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Apple faces preliminary injunction to remove 'Secret' from App Store, users' devices

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
A Brazilian judge on Tuesday ordered Apple and Google to not only remove anonymous social networking app Secret from their app stores, but also remotely wipe the software from devices in the country.


Popular posts from Secret's web client.


Judge Paulo Cesar de Carvalho of the Fifth Civil Court of Victoria names Apple, Google and Microsoft in the order, calling for the removal and deletion of Secret and the Windows Phone analogue Cryptic within ten days, reports local publication Link. After the probationary period, all three companies face a fine of 20,000 Brazilian Real (about US$8,860) for each day the apps remain in service.

It is unclear at this time whether the injunction ruling applies to iOS devices sold within Brazil, or all portables including imports and those used by visitors.

Judge de Carvalho's decision is in response to a proposed action from public prosecutor Marcelo Zenkner, who called for a ban on the apps, saying Brazil's constitution (PDF link) prohibits anonymous freedom of expression. The meaning of the constitution's Article 5 is debated in Brazil, though some believe anonymity should not be allowed when it infringes on fundamental human rights, the publication says.

Applying this line of thinking to apps like Secret, the takedown is meant to protect against the threat of bullying, or more specifically anonymous cyber-bullying. Zenkner's original civil action, on which Judge de Carvalho based his decision, cites a case in which marketing consultant Bruno Machado found nude photos published to Secret with overlaid text saying he is HIV positive.

The ruling shines a light on Apple's so-called app "blacklist," which can remotely disable an installed app by revoking its certificate. An iPhone, for example, periodically calls Apple's servers to retrieve a list of verified app certificates, rendering those on the blacklist inoperable.

There has yet to be a documented case in which the mechanism was used, however, meaning the Brazil order would be the first if an appeal is unsuccessful or Apple decides to comply with the judge's orders. Apple has thus far opted to remove offending apps, like unsanctioned tethering software, from the App Store, but leaves certificates in place. This way, the App Store gets around reimbursing customers who may have purchased the app while maintaining a tight hold on the digital marketplace.

Apps like Secret have come under fire recently for promoting faceless personal attacks, prompting stricter posting policies.
post #2 of 52
Good luck Brazil.

Instead, Apple will probably contact the developer and have them comply with the laws of Brazil, giving them an option to due something like "Because you're in Brazil, enter your personal information here, your posts will not be secret". Either that or have the app disable access if you're detected to be located in Brazil.

Or better yet, a big old "Are you Brazilian?" question in the introduction. Either way.
post #3 of 52
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
…also remotely wipe the software from devices in the country.


Yeah, not happening. Ever. Get over it.

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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #4 of 52
Apple's not going to want to set the customer of deleting/disabling (potentially even paid-for) stuff from user's devices based on some specific demand from an individual government%u2014or, next, from anyone with a lawyer. They'll take stuff off the store, and they'll disable malware, but messing with users beyond that is NOT what they want. If they have any other recourse they'll take it, because that opens a huge can of worms.
post #5 of 52

Apple could comply obviously but what about Google? Do they have a remote delete ability?

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post #6 of 52
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
Apple could comply obviously but what about Google? Do they have a remote delete ability?


And have used it, I believe.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #7 of 52

The app appears to not be called "Secret".  It is called "Secret - Speak Freely".

post #8 of 52
Why didn't the aggrieved party just sue Secret to have them divulge the identity of the person who posted their compromising photos and alleged libelous commentary?

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post #9 of 52
In the Brazilian constitution it specifically says you can't express yourself anonymously? WTF? That is insane.
post #10 of 52
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post
In the Brazilian constitution it specifically says you can't express yourself anonymously? WTF? That is insane.


Sounds like South Korea where you have to tie any Internet accounts you have to your actual identification.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #11 of 52

Oh no, we can't dare have any forms for anonymous freedom of expression! Our fascist country won't stand for that! How despicable! Who the hell ever came up with such a ridiculous concept, freedom of expression? Bah.

 

We must immediately force Apple to remotely delete whatever apps that we don't like, whenever we tell them to. We in Brazil try to emulate other totalitarian and wonderful countries like Saudi Arabia and China when it comes to freedom of expression. 

 

It's not bad enough and embarrassing enough that Brazil has one of the highest costs for Apple devices in the entire world, but now we're also going to force Apple to remotely delete apps from people's personal devices, like any good fascist and totalitarian Banana republic would do.

 

Fat Chance Brazil! Go suck a big one!

 

Apple must never give in to such outrageous demands coming from a confused third world country. If you ask me, Foxconn shouldn't even have bothered to build any factories in that country, given the outrageous price of Apple products there. 

