Apple reportedly complies with Brazilian judge, removes 'Secret' from local App Store

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2014
Complying with an order from a Brazilian judge, Apple on Thursday appears to have removed anonymous social networking app Secret from its App Store, though it is unknown if the company took the prescribed step of wiping the app from users' phones.




According to reports citing unsuccessful iTunes searches and sources, Apple supposedly removed Secret from the Brazilian App Store sometime today after a local judge ordered a ban on the app for violating national law.

As Apple has not issued a statement on the matter, the removal is not official and could instead be a self-imposed takedown for maintenance.

Apple and Google were hit with preliminary injunctions on Tuesday, with Judge Paulo Cesar de Carvalho calling for the companies to ban Secret from their respective app stores and remotely delete all installations in Brazil. The judge also lumped Windows Phone app Cryptic into his decision.

At the time, the three companies were given ten days to comply with the order, after which time a fine of 20,000 Brazilian Real (about US$8,860) would be levied for each day the apps remain in service.

Judge de Carvalho's determination stems from a proposed action written by public prosecutor Marcelo Zenkner that looks to prevent cyber-bullying. Citing Article 5 of Brazil's constitution, Zenkner claims apps like Secret violate the law by allowing anonymous freedom of expression that infringes on human rights.

As for the second part of Judge de Carvalho's order, it is unknown if Apple has or will add Secret to a so-called app "blacklist," which would remotely disable the title by revoking its certificate. Apple's iOS is not capable of remotely deleting apps, but it can render software inoperable.

The iPhone, for example, periodically calls Apple's servers to retrieve a list of verified app certificates. Using this information, iOS can weed out installed apps that are unverified or blacklisted.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    curmicurmi Posts: 69member
    The app is not called "Secret".
  • Reply 2 of 38
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,742member

    Yes, it is.

  • Reply 3 of 38
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,916member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

    Yes, it is.

     


    No it's not. It's called "Secret - Speak Freely." Look it up.

  • Reply 4 of 38
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,742member

    Wow, you two are AR compulsive neurotic dudes.

     

    The app is probably published that way probably because there's another app called "Secret" and Apple's App Store administrators dislike multiple apps having the exact same name (not that it doesn't happen).

     

    Note that the app is published by "Secret, Inc." and they describe is as Secret, not "Secret - Speak Freely."

     

    But good for you, you each added to your post count by one. Your AI post counts should be in the tens of millions if you nitpick on a regular basis.

     

    Congratulations on derailing the conversation from post #2. I hope you feel proud of your accomplishment here.

  • Reply 5 of 38
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,916member

    "...violate the law by allowing anonymous freedom of expression that infringes on human rights."

     

    Easy excuse for Brazil to make sure they can track every comment made by every person. I don't believe in bullying but I feel Brazil is using bullying as an excuse to stomp on a person's right to submit comments anonymously, especially when challenging a government's illegal activities. Wait, I guess Brazil's citizens don't have that right so if they want to voice their dissension they have to take a chance and use their real name.

  • Reply 6 of 38
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,916member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

    Wow, you are one AR compulsive neurotic dude.

     

    The app is probably published that way probably because there's another app called "Secret" and Apple's App Store administrators do not allow for two apps to have the exact same name.

     

    Note that the app is published by "Secret, Inc." and they describe is as Secret, not "Secret - Speak Freely."

     

    But good for you, you added to your post count by two. Your AI post count should be in the tens of millions if you nitpick on a regular basis.


    You're the one who challenged curmi. I just corrected your mistake. Yes, this app is copyrighted by Secret, Inc., but sold by Whispr, LLC. The name of the app, which has been regularly reported incorrectly, is still Secret - Speak Freely. If you're going to report about something, it's best to report things correctly. As for being anal retentive, part of my former job included proofreading, so thank you for the complement.

  • Reply 7 of 38
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Brazil is worried about an app that supposedly infringes upon human rights, if one is to use a perverted and totalitarian interpretation of freedom of expression. What a joke.

     

    I think that they have a few more pressing issues to worry about down there than any iOS app. 

     

    I can see this being on the news down there. A reporter is standing in the middle of the Favela, with people getting robbed and killed left and right in the background shot, and the reporter reports that in today's important news, Brazil has managed to force Apple to remove a dangerous iOS app that was infringing upon the human rights of Brazilians! What a tragedy!

     

    Countries that don't have anonymous forms for expression are not exactly very free societies, and while there is a lot that is wrong with the USA, it is still a hell of a lot better than virtually any other place, when it comes to people being able to freely state what's on their minds.

     

    Brazil's anti freedom and anti free speech government can kiss my ass.

     

    What's the next app to be declared verboten in Brazil? Surely there are many, many apps out that there that allow anonymous forms of communication and messaging.

  • Reply 8 of 38
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Brazilian Governement: "Nobody can keep a secret!"
    Apple: "Hey, tell us something we DON'T know!"
  • Reply 9 of 38
    So if I understand correctly this app works like other social networks where you have to sign up for in order to read/write posts.
    In other words, whatever is written can only been seen by others who are willing to take the risk of being anonymously insulted.
    Ahm.... So where is the problem?
    It seems like everyone who doesn't want this simply doesn't sign up.
    Or did I get this wrong?
  • Reply 10 of 38
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

    Ahm.... So where is the problem?

     

    It’s illegal to be anonymous in Brazil.

  • Reply 11 of 38

    Secret surely takes this as compliment! They also consider this as yet another free marketing for the rest of universe to download their App ... which is absolutely true! Now everyone wants a copy!

     

    All that said, nothing's secret when it is hosted on Google's environment. Look it up for more info .....

