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Crime Apple

3 Foxconn Employees Charged For Leaking iPad 2 Design 178

Posted by timothy
from the hope-no-one-leaked-about-white-iphone dept.
syngularyx writes "Three employees from Taiwan-based Foxconn Electronics' (Hon Hai Precision Industry's) plants in Shenzhen, China, have been charged with leaking the iPad 2's design to outside accessory companies in China, according to a Chinese-language sznews.com report. Several online shopping retailers in China were able to sell iPad 2 protective case products before the iPad 2 was even launched, leading Foxconn to suspect that there might have been some employees leaking the design of iPad 2, which it reported to the local police."
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3 Foxconn Employees Charged For Leaking iPad 2 Design

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  • by decora (1710862) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @10:31PM (#35971560) Journal

    there was a foxconn employee who lost a prototype or something .

    he told several people that he was tortured.

    he later committed suicide.

    of course, if he had been on facebook and 'bullied', his case would be on Oprah and celebrities would be filming bizarre public service ads about 'how to stop bullying'.

    but since he was just another replacable chinese worker, instead his case gets shouted down by mac fanboys who try to minimize what Steve Jobs and Foxconn are complicit in - Dickensian working conditions in a repressive police state.

    'Leaking' is a bullshit phrase used to invent 'spies' when most 'leaked' information is either leaked by accident, incompetence, or higher up managers who are being payed. Every fucking case of espionage it works like this, from Aldrich Ames (ten+ years of spying, but he was a high up official so nobody got him until some old ladies at CIA decided to go after him) to Wen Ho Lee ( a low level nuclear weapons simulation programmer who was accused of 'espionage' for backing up his programs to tape... his persecution turned out to be entirely motivated by politics and the media cycle in washington, and had nothing to do with him ever leaking anything)

    its all fucking PR, bullshit, and lies. do not fucking drink the fucking koolaid.

    you are a free human being, and you have natural rights. one of them is to talk. another is to be free from inane prosecutions by incompetent bureaucrats and clueless officials. by drumming this idea into your head that 'leaking' is a 'crime', they are trying to destroy free speech by brainwashing you into thinking it doesnt really exist. it does exist. its as free as the air and as free as the mind god gave you.

    A few months ago, China threw a girl in a labor camp for being sarcastic on twitter. BEfore that, they threw a guy in prison because he ran a website about the poisoned baby-milk scandal. Recently they have thrown artists and others in prison for similar bullshit reasons.

    This is the system that is trying to make you believe that 'leaking' is a 'serious crime'.

    the only thing criminal here are the systems themselves, and the nooses they keep tightening around the necks of humanity.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      Failure to adhere up to the terms of a contract can be a crime in certain jurisdictions.

      While that doesn't excuse torture or other means of extreme coercion, we do need penalties harsh enough to make potential contract-breakers really think about it beforehand.

      Economic crimes should not be tolerated just because no one gets physically hurt.

      • Sony sued Geohot - one of the claims was that he clicked 'accept' to a PSN user agreement. somehow they claim that is a contract. its total nonsense becasue 1, he claimed he never clicked it and 2. EULAs are not contracts nor should they be considered when they are 100 pages long and nobody can understand them.

        again, they are trying to brainwash humanity into thinking that ordinary human behavior is a crime.

        and if you think the law is fair on this, try going after some gigantic company that breaks its contr

      • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:06PM (#35971738)

        Failure to adhere up to the terms of a contract can be a crime in certain jurisdictions.

        Economic crimes should not be tolerated just because no one gets physically hurt.

        Welcome to Asia, where economic crimes aren't just tolerated, they're encouraged.

        My money is on nothing of note happening to this guy. He might get fired, in which case he'll just get a new job at the factory down the street. Police wont charge him because he's go no money (for "tea money").

        The true economic crimes such as the harsh conditions products are made in are also ignored.

      • by thej1nx (763573) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:31PM (#35971834)
        Well time for western companies to decide whether the savings from lower cost of production in China is worth the inevitable loss of IP that goes along as a cost of working with Chinese companies. And forget about any hopes of getting china to amend the laws. With the Chinese government actually framing laws that force you to give away your technology secrets to your local Chinese partner, IP theft is pretty much the national party apparently.

        It may be far better for the governments to put more state funding into finding rare earth alternatives to break the Chinese monopoly on manufacturing/production. Cheap labour can be had even from India and other countries, where at least government is not itself on the IP theft scam.

        • Well time for western companies to decide whether the savings from lower cost of production in China is worth the inevitable loss of IP that goes along as a cost of working with Chinese companies.

          This is an excellent point.

          For manufacturing this is not too bad a problem as long as you stay a step ahead and build up partnerships you trust.

          However where your point really fits in is software. I cannot believe how many companies are handing over whole working systems to places in China, India, and elsewhere.

          • Nice elitest attitude. In effect, what you've said is, "It's alright to ship away laborer's jobs, and give them to Chinese who work cheaply. But, I can't believe that our companies are giving away the stuff that us intellectual snobs have slaved over! It's unfair, I tell you!"