 

Brazil should go back to losing at soccer and crying like pathetic little girls, it seems to be what they're best at, not dictating ridiculous and offensive demands to Apple like remotely wiping apps.

post #12 of 52

It's so much harder to execute anonymous people who say what you don't want them to…poor Brazil.

 

Although, other digital content can be disappeared when permissions or copyright issues arise.

Don't see why apps should be immune.

post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

In the Brazilian constitution it specifically says you can't express yourself anonymously?

…except for the guy who wrote that into their Constitution...

post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

In the Brazilian constitution it specifically says you can't express yourself anonymously? WTF? That is insane.

 

It's consistent with what we taught our kid growing up, which is that "honesty" means not just telling the truth, but standing up for what you believe in.

 

People remember what you say, so think about what you want them to remember before you open your trap or write that note.

 

Being accountable for what you say will earn you respect. Being controversial or adversarial from a position of anonymity is cowardly and you'll live in fear of slipping up and being found out.

 

Being honest about your beliefs will empower others; a faceless statement has no effect because no one takes it seriously.

 

Walking the talk is part of the reason I stopped using "User IDs" and created new online accounts using my real name.

 

I share the concern over a governing authority trying to control communications channels because it's possible people may someday need them to resist corrupt and oppressive regimes, but I also understand what the Judge in Brazil is trying to accomplish here: shutting down avenues that chickenshit bullies and generally anti-social maladroits use to make life unpleasant for good people. The cause is noble.

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #15 of 52
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Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

Oh no, we can't dare have any forms for anonymous freedom of expression! Our fascist country won't stand for that! How despicable! Who the hell ever came up with such a ridiculous concept, freedom of expression? Bah.

 

We must immediately force Apple to remotely delete whatever apps that we don't like, whenever we tell them to. We in Brazil try to emulate other totalitarian and wonderful countries like Saudi Arabia and China when it comes to freedom of expression. 

 

It's not bad enough and embarrassing enough that Brazil has one of the highest costs for Apple devices in the entire world, but now we're also going to force Apple to remotely delete apps from people's personal devices, like any good fascist and totalitarian Banana republic would do.

 

Fat Chance Brazil! Go suck a big one!

 

Apple must never give in to such outrageous demands coming from a confused third world country. If you ask me, Foxconn shouldn't even have bothered to build any factories in that country, given the outrageous price of Apple products there. 

 

Brazil should go back to losing at soccer and crying like pathetic little girls, it seems to be what they're best at, not dictating ridiculous and offensive demands to Apple like remotely wiping apps.

 

It's really hard to take you seriously when you don't stand behind what you say. Tough talk coming from an invisible avatar! There's NO WAY you would talk to someone like that face-to-face. Why would you think it's okay to do it here? Because you can get away with it? Remind me not to leave my car keys within your reach.

 

Your constitution guarantees freedom of expression, it doesn't say anything about spouting off anything you think you can get away with from a position of anonymity, nor does it say that you're entitled to a life free of consequences for your remarks. The government can't prosecute you for your opinion, but a customer can decide not to buy from you, an employer can decide not to hire you, and forum users can mock and/or block you until you man up and grow a pair.

 

As they used to say on Usenet, "Plonk!"

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

It's really hard to take you seriously when you don't stand behind what you say. Tough talk coming from an invisible avatar! There's NO WAY you would talk to someone like that face-to-face. Why would you think it's okay to do it here? Because you can get away with it? Remind me not to leave my car keys within your reach.

 

Your constitution guarantees freedom of expression, it doesn't say anything about spouting off anything you think you can get away with from a position of anonymity, nor does it say that you're entitled to a life free of consequences for your remarks. The government can't prosecute you for your opinion, but a customer can decide not to buy from you, an employer can decide not to hire you, and forum users can mock and/or block you until you man up and grow a pair.

 

As they used to say on Usenet, "Plonk!"

 

That's exactly what freedom of expression is, and it's quite apparent that you and certain others of your ilk have a problem with such civilized concepts.  It is not my job to educate and enlighten the unfortunate and the ignorant. They are best left to their own devices, where they may freely wallow around in their cesspool of ignorance and intolerance.

post #17 of 52
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Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

It's really hard to take you seriously when you don't stand behind what you say. Tough talk coming from an invisible avatar! There's NO WAY you would talk to someone like that face-to-face. Why would you think it's okay to do it here? Because you can get away with it? Remind me not to leave my car keys within your reach.

