The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights advocate community, has just released their new smartphone app. Connecting users to the EFF action center, the app acts as an alert system that notifies a user when new digital rights campaigns are launched.
The app can be downloaded for Android, but iOS users shouldn’t expect a release anytime soon. Although EFF would love to connect their service to the wide iOS userbase, an App Store release was intentionally shunned due to EFF’s strict opposition to the Apple Developer Agreement, whose conditions EFF feel unfairly disempower developers and users alike.
Acquired through the Freedom of Information Act with the launch of the NASA app, the EFF specifically objects to the following points within the Apple Developer Agreement:
- Apple bans developers from making public statements regarding the agreement itself
- Applications utilizing the Apple SDK must be exclusive to the App Store
- Apple has the power to revoke an app at any time for any reason
- Strict bans on reverse engineering and jailbreaking devices
- Apple must approve all bug fixes and security updates
Although EFF staunchly believes that these points stifle innovation, the fact is that hundreds of thousands of developers have begrudgingly agreed to these “onerous” conditions. Outside of contract agreements, another contentious requirement is Apple’s form of Digital Rights Management (DRM). DRM places technical restrictions on software to make it less open and less sharable.
“Developers should demand better terms and customers who love their iPhones should back them,” EFF states as a mantra they have been repeating for years. “We will not agree to contract terms that we couldn’t endorse for others, and we certainly will not wrap our app in DRM.”
People who agree with EFF’s stance can sign this petition that urges Apple to reconsider the conditions found within their developer agreement.