The first allegation is that “the app was being used maliciously
to target individual officers for violence”. This makes no sense
at all. The app does not show the locations of individual officers
at all. It shows general concentrations of police units, with a
As the developer and @charlesmok, a Hong Kong legislator, have
pointed out, the app aggregates reports from Telegram, Facebook
and other sources. It beggars belief that a campaign to target
individual officers would use a world-readable crowdsourcing
format like this.
Moreover, what are these incidents where protesters have targeted
individual police for a premeditated attack? Can Mr. Cook point to
a single example? Can anyone? […]
So not only is there no evidence for this claim, but it goes
against the documentary record of 18 weeks of protests, and is not
even possible given the technical constraints of the app (which
tracks groups of police).
The second, related allegation is that the app helps “victimize
individuals and property where no police are present”. Again, does
Mr. Cook have any evidence for this claim? The app does not show
an absence of police, it shows concentrations of police, tear gas,
riot flags etc.
I can’t recall an Apple memo or statement that crumbles so quickly under scrutiny. For a company that usually measures umpteen times before cutting anything, it’s both sad and startling.