Originally published October 16 2015
Apple now running cover for Pentagon; tech company censors drone strike information on its devices built with slave labor
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Apple's conformist, hipster fan base tends to ignore the company's vilest policies and business practices, rewarding the tech giant with repeat business and high praise no matter what decisions its CEO, Tim Cook, makes.
For instance, as reported by Common Dreams, Apple recently made a decision to pull a free app that catalogues and maps drone killings by the U.S. military because such content was deemed to be "objectionable." In other words, Apple doesn't believe its customers ought to have access to too much substantive information.
The Metadata+ app, which was developed by Intercept editor Josh Begley, had to be retooled a number of times to get past Apple's restrictions on content for the App Store, though other content and behavior that many find objectionable (porn, recording bodily functions, etc.) have all been considered acceptable. The company ultimately accepted the app only after Begley removed the word "drone" from it, most likely a request made by some U.S. government agency, like the Defense Department.
As further reported by Common Dream:
"The app listed the date, location and victims of American drone strikes, and buzzed users at each new strike. 'I love my phone because it puts me at the center of the map,' Begley explained while developing the app. 'But I'm not the center of the map. I can't even pronounce the names of the places we're bombing.'"
Breaking bad, regularlyUsing Metadata+, Begley said he hoped to create a "historical archive" that would offer the world "information about people you'll never know."
Continuing, he said, "If the folks on the other side of our missiles are presented to us in the same places we see pictures of our loved ones, that (might) nudge me to learn a little more about the contours of our covert war."
The app's success was dependent upon an important question: "Do we want to be as connected to our foreign policy as we are to our smartphones?" Apple's CEO provided the answer — nope, not really. After seven months, the app was pulled from the Apple store with the explanation that it was removed for "exceptionally crude or objectionable content."
But should people of honor and integrity expect different behavior from a company that relies on a virtual slave labor force?
As The Guardian reported in October 2013, about 150,000 of Apple's million-strong workforce in China consisted of teenaged "interns" — many of whom are ripped from their families and forced to work long, tedious hours for low pay in Apple's factories.
The paper reports:
"Through this system western consumers get amazing new gadgets year after year. Apple will tell you that the inhumane conditions at its Chinese supplier factories are now safely in the past, even though it admits that some of the internships are still 'poorly run'. It requires a convenient blindness to believe that."
Taxes, anyone?Then there is Apple's penchant for existing free of charge in nearly every global environment. As Natural News reported, Apple does not pay taxes in any of the countries where it operates, despite billions in profits annually.
Investigators from the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, who performed a lengthy examination of Apple's tax practices, revealed all of their findings at a hearing in May 2013. Cook prepared a testimony for the hearing in which he proposed "changes to a tax code that provides American companies strong incentives to keep overseas earnings bottled up at foreign subsidiaries," The Wall Street Journal noted.
Apple's Cook testified that the company did nothing illegal and that it pays taxes on sales in each country where it operates, but that didn't satisfy or fool some lawmakers.
"What they often leave out is the second part of the story, that Apple is one of the largest tax avoiders," Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) told the paper. He went on to say that Apple is the "most egregious offender" among U.S. corporations who are trying to avoid higher tax bills.
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