simply gets the info from the website.
Apple sells the iPhone (and computers) with internet web browsers and users can go to the website and view the same info so Apple profits the same way this application did, though the app is more specialized to do only that.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Don't be ridiculous. If Apple screened for legal tidbits like *this* the App review process would be outrageous.

Yeah, an app with so much potential for misuse is a "legal tidbit," and not something that should have been closely scrutinized from the moment it was submitted.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

The info is not part of the application. It simply gets the info from the website.
Apple sells the iPhone (and computers) with internet web browsers and users can go to the website and view the same info so Apple profits the same way this application did, though the app is more specialized to do only that.

Nonsense. Any browser accessing the website does it without charge. Apple, Microsoft, Ubuntu, whatever does not receive revenue from it either directly or indirectly. Don't even try to rationalize it that just because they build a browser, it's the same thing. The browser folks do not design an encapsulated "widget" and sell it using proprietary and FREE data. iPhone users can access the website already. But this was a developer doing the same thing in a better gui and charging for it. I can understand the development took work and should be compensated. However when the entire data-framework is legally binding FREE data, you simply cannot claim ignorance of the law when a crucial component of that app cannot be sold!
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

I'm unsure about how the laws work regarding distributes, but wouldn't the company who made the product and is selling it to Apple be the ones who would get in trouble with the CA law, and not Apple? Or is distributing a known illegal software also punishable by law?

I'm trying to figure out, was this Apple trying to protect someone else, or just themselves?

If all you are concerned about is the bare legality of your acts, then you aren't a moral actor.

Especially when you're in business, it's not a matter of "if it isn't illegal then full steam ahead," it's a matter of having decent policy and then following that policy. Kind of like the morals that are supposed to guide us all regardless of what's technically legal or not.

In short, whether Apple could get thrown in jail or not is not the right question. It's more about whether they want to be seen as a company that supports illegal acts, or in the case of many many app store rejections, acts that are not even illegal, but merely "unseemly." Supporting software like this could be argued to be unseemly from the get-go. Given that it originally violated California law, even more so.
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post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrono View Post

*ex offenders

Do you have a good reason to put an asterisk there, or are you just trying to be ridiculous?
post #15 of 26
"The software allows users to see nearby registered offenders based on the phone's current location or by manually entering an address. The program then pulled up a map with pinpoints for each nearby offender. The locations were each selectable, giving users access to the person's picture, a physical description, and information on what crime they were convicted of."

Close, but there's a very subtle and significant difference. The map doesn't show pinpoint for each nearby offender. The map shows pinpoints for what Microsoft's Bing mapping service thinks is the closest match to the address in the database. It will show a pinpoint even if the address isn't an accurate match.

It's worth checking *your* address and seeing if you discover what I did, which is that this app labels my house as the home of a very horrific and evil convicted offender, despite the fact that the registry database does not.

This app is seriously flawed. It's not just profiting off the data, it's re-purposing the data with disregard to the fact that they are putting innocent families, who have never even been accused of anything, at risk of roaming vigilante attacks.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Do you have a good reason to put an asterisk there, or you just trying to be ridiculous?

he's probably trying to put ex sex offender but got confused with his hate for population control apps.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by emulator View Post

he's probably trying to put ex sex offender but got confused with his hate for population control apps.

He uses it more th*n once so the cont*xt can be determined. For *hatever reason, he is not wanting to write sex. To be coy, funn*, or just doesnt *ant to offend is un*lear.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

I'm unsure about how the laws work regarding distributes, but wouldn't the company who made the product and is selling it to Apple be the ones who would get in trouble with the CA law, and not Apple? Or is distributing a known illegal software also punishable by law?

I'm trying to figure out, was this Apple trying to protect someone else, or just themselves?

It's a lot simpler than that. Since Apple gets 30% of all Applications sold on the App store, they are directly profiting from the app by law. With that being the case, Apple would also be legally considered a party in any civil lawsuit that might come from this app.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrono View Post

Its too bad they have to join in the Predator Panic fray. I guess they'll keep it up until a few dozen people get killed first by crazed vigilantes using the app to target people.

