13:33 GMT +322 February 2019
Listen Live
    Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. 2013

    Access Denied: Catalan Court Orders Google to Remove Referendum Info App

    © AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez
    Get short URL
    0 29

    Two days before the Catalan independence vote on Sunday, Catalonia's High Court ordered Google on Friday to shut down an app that it says is promoting an "illegitimate" referendum.

    The app, now no longer available on Google Play, was launched to help residents find their local polling station. All the user needed to do was insert their address, the name of the town or a keyword. Another feature included the ability to share links showing the polling station's location.

    Participants in the rally in the streets of Barcelona support the referendum for independence and Catalonia's secession from Spain, which is timed to National Day of Catalonia
    © Sputnik / Elena Shesternina
    Unlike several other similar apps, this particular one was short-lived.

    Since the "On Votar 1-Oct" app was disseminating information for the vote, it was found to be in violation of an order from Spain's Constitutional Court to suspend the referendum while the court determined its legality, Fortune reported.

    Aside from killing the Google app, the court also told the 19-year-old tech company to "block or eliminate any future apps submitted by the user with an e-mail address ‘onvotar1oct@gmail.com' or identifying as ‘Catalonia Voting Software,'" according to The Spain Report.

    The app came under fire after a civil guard notified the higher-ups that Catalan First Minister Carles Puigdemont tweeted about the mobile app to his followers on Wednesday.

    Last week on September 23, Catalonia's High Court issued an order allowing law enforcement to shutter any referendum websites linked to by members of the Catalan government.

    Per The Spain Report, the presiding judge said the app was just another attempt "to dodge said blockades with computer applications for mobile devices, which, like the web pages, only promote and facilitate the holding of the referendum on October 1."

    The outlet added that roughly 140 referendum sites have been taken down since the beginning of September.

    The move toward an independence vote came in early September when Catalonia's Parliament passed a bill allowing a vote to take place October 1. Upset with the legislation, Madrid then proceeded by challenging the Catalan move in the Constitutional Court. Once the court accepted the lawsuit for review, it ultimately meant that Catalonia's bill would have to be suspended until an official decision was made on its legality.

    Following in Catalonia's footsteps, a similar initiative has been taken by another Spanish region — the Balearic Islands. According to experts, if the move is launched it will have a negative outcome for Spain and other European nations.


    Vroom, Vroom! Farmers Rally in Support of Catalonia Independence Vote (VIDEO)
    UN Urges Spain to Respect Democratic Rights of Catalonia
    Catalonia Urges EU to Protect Fundamental Rights Under Siege by Spain
    Students Rally in Barcelona to Support Catalonia Referendum (VIDEO)
    Catalonia 'Is Not Against Spain as Such, But Against Its Ruling Party'
    app, independence referendum, Google, Catalonia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik