Apple has had 12 employees arrested over the course of last year for leaking internal information about future software plans, according to a memo leaked (ironically) today, spotted by Bloomberg. The company said in a strongly worded memo that it had caught 29 people who leaked information last year, and 12 of them were arrested. Those 29 people included employees, contractors, and supply chain partners. Leakers do not simply lose their jobs at Apple, the memo reads, In some cases, they face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets, both classified as federal crimes. The memo attempts to curb internal leaks by warning employees that reporters and media outlets may try to befriend them, but the cost of a leak means reporters earn more web traffic while the employees could lose their jobs. While it may seem flattering to be approached, its important to remember that youre getting played, it stated, adding that once a person loses their job for leaking, finding employment elsewhere could be hard. Earlier this year, Apple caught an employee who leaked details of an internal meeting where Apples senior vice president of engineering Craig Federighi informed employees that certain software features in iOS would be delayed. Last year, another employee was fired for leaking details about the iPhone X, iPad Pro, and AirPods to 9to5Mac.
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.