     

    Last but not least, if it's not crap, then post it un-anonymously!

  • Reply 12 of 38
    curmicurmi Posts: 69member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    You're the one who challenged curmi. I just corrected your mistake. Yes, this app is copyrighted by Secret, Inc., but sold by Whispr, LLC. The name of the app, which has been regularly reported incorrectly, is still Secret - Speak Freely. If you're going to report about something, it's best to report things correctly. As for being anal retentive, part of my former job included proofreading, so thank you for the complement.


    And thanks for the correction rob53.  I actually made the app on the App Store called "Secret".  Not the one described here.  So when I see people saying Apple has removed "Secret" I'm pointing out that as far as I'm aware, my app is still there.  I am not suggesting my app is good – sales would suggest otherwise. :) I'm just pointing out the reporting is wrong, and I would know since I wrote "Secret". :) 

  • Reply 13 of 38
    mpantone wrote: »
    Wow, you two are AR compulsive neurotic dudes.

    The app is probably published that way probably because there's another app called "Secret" and Apple's App Store administrators dislike multiple apps having the exact same name (not that it doesn't happen).

    Note that the app is published by "Secret, Inc." and they describe is as Secret, not "Secret - Speak Freely."

    But good for you, you each added to your post count by one. Your AI post counts should be in the tens of millions if you nitpick on a regular basis.

    Congratulations on derailing the conversation from post #2. I hope you feel proud of your accomplishment here.

    rob35 is correct to point this out. Try finding the app in the App Store.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by curmi View Post

     

    And thanks for the correction rob53.  I actually made the app on the App Store called "Secret".  Not the one described here.  So when I see people saying Apple has removed "Secret" I'm pointing out that as far as I'm aware, my app is still there.  I am not suggesting my app is good – sales would suggest otherwise. :) I'm just pointing out the reporting is wrong, and I would know since I wrote "Secret". :) 


    Free advertising for you then.  I expect you'll see a spike in downloads as a result of this.  You should figure out how to capitalize on this (preferably non-deceptively :-)

  • Reply 15 of 38
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,742member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    rob35 is correct to point this out. Try finding the app in the App Store.

    I typed in "Secret" into the search box on iTunes on my Mac. This app is the first one that appears. One does not need to append "Speak Freely" to find this app.

     

    Note that the publisher's website refers to the app as "Secret", not "Secret - Speak Freely".

     

    Sorry, this whole discussion is pathetic because someone mindlessly threw out a useless comment as the first reply.

  • Reply 16 of 38

    I didn't see this news being reported within a favela nor being praised as a intervention on an evil foreign corporation on a front page of a newspaper. I don't understand why this offend you so much since it seems your not from Brazil and can continue to use the app as you like.

     

    I'm not in favor of the decision, but the matter was brought to a judge and based on the circumstances presented it was deemed illegal. I don't think the company that developed the app cares about the Brazilian market, but it has the right to appeal to the decision if it feels the constitutional right of free expression is being infringed. This could go up to the Supreme Court to decide on the jurisprudence of this and any other anonymous app. 

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    Brazil is worried about an app that supposedly infringes upon human rights, if one is to use a perverted and totalitarian interpretation of freedom of expression. What a joke.

     

    I think that they have a few more pressing issues to worry about down there than any iOS app. 

     

    I can see this being on the news down there. A reporter is standing in the middle of the Favela, with people getting robbed and killed left and right in the background shot, and the reporter reports that in today's important news, Brazil has managed to force Apple to remove a dangerous iOS app that was infringing upon the human rights of Brazilians! What a tragedy!

     

    Countries that don't have anonymous forms for expression are not exactly very free societies, and while there is a lot that is wrong with the USA, it is still a hell of a lot better than virtually any other place, when it comes to people being able to freely state what's on their minds.

     

    Brazil's anti freedom and anti free speech government can kiss my ass.

     

    What's the next app to be declared verboten in Brazil? Surely there are many, many apps out that there that allow anonymous forms of communication and messaging.


  • Reply 17 of 38
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

    I typed in "Secret" into the search box on iTunes on my Mac. This app is the first one that appears. One does not need to append "Speak Freely" to find this app.

     

    Note that the publisher's website refers to the app as "Secret", not "Secret - Speak Freely".

     

    Sorry, this whole discussion is pathetic because someone mindlessly threw out a useless comment as the first reply.


     

    I tried it on my iPad (since it is presumably an iOS app).

  • Reply 18 of 38

    Still have mine installed! No remote wipe out yet. I will post if this changes.

  • Reply 19 of 38
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by efsatta View Post

     

    I don't understand why this offend you so much since it seems your not from Brazil and can continue to use the app as you like.


     

    You're right, I am not from Brazil, and I have never even been to Brazil.

     

    I just see it as a bad sign when any government, anywhere in the world shows signs of limiting free speech. You can replace Brazil with any other country in the world that implements and enforces such anti-free speech laws, and my reaction would be the same.

  • Reply 20 of 38
    websnapwebsnap Posts: 224member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    "...violate the law by allowing anonymous freedom of expression that infringes on human rights."

     

    Easy excuse for Brazil to make sure they can track every comment made by every person. I don't believe in bullying but I feel Brazil is using bullying as an excuse to stomp on a person's right to submit comments anonymously, especially when challenging a government's illegal activities. Wait, I guess Brazil's citizens don't have that right so if they want to voice their dissension they have to take a chance and use their real name.


     

    With all due respect, who has the right to anonymous free speech? Many countries have a right to free speech but none of them (as far as I am aware, including the US) protects anonymous speech. You have the right to say what you want but to be protected, you need to own it.

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