 

Your constitution guarantees freedom of expression, it doesn't say anything about spouting off anything you think you can get away with from a position of anonymity, nor does it say that you're entitled to a life free of consequences for your remarks. The government can't prosecute you for your opinion, but a customer can decide not to buy from you, an employer can decide not to hire you, and forum users can mock and/or block you until you man up and grow a pair.

 

As they used to say on Usenet, "Plonk!"

 

That's exactly what freedom of expression is, and it's quite apparent that you and certain others of your ilk have a problem with such civilized concepts.  It is not my job to educate and enlighten the unfortunate and the ignorant. They are best left to their own devices, where they may freely wallow around in their cesspool of ignorance and intolerance.

The last sentence is awesome in its irony overload.
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

What about Google? Do they have a remote delete ability?


Yes and they have already used it.

 

When European customers enabled voice directions in Google Maps before Google released it.

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post #19 of 52
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Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


Yes and they have already used it.

When European customers enabled voice directions in Google Maps before Google released it.

The way I see it, it doesn't matter who does it. It could be Google, it could be Amazon or Apple or whoever.

It is wrong and i believe that no company should have the power to remove legitimately purchased and downloaded apps from people's devices after the fact.
post #20 of 52

Better get yourself a Stallman open-everything phone then, if it exists yet.

 

If the apps don't abide by the constitution of the country then there's an argument that they aren't legitimately purchased in the first place.

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post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Better get yourself a Stallman open-everything phone then, if it exists yet.

If the apps don't abide by the constitution of the country then there's an argument that they aren't legitimately purchased in the first place.
that means apple would have to disable the app everywhere based on every countrys whims and laws. Apple is now required to wipe apps based on what country youre in at any given time....hunh? Ummm how about Apple doesnt have the authority to do that. Thats called being on the internet. Its possible some people might be bullys oh well... PC gone wrong.
Edited by AdonisSMU - 8/20/14 at 4:13am
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The way I see it, it doesn't matter who does it. It could be Google, it could be Amazon or Apple or whoever.

It is wrong and i believe that no company should have the power to remove legitimately purchased and downloaded apps from people's devices after the fact.
exactly.
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

It's really hard to take you seriously when you don't stand behind what you say. Tough talk coming from an invisible avatar! There's NO WAY you would talk to someone like that face-to-face. Why would you think it's okay to do it here? Because you can get away with it? Remind me not to leave my car keys within your reach.

Your constitution guarantees freedom of expression, it doesn't say anything about spouting off anything you think you can get away with from a position of anonymity, nor does it say that you're entitled to a life free of consequences for your remarks. The government can't prosecute you for your opinion, but a customer can decide not to buy from you, an employer can decide not to hire you, and forum users can mock and/or block you until you man up and grow a pair.

As they used to say on Usenet, "Plonk!"
i was all set to disagree with you but your logic is solid. However I think this ruling is wrong. There is no way you can take peoples bought and paid for apps away from them after they've paid for it. Thats stealing...especially if its an american going into brazil. The judge needs to get some better tech advice because while possible they could be inducing Apple to break all kinds of laws elsewhere in the world. Being anonymous on the internet is an assumed risk. Brazil might as well tell everyone in their country they cant use it because of the risk of them being anonymous.
post #24 of 52

I have a different view on this.
Anonymity brings out the worst in people and although I believe in freed of expression, I think people should not be allowed to make statements anonymously.
If you make a statement be prepared to assume responsibility for that statement.

post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

It's consistent with what we taught our kid growing up, which is that "honesty" means not just telling the truth, but standing up for what you believe in.

People remember what you say, so think about what you want them to remember before you open your trap or write that note.

Being accountable for what you say will earn you respect. Being controversial or adversarial from a position of anonymity is cowardly and you'll live in fear of slipping up and being found out.

Being honest about your beliefs will empower others; a faceless statement has no effect because no one takes it seriously.

Walking the talk is part of the reason I stopped using "User IDs" and created new online accounts using my real name.

I share the concern over a governing authority trying to control communications channels because it's possible people may someday need them to resist corrupt and oppressive regimes, but I also understand what the Judge in Brazil is trying to accomplish here: shutting down avenues that chickenshit bullies and generally anti-social maladroits use to make life unpleasant for good people. The cause is noble.

Right because forcing people to adhere to one specific ideal is noble. Further, what happens when the day comes when you need anonomous expression, but have no avenues to conduct it?
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


that means apple would have to disable the app everywhere based on every countrys whims and laws. Apple is now required to wipe apps based on what country youre in at any given time....hunh? Ummm how about Apple doesnt have the authority to do that. Thats called being on the internet. Its possible some people might be bullys oh well... PC gone wrong.

