Apple Blocking 'Secret' in Brazilian App Store After Court Ruling

Friday August 22, 2014 7:41 AM PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
secret-iconBApple has started blocking downloads of anonymous communication app Secret [Direct Link] following a preliminary injunction that was granted recently by a Brazilian civil court judge (Via 9to5Mac). According to the injunction ruling shared by Gigaom earlier this week, Apple is required to remove the app from the Brazilian App Store and remotely delete the app from customers' devices.

Local media noted earlier today that Secret was still listed in the Brazilian App Store, but that Apple was preventing users from installing the app on their iOS devices. The app now appears to have been removed entirely from the the Brazilian store.

Apple reportedly has not started deleting the app from user's devices per the injunction requirements, and it is unclear whether Apple plans to comply with that portion of the order or pursue the issue further. The injunction also applies to the Android version of Secret and a similar Windows Phone Secret client titled Cryptic, but Microsoft and Google are not yet complying with the injunction terms.

The injunction stems from a civil case filed by public prosecutor Marcelo Zenkner, who took action after receiving complaints about bullying on the anonymous social network. Secret allows users to post messages and comment while keeping their identity hidden. This anonymity provision violates Brazilian law, prompting the judge to issue the injunction earlier this week. Google, Apple and Microsoft have ten days to comply with the ruling or face daily fines of 20,000 reals ($8,890 USD).

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Posted: 13 weeks ago
Remotely delete? So if I buy book at a local store and the courts then say that book should not be sold, the retailer must come into my house and physically remove the book? What kind of totalitarian society do we live in? :confused:
Rating: 13 Votes
Posted: 13 weeks ago
$9,000 to Apple is chump change. $9,000 to Microsoft on the other hand is what they make a whole year from Surface sales! Ouch!


hehe
Rating: 12 Votes
Posted: 13 weeks ago

I have a different view on this.
Anonymity brings out the worst in people and although I believe in freedom of expression, I think people should not be allowed to make statements anonymously.
If you make a statement be prepared to assume responsibility for it, especially if you slander/attack someone (see where this whole thing started).
Yes, there are some exceptions, but I doubt they apply here (whistleblowers, abuse etc)
As for the fact that it was removed remotely, it's a decision from a judge, Apple can't really do much but comply.


I don't know who you are, you're using an alias which allows you to stay anonymous.

Please provide your full name, address and telephone number.

Actually I don't care, do what you want.
Rating: 8 Votes
Posted: 13 weeks ago

Anyway the main point is that the actual interpretation from the Brazilian Supreme Court is Brazilian Constitution forbids anonymity. You are allowed to express whatever you want, as long as you bear the consequences of your acts. It doesn't forbid the use of a hammer, as long as it is possible to track the hammer's users.

Great way to ensure nobody says anything that is unpopular or criticize the powerful.

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The injunction stems from a civil case (http://blogs.estadao.com.br/link/promotor-quer-extirpar-secret-do-brasil/) filed by public prosecutor Marcelo Zenkner, who took action after receiving complaints about bullying on the anonymous social network.

How can you be bullied by an app that you can just delete and ignore?
Rating: 8 Votes
Posted: 13 weeks ago

Remotely delete? So if I buy book at a local store and the courts then say that book should not be sold, the retailer must come into my house and physically remove the book? What kind of totalitarian society do we live in? :confused:


I have a different view on this.
Anonymity brings out the worst in people and although I believe in freedom of expression, I think people should not be allowed to make statements anonymously.
If you make a statement be prepared to assume responsibility for it, especially if you slander/attack someone (see where this whole thing started).
Yes, there are some exceptions, but I doubt they apply here (whistleblowers, abuse etc)
As for the fact that it was removed remotely, it's a decision from a judge, Apple can't really do much but comply.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 13 weeks ago

Do you live in Brazil?

Not all citizens of the world enjoy the same freedoms and liberties as those of us in the "west". And there are many countries out there far worse than Brazil.


The west is no longer free like it was either, it seems most people don't care about freedom and long as they get something for free in return.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 13 weeks ago

$9,000 to Apple is chump change. $9,000 to Microsoft on the other hand is what they make a whole year from Surface sales! Ouch!


hehe


Actually, they've been losing money on sales.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 13 weeks ago

I have a different view on this.


I don't disagree that people should put an identity to online comments many times. But I do think anonymity online is an important thing and should be allowed.

While Apple must comply to remotely delete the app, I disagree with this aspect of the ruling for the example I previously stated. Also, hammers are great tools but can hurt people; we don't outlaw the hammer, we outlaw the behaviour.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 13 weeks ago

It doesn't make sense.
If you are anonymous, how can another anonymous person bully you?


Only the bully is anonymous in this case. The bullied person's identity is known.
So I believe it does make sense.
Have you actually read the article?

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If I may throw my hat into the ring or not I shall.
The original article is in Portuguese which I cannot read.

If you haven't read the article how can you form an opinion?
Use google translate and read the article, then come back and state your opinion instead of talking about something which you don't know


Posting any photo of somebody online without their permission involves a position of leverage and seems more of harassment and invasion of privacy than bullying. Threats on life also go in the harassment category.

Call it whatever you want - bullying or harassment - is still wrong.
And we're not talking about any photo - we're talking about nude photos.


If the service is anonymous, I don't see how anybody could get bullied. Non-participating members could get harassed perhaps, but not bullied. Even most harassment seems illogical. If two users don't know who the other is and one threatens the other's mother, what if it is really a mother arguing with her daughter online but they don't know it, and the mother inadvertently threatened her own life.

Only the bully is anonymous, the "harassed" party is known (not to us, but to the judge)


Roundabout conclusion, I have to wonder how much of this is just a PR stunt for the rest of the world.

Nude photos of an innocent are published online and you call this a PR stunt?
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 13 weeks ago

Surely you aren't under the impression that a company must not abide by local and national laws if they're based outside said country?

The ramifications are exactly as you say. They must either pay the fines or close shop in the country.

I am not saying I agree with the ruling, but a government should never fail to uphold their laws because of fear of the uproar it causes. That is literally giving all of the power to the company by saying "do what you want because we don't want people to get mad".

At the end of the day Apple does a whole lot in terms of keeping governments where they sell their products happy. The simplest evidence of this is comparing what is available on the AppStore, iTunes, etc worldwide. There is content you would find in the US that you wouldn't find in huge UK, for example. I've also read that hardware (such as the camera) is gimped in some countries. The examples are virtually endless

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I get where you're coming from but...

If each user is truly anonymous...

How is "your mother is going to die" a threat that any reasonable person using the service can take seriously for even a fraction of a second?

I realize you just have a simplistic example, but I honestly can't think of a way any of these threats can be taken personally. Perhaps there is gear of terrorist threats? Idk.


How about, "Your mother will be dead tomorrow.", with a picture of your mother and a picture of a gun?

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Re: the story itself, perhaps one solution would be, each poster keeps their identity private, however, account information is recorded. With a court order, that information can be retrieved.
Rating: 3 Votes

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