Apple

Apple to Ban Apps that Include DUI Checkpoints; Why That's Stupid (Vid)

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Wasn't it only a few years ago that Apple, maker of super-cool anti-Establishment imagery that often has computer equipment attached to it, pushing us to "Think Different"? Didn't they once run a famous ad that metaphorically showed an empowered personal computer user smashing the power wielded by great centralized governments and even private-sector actors? Maybe that ad was for a TRS-80 or something.

Damon Lavrinc of the essential Autoblog reports the latest dispactch from the Cupertino vanguard:

In conjunction with this week's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple has updated its App Store Review Guidelines, and part of the new approval process includes a section that prohibits the inclusion of DUI checkpoints in iOS apps.

Section 22.8 states:

Apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected….

The updated terms come a few months after a group of U.S. Senators sent letters of concern to Apple, Google and RIM, asking the smartphone companies to remove any and all apps that would inform users of DUI checkpoints….

if history holds true, where Apple goes, so goes the industry…

More here.

Here's hoping that at least in this case, history is bunk. Blackberry maker RIM has already caved to the senators "request," which was seconded by state attorneys general such as Delaware's Beau Biden (Son-VP). But given the explosive growth of Droid-powered smartphones, maybe Apple won't equal destiny this around.

Lavrinc's short but depressing post also notes that 

While developers might be able to remove the DUI stop functionality from their apps, most of the programs that identify law enforcement activity and speed traps are crowd-sourced, meaning users could submit the checkpoints themselves without the app's devs knowing what they're identifying.

Let me add something even more damning of this latest development in corporate cave-ins to legally protected free speech and I'm gonna bold it for emphasis: Some police departments actually supply the data used in such apps because they reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads! Somehow, I'm thinking that Steve Jobs circa 1984 (both the year and the ad) would have told U.S. senators sending threatening letters about computer-based info sharing to take a hike. Or at least to spend time on, I don't know, creating a freaking budget for the country rather than worrying about regulating something that helps reduce impaired driving.

Just last month, after RIM caved on the same question, Reason.tv released this video by me and Joshua Swain on the subject of banning DUI checkpoint apps. Check it out:

Go here for more details on the ban and its utter stupidity.

NEXT: The Persecution of John Edwards

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  1. I was just thinking that DUI Apps can be used by sober drivers to avoid the libertarians drunks. A useful App New Years’ Eve

    1. Yep! A DUI app would have been pure entertainment when I was young. State and county police used to take turns regularly setting up a checkpoint near my home.
      “Have you been drinking tonight, Mr. [Paleo]?”
      “Yes, Officer, all day.”
      Then I waited for them to ask about what I drank. Sometimes it took an hour and a lot of calisthenics before it occurred to them to ask.

  2. Since Twitter is the Most Powerful Social Media Tool Since The Telegraph?, checkpoints can be instantly tweeted to the Worldwide Twitter Network (WTN). Problem circumvented.

    1. Is the Telegraph? still ‘TMed’?
      Wouldn’t that be expired by now?

    2. WTN!? Win-the-Now?

      1. Sure, why not.

  3. In Apple’s defense, don’t underestimate how much pressure our mafia of state AGs probably put on them over this.

    1. The joys of ‘nudging’.

      1. Nice company you have there, hate to see anything happen to it.

        1. There’s an app for that.

  4. or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected….

    No victim, no crime.

    Besides, Apple has always sucked ass.

    1. Many arrested for dui caused no harm and were not driving recklessly.It’s about pre-crime prevention.

      1. Why do you hate the children?!

      2. I saw that movie. But then again, I’ll watch Max von Sydow in about anything.

        1. Hopefully not porn.

  5. If you’re sober enough to work your iPhone…..

    1. HEY! Don’t you be trying to use that app while you’re driving. That’s another violation.

  6. It’s never really been about preventing people from driving while intoxicaterd. It may have started out that way, but what it has become is nothing more than a means for local communities to generate income.

    1. This. At the risk of “giving them ideas”, why not have Traffic Rule Knowledge Checkpoints as well? “Good evening, Sir. What distance must one allow when following a firetruck?”

      1. I think this decisson for them will be dangerious. There are number of applications with UI are being sold in their Apple Apps Store, It can lose alot of their money.

    2. Income and general submissiveness toward those TYRING TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN!!!!!!

    3. Nope, they didn’t start that way. The old excuse wasn’t drunks, it was a “license check.” They went to DUI checks when the courts struck that down. “Compelling public interest” or some such, donchaknow.

