Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) joined a growing number of U.S. corporations that have cut ties with WikiLeaks, removing an application from its online store that gave users access to the controversial website's content and Twitter feed because it violated guidelines.
In past weeks, a host of companies from Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) to Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) have withdrawn services for WikiLeaks, which has outraged U.S. authorities by releasing thousands of confidential government documents.
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But in a backlash against organizations that have cut off the site, cyberactivists have taken to targeting companies -- such as Visa Inc -- seen as foes of WikiLeaks. The website's founder, Julian Assange, was released on bail last week from a jail in Britain, where he is fighting extradition to Sweden over alleged sexual offenses.
"We removed the WikiLeaks App from the App Store because it violated our developer guidelines," Apple said in a statement on Wednesday. "Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or targeted group in harm's way."
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he is considering using the U.S. Espionage Act, under which it is illegal to obtain national defense information for the purpose of harming the United States, as well as other laws to prosecute the release of sensitive government information by WikiLeaks.