Apple rejects Encrypted Chat app Cryptocat from App Store

Cryptocat is an encrypted chatting service that lets no one apart from the sender and receiver see the actual content of the message. The developer of the service recently submitted an iPhone Cryptocat app, but it was rejected by Apple for “illegitimate” reasons.

Nadim Kobeissi, the developer of the app, said:

Cryptocat for iPhone was just rejected from the Apple app store. NDA doesn’t allow me to discuss openly but reasons are truly illegitimate.

One of the reasons for Cryptocat for iPhone’s rejection by Apple strongly implies that any other encrypted group chat app can be rejected.

In followup tweets, Kobeissi says that Apple specifically had a problem with group chat encryption, and that he’s working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to discuss the rejection. What’s strange is that Apple has already approved the Cryptocat Mac app on the Mac App Store, which requires developers to comply to similar rules.


Cryptocat became popular in wake of the NSA controversy, where the agency was found to intercept and snoop on communications. Cryptocat’s end-to-end encryption by design doesn’t allow for anyone in the middle to read your messages.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can head over to Cryptocat’s website, or check out the source code of the unreleased iPhone app.

[@kaepora via The Verge]

Like this post? Share it!

  • kipper

    i hope this one is going straight to cydia

    • Trueblue

      Yep, if it hits Cydia, it’ll be on my phone in no time.

  • Abel Goddard

    It’ll be truly amusing to me when it turns out this is a front by the NSA.

    • Adam East

      I totally agree with you. Big brother is always watching.

    • ManuCH

      It has nothing to do with the NSA. Cryptochat apps are allowed on the app store and there are plenty already.

      • Abel Goddard

        I don’t think you understand the joke I’m making.

  • Pacomacman

    This is nothing new. All software submitted to the US App Store is subject to US export regulations. This has nothing to do with Apple, but US law which has been in place since WW2 I believe.

    • Rounak Jain

      what about the Mac app?

  • ManuCH

    There are plenty of other end-to-end cryptochat apps on the iPhone. One of them is Threema. I’ve been using it all along with no problems and you can download it right now (I’m not affiliated with it).
    I believe the reason why Cryptocat has been rejected is not because of the encryption (which one is certainly allow to have in the apps he publishes), but because of some GPL licensing issues.