"One of Congress' most outspoken anti-war members, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio),is calling on Apple to stop blocking a drone-strike tracking app and plans to hold a congressional briefing this Friday about drones. Apple has prohibited the app, called Drones+, saying it was "objectionable" and "crude," according to the program's designer, Josh Begley.
"What is 'objectionable and crude' are the drone strikes themselves," Kucinich told The Hill. "I strongly support any effort to bring increased transparency to our combat drone program. This program continues to operate without transparency and accountability."
It seemed like a simple enough idea for an iPhone app: Send users a pop-up notice whenever a flying robots kills someone in one of America's many undeclared wars. But Apple keeps blocking the Drones+ program from its App Store -- and therefore, from iPhones everywhere. The Cupertino company says the content is "objectionable and crude," according to Apple's latest rejection letter.
It's the third time in a month that Apple has turned Drones+ away, says Josh Begley, the program's New York-based developer. The company's reasons for keeping the program out of the App Store keep shifting. First, Apple called the bare-bones application that aggregates news of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia "not useful." Then there was an issue with hiding a corporate logo. And now, there's this crude content problem."
The New America Foundation, which tracks the strikes, reports on its website that "337 CIA drone strikes in Pakistan have killed an estimated 1,908 to 3,225 people since 2004, of which 1,618 - 2,769 were reported to be militants. This means the average non-militant casualty rate over the life of the program is 15-16 percent. In 2012 it has been 1-2 percent, down sharply from its peak in 2006 of over 60 percent."