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

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,335member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    …also remotely wipe the software from devices in the country.



    Yeah, not happening. Ever. Get over it.

  • Reply 3 of 51
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

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

  • Reply 5 of 51
    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.

  • Reply 6 of 51
    curmicurmi Posts: 69member

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

  • Reply 7 of 51
    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?
  • Reply 8 of 51
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member
    In the Brazilian constitution it specifically says you can't express yourself anonymously? WTF? That is insane.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    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.

  • Reply 10 of 51
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member

    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.

  • Reply 11 of 51
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,415member

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 51
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,415member
    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...

  • Reply 13 of 51
    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.

  • Reply 14 of 51
    Quote:
    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!"

  • Reply 15 of 51
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    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.

  • Reply 16 of 51
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    apple ][ wrote: »
    <div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/181893/apple-faces-preliminary-injunction-to-remove-secret-from-app-store-users-devices#post_2581740" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false">Quote:<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lorin Schultz</strong> <a href="/t/181893/apple-faces-preliminary-injunction-to-remove-secret-from-app-store-users-devices#post_2581740"><img alt="View Post" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" /></a><p>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.</p><p> </p><p>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.</p><p> </p><p>As they used to say on Usenet, "Plonk!"</p></div></div><p> </p><p>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.</p>
    The last sentence is awesome in its irony overload.
  • Reply 17 of 51
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    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.

  • Reply 18 of 51
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    hill60 wrote: »

    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.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,826member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 51
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    crowley wrote: »
    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.
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