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Apple memo warning employees about leaking gets leaked


Apple warns leakers that theyre getting caught faster than ever. On Friday, Bloomberg News published what it described as an "internal blog" post in full. The memo warned that Apple "employees, contractors, or suppliers—do get caught, and theyre getting caught faster than ever." The post also reportedly noted that, "in some cases," leakers "face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets both classified as federal crimes," adding that, in 2017, "Apple caught 29 leakers, and of those, 12 were arrested. " It is not clear what precise charges those arrested face. Leaks are nothing new for Apple or any other Silicon Valley firm, but they have been particularly abundant at Apple of late.  As recently as February 2018, Apple's iBoot code was posted to GitHub. Last September, iPhone X specs were also leaked. In June 2012, an AT&T executive admitted to leaking Apple-related information to investors. Many leaks, like news about Apple working on its own processors and developing a way to make macOS and iOS software interoperable, have appeared in Bloomberg, which published this leak as well. "You've got thousands of people working on manufacturing something who have no vested interest in keeping it secret," one employee said, adding that he believes leaks will continue to increase as Apple ramps up overseas manufacturing operations. "It will be increasingly hard to hide the industrial design we do because we manufacture things overseas. Since we don't do it in the US, it may be hard to surprise people over anything in the future." Way back in 2006, Ars reported on a California state appellate court decision that found in favor of Apple-leaking sites—the company could not force them to reveal their sources, citing Californias journalist shield law. Apple did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment. The US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment either. "I have reached out to our high-tech crimes unit for additional information, and I will be happy to relay that to you upon receipt," Terry Lynn Harman, an assistant district attorney in Santa Clara County (where Apple is based), emailed Ars.

Apple memo warns employees to stop leaking info. Someone leaked it.


A recent memo detailed the lengths to which Apple is willing to go to stop employees from leaking information about upcoming products. Its an on-going problem. Last years iPhone X launch, you might remember, was spoiled by a leak to Bloombergs Mark Gurman. And while that may have been the largest, it certainly wasnt the only leak Apple had to deal with. All told, the company caught 29 leakers last year, all of whom were fired. 12 were arrested. Some employees, however, didnt seem to get the memo. But the press did, right after an Apple employee leaked it to Bloomberg. Last month, Apple caught and fired the employee responsible for leaking details from an internal, confidential meeting about Apples software roadmap. Hundreds of software engineers were in attendance, and thousands more within the organization received details of its proceedings. One person betrayed their trust. The employee who leaked the meeting to a reporter later told Apple investigators that he did it because he thought he wouldnt be discovered. But people who leak — whether theyre Apple employees, contractors or suppliers — do get caught and theyre getting caught faster than ever. In many cases, leakers dont set out to leak. Instead, people who work for Apple are often targeted by press, analysts and bloggers who befriend them on professional and social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and begin to pry for information. While it may seem flattering to be approached, its important to remember that youre getting played. The success of these outsiders is measured by obtaining Apples secrets from you and making them public. A scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic for a publication and financially benefit the blogger or reporter who broke it. But the Apple employee who leaks has everything to lose. The impact of a leak goes far beyond the people who work on a project. Leaking Apples work undermines everyone at Apple and the years theyve invested in creating Apple products. Thousands of people work tirelessly for months to deliver each major software release, says UIKit lead Josh Shaffer, whose teams work was part of the iOS 11 leak last fall. Seeing it leak is devastating for all of us. The impact of a leak goes beyond the people who work on a particular project — its felt throughout the company. Leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of the current model; give rival companies more time to begin on a competitive response; and lead to fewer sales of that new product when it arrives. We want the chance to tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else, says Greg Joswiak of Product Marketing. The memo is a lengthy one, and this is just a snippet of whats included. It goes on to say that leaks carry serious consequences and that journalists are essentially leeches that want to befriend tech employees only to leak information ascertained from these marks. Maybe you can hear my eyes rolling, but I dont know a reporter that would sacrifice a sources anonymity (thus risking their job or freedom) in exchange for a story. Responsible reporters consider the well-being of a source first. A single story isnt nearly as valuable as a trusted individual inside a company like Apple, after all. And trust works both ways. It wraps up with this: While they carry serious consequences, leaks are completely avoidable. They are the result of a decision by someone who may not have considered the impact of their actions. Everyone comes to Apple to do the best work of their lives — work that matters and contributes to what all 135,000 people in this company are doing together, says Joswiak. The best way to honor those contributions is by not leaking. I have a different solution for Apple, one that could minimize future leaks. Perhaps the company could take a look at its slogan and Think Different, especially in how it works with the press. When Apple PR wont engage with most members of the media — instead subscribing to a walled garden approach in an attempt to control the message — it leaves reporters hunting for this information on their own. When reporters go digging for information, Apple shouldnt be surprised when they find it.