  7. Does anyone wanna play “Soggy Apple”?

    1. I’ll bite. How do you play?

      1. Bill, you and I will cum on a MacBook and then we’ll make Woz eat it. Sound good?

  8. Considering that Apple is a [gasp] corporation, and therefore a bloody-thirsty killing machine that thinks only of profit profits profits–like a Skynet land-shark in an uncontrollable frenzy for misery-spiced money–Apple must be banning the apps to destroy a union or something.

    1. Skynet land-shark

      This term is a political football hacking away at the roots of the ship of state.

      1. Last night on the Citizens United thread someone named xenia onatopp said this

        “In spite of all of that, politicians and activists on the left disingenuously (or ignorantly, or both) use it to mean a multinational seller of lead-paint-based baby food, manufactured by crippled third world orphans working 18 hour days for wages paid in radioactive waste, run from a distance by executives whose salaries and bonuses are delivered weekly by tandem trailer (since the cash won’t fit in just a semi), dropped off at the whites only country club where they use million dollar bills to light the special greenhouse-gas-emitting cigars they smoke while helping the Kochs buy senators and congressmen who will enact their secret five year plan for the US, codenamed Operation Somalia.”

        “a multinational seller of lead-paint-based baby food,” is about as good as it gets. I would make it my handle if it wasn’t too long.

        1. Wondering…

          1. Food made from lead-based babies? Brilliant!

            1. Girl Scout: Is this made from real lemons?
              Wednesday: Yes.
              Girl Scout: I only like all-natural foods and beverages, organically grown, with no preservatives. Are you sure they’re real lemons?
              Pugsley: Yes.
              Girl Scout: I’ll tell you what- I’ll buy a cup if you buy a box of my delicious Girl Scout cookies. Do we have a deal?
              Wednesday: Are they made from real Girl Scouts?

        2. Close enough.

  9. Last night on the Citizens United thread someone named xenia onatopp said this

    “In spite of all of that, politicians and activists on the left disingenuously (or ignorantly, or both) use it to mean a multinational seller of lead-paint-based baby food, manufactured by crippled third world orphans working 18 hour days for wages paid in radioactive waste, run from a distance by executives whose salaries and bonuses are delivered weekly by tandem trailer (since the cash won’t fit in just a semi), dropped off at the whites only country club where they use million dollar bills to light the special greenhouse-gas-emitting cigars they smoke while helping the Kochs buy senators and congressmen who will enact their secret five year plan for the US, codenamed Operation Somalia.”

    “a multinational seller of lead-paint-based baby food,” is about as good as it gets. I would make it my handle if it wasn’t too long.

    1. So nice it had to be repeated twice!

      1. Actually, it was said twice; it was repeated once.

  10. I wonder if actually reducing impaired driving is even the goal. Wasn’t there a story a few weeks ago somewhat related that quoted someone from MADD that essentially said that getting drunks off the road before they hurt someone was a bad thing, as then they wouldn’t be punished.

  11. Sorry, Dude. It’s already our band name.

    1. Friend, we deal in lead.

  12. Just another reason why Androids are better. There’s no centralized control of what gets put on them. Even if Google banned the apps from Market, there are other places to get them. Hell, users can install the apps themselves.

    1. Exactly. It’s possible for the govt to pressure apple to keep these apps off of iPhones ONLY because of Apple’s tight, centralized control of the iPhone ‘ecosystem’. One of the many reasons that ‘walled gardens’ suck so much is that they are much easier for governments to control (yep, we’re looking at you too, Facebook).

  13. Wow! You guys didn’t even read Apple’s new policy. Your “damning” quote that you bolded for emphasis is that “Hey Apple, police departments provide this info so what’s the problem?” The policy clearly states, and I would bold this if I could, THOSE APPS ARE STILL ALLOWED! “Apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected”

    1. And exactly how is Apple going to determine whether the source of information for a DUI checkpoint is solely the local PD?

      1. They probably will ask the developer to affirm that, then use this provision to take down apps that LE complains about.

  14. Good thing I have an Android phone, I guess, since when I’m not busy explaining what a corporation is or selling that now-legendary baby food I’m generally driving around aimlessly without a license. It’s been fifteen years since I first refused to pay the overdue excise tax my ex cleverly ran up in my name, and it will be another {15 x infinity} years before that money comes out of my pocket, so my license will be reinstated approximately never. I don’t drive drunk, but my ability to continue driving is nonetheless only possible through avoidance of curious police officers. I find holiday weekends much more relaxing since downloading a couple of speedtrap and DUi roadblock tracking apps. Steve Jobs can suck it.

