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Apple Doesn’t Want Talks About Hacking on Apple TV

The Chaos Computer Club had its Apple TV app rejected for including videos on hacking and jailbreaking.

J.M. Porup

Apple TV. Image: Apple

Apple rejected the Chaos Computer Club's new Apple TV app because it includes computer security talks, according to an announcement by the CCC on Saturday.

The Chaos Computer Club, or "CCC" for short, is Europe's self-described "largest group of hackers" who get together to "build, test and tinker." Their annual conference, the Chaos Communication Congress, attracts thousands of attendees with high-profile talks about computer security, privacy, surveillance, and freedom of expression.

The CCC has been publishing videos documenting these talks for many years. The app was designed to pull talks from the media.ccc.de website into Apple TV. However, the app did not pass Apple's strict approval process.

"Apple refused to release the app and took offense at the content," the CCC said in an English translation of its statement posted on the website Pastebin.

The app is in violation of Apple's developer terms and conditions because the talks deal with topics such as security holes in commonly-used technologies and "jailbreaking" Apple devices to run unapproved apps.

"The talks criticized by Apple are all available under the website media.ccc.de and can also be watched through the Apple TV YouTube app, which is not criticized by Apple," the CCC noted.

Neither Apple nor the CCC responded to a request for comment.

The statement also said:

Even though all videos are available online on the Internet, the CCC-FFFM [Chaos Computer Club Frankfurt] wanted to make them available in an especially easy fashion. Kris Simon called the project "the Netflix of the CCC" referring to the accessibility of content.

The application was ready in time and submitted to Apple's reviewing process. The message that the app was rejected came seven days later. Apple refers to its "Program License Agreement PLA 3.2(e)" and refuses to include the app on its platform because the content has information about hacking of Apple's operating system.

The following content was criticized by Apple in its review:

Hardware attacks: hacking chips on the (very) cheap
Bluetooth Hacking: The State of The Art
Hacking Medical Devices
Gamehacking & Reverse Engineering
Crypto-Hacking Export restrictions
Jailbreak: eine Einführung
Social Engineering und Industriespionage
$kernel->infect(): Creating a cryptovirus for Symfony2 apps

The CCC's statement noted that an open source version of the app is available on GitHub.