December 13, 2011, 10:54 AM — For the past two years, underage drinkers and -- at least according to a U.S. senator -- aspiring terrorists seeking to create a fake identity had merely to turn to Apple's App Store for help.
On Monday, Apple pulled a mobile app from a website called DriversEd.com that allowed users to easily create a fake driver's license for any U.S. state they chose.
The company yanked the app under pressure from U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, who pressured Apple to remove the app, which the Pennsylvania Democrat called "a threat to public safety and national security."
"Applications shouldn’t facilitate law-breaking, which is exactly what this app does. ...While DriversEd.com markets the app as a fun game, it can be used in a way that allows criminals to create a new identity, steal someone else’s identity, or permit underage youth to purchase alcohol or tobacco illegally," Casey said in a statement released Friday. "National security systems depend on the trustworthiness of driver’s licenses, yet with a counterfeit license created by the app, a terrorist could bypass identity verification by the Transportation Security Administration, or even apply for a passport."
This is the second time Apple has been asked to remove the DriversEd.com app from the App Store. Back in April, an organization called the Coalition for Secure Driver’s License made a similar plea to Apple, but the group's request was ignored. Maybe it was because CSDL sent its letter to Scott Forstall, Apple's senior VP of iPhone software, while Casey went right to the top, addressing his letter to CEO Tim Cook.
Personally, I think the terrorist thing is ridiculously overblown. Any determined terrorist isn't going to be thwarted because Apple removed a fake ID app from the App Store. I mean, c'mon.
But I'm sure college students around the country were going to town with fake licenses created from the DriversEd.com app. In fact, I'll have to ask my nephew if that's where he got his.