    1. Three questions. Are you married? Are you hot? Do you like scrawny, lippy, Caucasians?

      1. she likes British agents in tuxedos.

      2. “Likes” doesn’t quite convey the complexity of that relationship; the really important point, however, is my ability (and willingness!) to crush a man to death between my thighs during sex. It’s a talent that is rare, and underrated.

      3. Married, quite happily, to a skinny– though not scrawny– lippy caucasian, and old to boot– 53 at last count. I’d imagine that those facts render my hotness or notness moot, but my 40 year old husband thinks I am, and in 8 years he hasn’t slipped up and added “for your age” even once, which may partially account for the happiness I alluded to.

  15. Steve had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

  16. Does that mean they’re gonna ban the L.A. Times, too? Because the Times publishes the checkpoints every week.

  17. “Somehow, I’m thinking that Steve Jobs circa 1984 (both the year and the ad) would have told U.S. senators sending threatening letters about computer-based info sharing to take a hike”

    What would the college age Steve Jobs, who marketed a box for making free long distance calls, do?

  18. (as BattleStar Glennation from wiODIN fleet Simple explanation of the planetnapolitano’s “way to express” extrE “mists”… would say: : any te rror logi$ticK shall think twice on using their moregov po$ition$ to BRING DANGER OR ANY HARM TO ANYONE UNDER THE NEED TO LIVE IN THEIR CARS, some lasts posesions, their home less place… specially on a terror logi$ticK santuary of soflabar (kfrundell, mayoral varez police INTACT: virgilio,the shirted manager terrijos “looking”, and the “owners costumers NEED to say “goodmorning” or “selective justice, ma noriega’s speciallity, from MCDONALDS mad because I can finally rest my INJURIED BACK sometimes on subjob… back injuried, no mental “things” understand?, homeless by an a$$ymetriCAL weaponry, comming in as “labor”… doctor… auuthority, punishing my back, (the balraK of moregov also is IN VOL VED with ACORN
    castrocoyote lourdezmartinez (single name), denounced along mayoral varez origen combo, FUIs castroagent gov (miami-cuba, panama martinelli’s ma noriega origen’s cd cousin jailed on MEXICOLINDO (what is left) for castrocoyote narcoinsurgency, sofla santuary AAAAUUUUthorities (warg$, rinolifant$, along neolibtiCal$, chavezes, THEIR etc$ still protect “MY” JEFA DE LA FAMILIA BY LOCAL “LAWS” AS WITH pANAMA, OR MANY COUNTRIES in fil tra ted also on govs, as castrotedpalpatinekennedy anamontez mayoral varez acorn, “my” castrocoyote by MIAMI DADE PO LI CE S T I L L ordering me, on any bloodline relative’s house, pluss the Postal Service, understand now Inga, Sean, Ninoska, armando (they help kfrundell to “just” keep PPRR soflabar santuary OF TE RROR PREFERED logi$ticK$, while megacorrupting a “few trillion$ moregov… or stfu the radiostation and as fox channel already “univi$ionized”, “lapoderosa” (rubiferia helped neolibtiCal candidates, bernabe, is from shirleytemple castrist “politician”, as all CO MI $$I O NERS OR ANY WHO DOESN’T TALK LIKE
    (((((((PAUL CRESPO)))))) on castrotedkennedy gov agents
    EMERGENCY BECAUSE OF SOFLA SANTUARY + Arizona castrocoyote insurgency IN VA SION…
    Understood? future politicians? in times of war… and… peace?
    (as new bhorK hammas/brothermuslimhood castrotedpalpatinekennedy ayer$ of $aurgov INSURGENTS, as police&gangsters; is one of the usual “new” org&$tuff$ name of the brothermuslimhood: peace&justice; “thing”… same as a New Kalifornika newKapriKa “acorn kind of org$’$ name.
    cointiDENTAL?
    na na na
    m m m
    stay tunned for more virgilio from mcdonalds saying
    “I’m going to be punished on Panama’s martinelli (narco nelli, called him on old election battles( I propagandized against unfamous mctintorrijos I called him, manager, from dade$ytem “orders till today:
    saying “I’m going to Panama”, I, by the way, a simple gunner (adhonorem) strategist…”bla”… answered him after he laughs on me calling ma noriega “my” “padrino”…
    mayoralvarez boss ma noriega was suposed to (“JUST”) go back to run as a “civilian”, narconelli keep many castro “things” on Panama gov and “politicians”, or sufer “the fate of the lasts Mireyists, Arnulfists, and former Civilcrusaders against castro in Panama…
    in fact, virgilio from mcdonalds mad and worry because I, seriously back injured, but capable to for example BATTLE ON 2004, against tedpalpatine kennedy aaauuuthorities “invictus”, “invisible”, as “my” castrocoyote “jefa”‘s acorn MONEY, MONTHLY… she used to laugh: “Townhall.com?, Hotair?, hit&run; reason?, “etcs” I reserve to throw’em on their faces back…
    stay tunned. my friends… to learn easy facts the terrorist are terrorized from, they by justice alonng their castros, tedpalpatines, bhorK$, etcs suffer under “a inhuman hate from the world…”… (and) from God, that’s another of their problems… big, problems, for their misery in times of “pro$perity” and “govpower$”
    THE CREATION OF TEAPARTIES came in ted times, I proudly pointed mayoral varez as terror logistic for 20 Ayer$ (govresources, terror, megafelonies, “normal”), now this “prototype gov is to “ju$t” to
    be transplanted to any city inside the rest of the USA…
    but, bhorK had no acuaman powers…
    narconelli…
    bhorK…
    castrosystem…