What has PC got to do with anything?

 

I don't think the order is based on what country the phone is in, it's based on what app store it's connected to.  If it's the Brazil app store, which is subject to Brazilian laws, and where Secret is an app that does not fulfil requirements set out by the Brazilian constitution, then Secret should not be sold and should never have been sold, and any sales are invalid, and any installations of Secret should be removed.  That seems pretty straightforward.

 

If it is based on what country you're actually in, and the court is asking Apple to set up a big geo-fencing infrastructure that needs to be constantly cross-referenced against app blacklists per country... well that might be unreasonable and I'm not sure how it would work.

 

But assuming that's not what they're asking, let's hypothesise and replace Secret with heroin.  Apple runs a store in Rio and sells heroin for a time.  Heroin is illegal under Brazilian laws, so Apple gets told to stop selling heroin, and to provide assistance in tracking down people who have bought heroin so that police can follow up.  If Apple don't cooperate then they get punished.  How is this conceptually any different, except that Apple have the ability to use a kill switch to vaporise the sold heroin in one fell swoop?

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post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


i was all set to disagree with you but your logic is solid. However I think this ruling is wrong. There is no way you can take peoples bought and paid for apps away from them after they've paid for it. Thats stealing...especially if its an american going into brazil.

Presumably, if the American goes back to the USA they'd be able to redownload Secret.

 

This is akin to the border guard seizing your contraband that isn't allowed in the destination country.  You normally don't get that back either, but with Secret, as soon as you get out of Brazil, you could redownload.

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post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Presumably, if the American goes back to the USA they'd be able to redownload Secret.

This is akin to the border guard seizing your contraband that isn't allowed in the destination country.  You normally don't get that back either, but with Secret, as soon as you get out of Brazil, you could redownload.

Right but thats altering someones personal device. That presents all kinds of legal challenges from another countries perspective. If Brazil doesnt want to participate in the internet, thats fine but that doesnt mean others shouldnt be allowed to. Again too much big government. Im a big government liberal but this imo is court overreach...

They could make apple or msft wipe everyones computer of information they dont want people to have...like all that American IP Brazil steals. Could you imagine... There needs to be a constitutional amendment here in the US preventing such actions in the US.
Edited by AdonisSMU - 8/20/14 at 5:45am
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post
 

 a faceless statement has no effect because no one takes it seriously.

 

But they do. Not everyone, but certainly not "no one".  Lots of trouble here as pertains to online consumer reviews. And even here on AI, where users gain reputation through the system established by the site.  A troll's first post isn't granted much credibility, but TallestSkil's posts, though anonymous, are vastly more impactful. (Yes, it's not a word, but you know what I mean.)

post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


If Brazil doesnt want to participate in the internet, thats fine but that doesnt mean others shouldnt be allowed to.

 

What does that mean?  If Brazil makes a law then it applies to everyone in Brazil.  It doesn't affect anyone outside of Brazil.  If you don't want to abide by that law then don't enter Brazil.  Who are the "others" you are referring to?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

They could make apple or msft wipe everyones computer of information they dont want people to have...like all that American IP Brazil steals. Could you imagine... There needs to be a constitutional amendment here in the US preventing such actions in the US.

 

Preventing what actions?  Genuinely not following you here.  US constitutional amendments don't apply to people in Brazil.

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post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

i was all set to disagree with you but your logic is solid. However I think this ruling is wrong. There is no way you can take peoples bought and paid for apps away from them after they've paid for it. Thats stealing...especially if its an american going into brazil. The judge needs to get some better tech advice because while possible they could be inducing Apple to break all kinds of laws elsewhere in the world. Being anonymous on the internet is an assumed risk. Brazil might as well tell everyone in their country they cant use it because of the risk of them being anonymous.

In effect removing Secret from user devices would be no different than Apple actively blocking access in China to the FreeWeibo app. Chinese users downloaded it and now their use of it has been taken away. The app itself was not deleted from the users phone (AFAIK) but it's completely useless with Apple specifically blocking that app from working while the user is in China. It has the exact same effect as removing the app itself from the iDevice doesn't it?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/secret-speak-freely/id775307543?mt=8
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/freeweibo/id708973575?mt=8
Edited by Gatorguy - 8/20/14 at 6:13am
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post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

In effect removing Secret from user devices would be no different than Apple actively blocking access in China to the FreeWeibo app. Chinese users downloaded it and now their use of it has been taken away. The app itself was not deleted from the users phone (AFAIK) but it's completely useless with Apple specifically blocking that app from working while the user is in China. It has the exact same effect as removing the app itself from the iDevice doesn't it?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/secret-speak-freely/id775307543?mt=8
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/freeweibo/id708973575?mt=8
that is acceptable to me.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

What about Google? Do they have a remote delete ability?


