Occupy Wall Street Android app maker speaks up

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Since its debut in the Android Market, the Occupy Wall Street app “I’m Getting Arrested” has created enough buzz to draw over 12,000 downloads, according to its developer Jason Van Anden. 

The Daily Caller recently caught up with Van Anden to discuss what prompted him to create the app, why he wants the government to operate more like Apple and to clear the air over his purported relationships with Citibank and Tiffany & Co.

Although not a protester, Van Anden began work on the app on night of October 5th. His friend’s girlfriend was arrested during the Occupy protests earlier that day and he said designing the app was his way of using his skills to help out.

“I’m an entrepreneur — I make my living creating software,” Van Anden told TheDC. “I’m not against capitalism.”

Van Anden, whose app can be downloaded for free, views the protests as a long overdue correction for people who have felt that their voice has not been heard. He told TheDC that he did not intend to make a profit off of the app, but rather he made it to help people get their voice heard by a government he views as removed from its citizens.

“I think we have Microsoft and I think we’re saying why can’t we have Apple,” Van Anden told TheDC, using a technology-sector analogy to get his point across. “For a while everyone accepted Microsoft — it’s bigger because it was the easy choice at the time, but Apple seems to really care about its customers.”

“People are speaking up on both sides of the spectrum,” Van Anden said in reference to both the tea party and Occupy Wall Street. He views Occupy Wall Street as a balance to the tea party. While there were not accounts of violence, sexual assault, or arrests at tea party rallies like there have been with the Occupy protests, Van Anden said that he viewed people bringing guns to tea party rallies as displays of hostile intent.

“I’m not sure if people have been able to put their finger on exactly what that is they’re frustrated with, but I think that we’ve kinda hit a tipping point as imbalances in the system become more apparent,” said Van Anden. He told TheDC that he hopes the protests lead to positive action so that people will feel better off.

“I wish that it wasn’t so much of a he said she said argument — so much of this stuff feels like sports, instead of trying to cooperate and learn how to work together,” said Van Anden.

Past accounts of Van Anden have tied him to Tiffany & Co and Citibank, but he says those associations were overblown.

“I was never an employee of those companies. I did some consulting a while ago, yes, but I think through different iterations the stories made it seem like I was doing this on the side,” he said.