    1. Well then. Can’t say it any better than that.

  19. also, the “torrijos look like manager” is the one wearing tie&shirt;, orders only, acts as local po li ce preffered managers, instead of me, selected as “just wrong dude”, well, police dudes, gangsters and assymetrical “heritage” of the land castropolice like judge peDRAzA, OFFcer dominic, cptn NOEL, who knew castrocoyote will on my real bloodline family&houses;, whatever is left, kids, my sister was 1 ayers tortured, raped, beattened (today was gifted to 7-11’s Ahsan, after bho’s strategist amy’s crazybrither “boyfriends”)…
    narconelli, virgilio seems like on the carters times, bho, you go to jail for treason the very moment powers is related to hammas, castro (help) (on pursuing anti-terrorists, their commun enemy), or you to thenewblackpaNTIES, the brothermuslimhood,
    “my” castrocoyote IS ACORN FOR AYER$, enjoys till today assymetrical terror megafelonies not only against me, but occident, not only soflabar santuary “territory of the PO LI CE/GANGTER/CASTROCOYOTE AUUTHORITY armed also with INTANGIBLE ASSYMETRIKAL WEAPONRY, and not many people know what is this assymetry…
    so…
    I’m educating masses instantly, point actual terror infiltratde INSURGENCY IN GOVs…
    stay tunned my friends…
    I’m sorry Kara… I have no time for checkspell

    1. Jared Loughner has access to a computer?

  20. I thought hipsters were supposed to be all antiestablishment-y and stuff.

    1. Apple hasn’t really been hip since the moment I walked past an Apple Store and heard a 6-year-old tell his mother,

      “Cool! They’ve got Shuffles!”

      Well, they probably stopped being indie before then, but that was when I knew. (I’ve been tempted to switch to Linux ever since, because my Indie Cred is now gone.)

  21. I am anything but an Apple fan at this point, but the DUI app exclusion is basically toothless and mostly ephemeral. Apps will still be “allowed” to share DUI checkpoints when law enforcement announces them, as they must in states like California.

    But the real point is this? On the Android side, where phones are being used to provide real time traffic information, DUI checkpoints will stick out like a sore thumb. As more people use Google Navigation to find their way from place to place, they’ll just use it to route around checkpoints, accidents, and closures for even fairly local trips.

  22. “Some police departments actually supply the data used in such apps because they reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads!”

    How does this data do that? I mean, no shit it would reduce the number of drunk drivers -at checkpoints- (by making it trivial to circumvent them), but checkpoints =/= all roads.

  23. Hey, how about we honor the constitution? Because when we don’t, enforcing unconstitutional laws becomes the crime. The constitution is the supreme law of the USA, anything to the contrary is unenforceable. If it is upheld in court, that court loses all jurisdiction, meaning close and lock the doors because all credibility is lost.

  24. Another thing, I remember Apple making a deal with the Beatles Apple records, to never go into the music business, in order to not get sued for trademark infringement. Seems that’s all Apple does now. They even sell Beatles tunes. I’m surprised they’re not called iBeatle tunes.

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