Yes and they have already used it.

 

When European customers enabled voice directions in Google Maps before Google released it.

But Maps is an app that uses Google services. I have no experience with Android, however I asked because I thought that it was possible to side load apps from other sources that Google did not control.

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post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

In effect removing Secret from user devices would be no different than Apple actively blocking access in China to the FreeWeibo app. Chinese users downloaded it and now their use of it has been taken away. The app itself was not deleted from the users phone (AFAIK) but it's completely useless with Apple specifically blocking that app from working while the user is in China. It has the exact same effect as removing the app itself from the iDevice doesn't it?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/secret-speak-freely/id775307543?mt=8
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/freeweibo/id708973575?mt=8

While I believe that they can remove the app I think blocking access whilst in country (Brazil in this case) might be the best solution, but one can bypass that if they're on a VPN.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

In effect removing Secret from user devices would be no different than Apple actively blocking access in China to the FreeWeibo app. Chinese users downloaded it and now their use of it has been taken away. The app itself was not deleted from the users phone (AFAIK) but it's completely useless with Apple specifically blocking that app from working while the user is in China. It has the exact same effect as removing the app itself from the iDevice doesn't it?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/secret-speak-freely/id775307543?mt=8
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/freeweibo/id708973575?mt=8

Agreed. And to those who suggest a provider of software doesn't have a right to alter that software after the fact, you need to go back and reread your software license agreement. You don't own the software, you own a license to use it. This is true for iOS and Apple has the right to modify iOS or its behavior, including determining which apps it launches and allows to be installed on an iOS managed device. So Apple does have the right to delete Secret if it feels there is cause to do so.
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post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post
 

 

It's consistent with what we taught our kid growing up, which is that "honesty" means not just telling the truth, but standing up for what you believe in.

 

People remember what you say, so think about what you want them to remember before you open your trap or write that note.

 

Being accountable for what you say will earn you respect. Being controversial or adversarial from a position of anonymity is cowardly and you'll live in fear of slipping up and being found out.

 

Being honest about your beliefs will empower others; a faceless statement has no effect because no one takes it seriously.

 

Walking the talk is part of the reason I stopped using "User IDs" and created new online accounts using my real name.

 

I share the concern over a governing authority trying to control communications channels because it's possible people may someday need them to resist corrupt and oppressive regimes, but I also understand what the Judge in Brazil is trying to accomplish here: shutting down avenues that chickenshit bullies and generally anti-social maladroits use to make life unpleasant for good people. The cause is noble.

I commend you for standing behind your beliefs but this world is full of rumors and "facts" from anonymous sources. Even our judges have declared that freedom of speech protects the identity of people not willing to give out the names of these people. Of course, this is abused every day by analysts and others trying to manipulate stocks but nobody is willing to go after them. As for bullying, I totally agree something needs to be done but you have to weigh the effect a law has on its unintended use against its intended use before forcing it on everyone (in Brazil). The right to submit something anonymously is for protection of the submitter against retribution not necessarily from the receiver but about someone else who can have a tremendous amount of power. As for Brazil, I find it interesting they even have this law since there's so much lawlessness in that country (hosted a Brazilian exchange student so we have first hand knowledge of this).

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

Good luck Brazil.

Instead, Apple will probably contact the developer and have them comply with the laws of Brazil, giving them an option to due something like "Because you're in Brazil, enter your personal information here, your posts will not be secret". Either that or have the app disable access if you're detected to be located in Brazil.

Or better yet, a big old "Are you Brazilian?" question in the introduction. Either way.

 

this.  Going for the big hammer first without even considering other options seems lazy.  And it could backfire.  It seems like it would be better to work with the developer who created the software to address the issue, rather than going straight to Apple who merely operates the store.

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post #38 of 52
Brazil's law sounds a tad wack, but it is the law. And Apple must comply if the courts grant the order. The app will come off the store. And unless Apple can prove there is absolutely no way to remote delete or disable the app that will happen also.

As for the app, frankly if it is being used for bullying then in deserves to be nixed in all countries. Or at the least the app should be required to have a way to track those doing posts even if it's not public. So those who bully etc can be shut down.

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post #39 of 52
Hey Apple ][ - tell us how you really feel :-)
post #40 of 52
Is Brazil also confiscating writing implements?
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