Stephen Marshall, the man who murdered two registrants in Maine, used a wireless service to locate his victims and plot their brutal murders. A registrant holding his baby son is shot to death. Over 200 registrants shot to death. Forty percent of registrants and an equal number of family members have experienced vigilante violence as a result of over-saturation of the public registry coupled with abuse of the information contained within. The truth is, such information should be regulated, as these stories consistently show the public abuses the information rather than use the info wisely. These apps do not educate the public as to the truth about *ex offenders. FACT: most *ex crimes are committed by someone NOT on the list and most often by someone the victim knows. FACT: Most registrants never re-offend IN SPITE of the law. If you want more truth, go to www.oncefallen.com

I agree that there is uneven enforcement of sex crime laws in our nation. For example, I consider it absurd for a 15 year old girl to be charged with a sex crime for distributing nude pictures of herself by 'sexting' them using her camera-phone, and I think it is absurd for her friends to be charged with the same crime for forwarding those same messages, yet this is happening across the country right now as district attorneys interested in making a statement wade into the issue of irresponsible children with fancy phones. I think most people can see the obvious injustice in ruining a young person's life for doing something that doesn't involve violating someone else, which would not even be considered a crime if the person involved were several years older. It is a gross miscarriage of justice.

That said, sex offenders as a group have a high degree of recidivism. Sex offenders are about four times more likely to be re-offenders than are non-sex offense related felons, this from a 1994 study by the DOJ. So, I think that there are obvious cases where it makes sense for one of these individual's names to appear on a registry. If the crime involves a child victim of an adult perpetrator, if there has been more than one conviction, or if the crime was particularly violent (involving the use of force or threat of bodily harm, for example) then I don't see the sob story being particularly valid. I would certainly want to know if the guy across from the playground at my kid's school had been convicted of multiple sexual attacks on children.

Obviously we need balance, here - but I think it would be foolish to suggest that these men and women are all victims of some sort of social injustice.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I am considering NOT upgrading my 1st gen iPhone to the 3GS and just using it as an iPod and getting a cheap ATT phone instead. I could save $50-$60 a month! Love the iPhone, like ATT's rollover minutes but the data plan just blows!

Why does everyone keep complaining about the cost of the data plan. The only carrier with a better data plan is Sprint. Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T are about the same.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrono View Post

Its too bad they have to join in the Predator Panic fray. I guess they'll keep it up until a few dozen people get killed first by crazed vigilantes using the app to target people.

Stephen Marshall, the man who murdered two registrants in Maine, used a wireless service to locate his victims and plot their brutal murders. A registrant holding his baby son is shot to death. Over 200 registrants shot to death. Forty percent of registrants and an equal number of family members have experienced vigilante violence as a result of over-saturation of the public registry coupled with abuse of the information contained within. The truth is, such information should be regulated, as these stories consistently show the public abuses the information rather than use the info wisely. These apps do not educate the public as to the truth about *ex offenders. FACT: most *ex crimes are committed by someone NOT on the list and most often by someone the victim knows. FACT: Most registrants never re-offend IN SPITE of the law. If you want more truth, go to www.oncefallen.com

I think you should not show prejudice to ex-offenders. After all, everyone makes mistakes and they are still human and that they deserve another chance. That's why I dislike/ abhor this app. I can't believe Apple allowed it.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by logisticaldron View Post

he uses it more th*n once so the cont*xt can be determined. For *hatever reason, he is not wanting to write sex. To be coy, funn*, or just doesnt *ant to offend is un*lear.

lol! :d
post #23 of 26
Wha!

Iffen ah spends good money on pitchforks an' torches an' tar an' feathers, wat da hell am ah gonna do if tha wifi runs out before ah bring down just retribution on a sex offender...

...praise Jeebus fer the data plan, helpin' the rahtious bring down the wrath of the lord on these deserving sinners!***

Quote:
Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post

This could just be me, but I don't think that it's the price of the iPhone that's killing it for some people... it's the extra $30 a month for the data plan. Lower the monthly data plan, not the cost of the iPhone. That's one of the main reasons why it took me 2 years to finally break down and get one.

***Sarcasm Alert*** the above post may contain elements of sarcasm and may not represent the true view of the poster i.e. I am not a psychotic, religious nutter.
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post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Wha!

Iffen ah spends good money on pitchforks an' torches an' tar an' feathers, wat da hell am ah gonna do if tha wifi runs out before ah bring down just retribution on a sex offender...

...praise Jeebus fer the data plan, helpin' the rahtious bring down the wrath of the lord on these deserving sinners!***



***Sarcasm Alert*** the above post may contain elements of sarcasm and may not represent the true view of the poster i.e. I am not a psychotic, religious nutter.

Your sarcasm got my blessing on the religion, but leave us rural hicks out of it. We have enough problem with the crick being dry.
post #25 of 26
Only in America: sex offender crusades, creationism, 'pro life' camp - and all this in the sea of guns ... Are we living in the 21th century?
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post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by nasdarq View Post

Only in America: sex offender crusades, creationism, 'pro life' camp - and all this in the sea of guns ... Are we living in the 21th century?

maybe.. and it starts now!
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