            You, who have no compassion for the average working Joe on the street, deserve to lose your precious Intellectual Property. I'll dance with glee when the day comes that you can't make a mortgage payment, and the bank decides to mak

            • by cdrguru (88047)

              Sorry, but you can't stop the movement of labor out of the US to cheaper places.

              The WTO (that the US signed on to) will block any attempts to put tariffs or protectionist surcharges onto any sort of outsourced labor. Trying to make foreign-made products more expensive isn't going to work - Bush tried that move once and got slapped for it. Obama can't do anything about it either.

              The choices for the US are pretty limited at this point. The people aren't going to stand up and say they want to pay more for U

              • "So what happens to all the unskilled labor in the US?"

                Correct - but the problem is even worse than that. Skilled labor is drying up. Try to get an apprenticeship in any skilled trade today. Carpentry, masonry, iron working, plumbing and/or pipefitting - you name it. I am a journeyman carpenter, among other things. Today, journeymen are working for less than carpenter's helpers worked for in 1990. At least here, in my area, this is true. Blame most of that on the influx of illegal aliens, blame part

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          Apple has a looooong history of being a very leaky company. Doing business in China hasn't changed that in the slightest.

    • This guy failed to do his job. Doing your job is a condition of being paid. Don't like the restrictions? Quit.

    • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Friday April 29, 2011 @12:06AM (#35971968) Journal

      its all fucking PR, bullshit, and lies. do not fucking drink the fucking koolaid.

      you are a free human being, and you have natural rights. one of them is to talk. another is to be free from inane prosecutions by incompetent bureaucrats and clueless officials. by drumming this idea into your head that 'leaking' is a 'crime', they are trying to destroy free speech by brainwashing you into thinking it doesnt really exist. it does exist. its as free as the air and as free as the mind god gave you.

      So, what is your solution for Apple's dilemma? They're trying to release their product, and not be ripped to pieces by cheap chinese knockoffs from companies who never had to eat the costs of design and R&D. Should the government subsidise them for their losses? Should they just refrain from releasing hardware in the future? Should we allow people to voluntarily enter into contracts to not talk about certain aspects of their working life? Without some actual solution to the problems that arose to present this situation, you might as well argue that time travel is a moral imperitive; you may make a pursuasive argument, but the argument itself will produce no positive change, and the argument is practically worthless.

      Also, on a more personal note, I find arguments like this leave a very unpleasant taste in my mouth. It seems that the source of pursuasion comes not from demonstration that your position is right (or that their position is wrong), but from making people feel uncomfortable for believing the opposing side. If I believe that leaking private secrets is immoral, you are trying to implant the idea that this is because I have been brainwashed by companies, thus making me feel stupid or used for that belief, instead of convincing me that the belief is wrong. Who knows? Perhaps this idea that companies are implanting in our minds is 100% correct? Nothing in your argument addresses this, rather it preys off the ad hominem fallacy: that if someone as bad as corporations want us to believe it to be true, then it must be false.

      • It seems that the source of pursuasion comes not from demonstration that your position is right (or that their position is wrong), but from making people feel uncomfortable for believing the opposing side.

        He's more so appealing to the "Wake up sheeple!!" argument. It's pretty common, and based on the idea that everyone is blindly accepting the propaganda of $THE_RULING_CLASSES which is necessary to maintain the unequal status quo.

        Now I personally don't believe in this idea, but not because I don't think the

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Now I personally don't believe in this idea, but not because I don't think there's a status quo, but because I don't believe that a propaganda campaign is necessary to maintain that status quo.

          Yes, yes it is. That propaganda campaign consists of massive fraud. The corporations don't give a fuck about anyone but they spend billions giving that impression.

          It typically takes a revolution--industrial, social or actual--to force societies to really change the way they operate on just about every level.

          You win that one.

        • He's more so appealing to the "Wake up sheeple!!" argument. It's pretty common, and based on the idea that everyone is blindly accepting the propaganda of $THE_RULING_CLASSES which is necessary to maintain the unequal status quo.

          It's interesting the difference in viewpoint here. We read the same argument (with ill-defined premises and conclusions), and came up with two distinct reasons why it was supposed to be convincing, which reveal two distinct ways of looking at the argument. The way that I see it, it'

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        This isn't about companies copying the iPad design, it is about them creating compatible accessories. Apple want only their iPad 2 cases to be on sale from launch day because they make big margins on them, but if the design is leaked much cheaper Chinese cases will eating in to that.

        I don't think it is really necessary to go to these lengths. Amazon sell a lot of overpriced Kindle covers because they are the best ones, despite many cheaper models also being available on Amazon's own web site. Apple like to

    • If you don't like the conditions of China, then don't buy any products made in China. For the Chinese economy which is used by the likes of Apple, IBM, HP, Dell, Sony, Toshiba ..... are all based on Chinese factories.

      And good luck with that. The switch your internet connection is based on was made in China so by posting to Slashdot, you're just as complicit in all of China's crimes that you're blaming on Apple. Accessory to murder if you will.

      OR, you could simply realize that the Chinese people, without mak

      • by cyfer2000 (548592)
        And if you don't like China, welcome to Brazil [bbc.co.uk]!
      • OR, you could simply realize that the Chinese people, without making shit for the West, would be worse off than they are making shit for you.

        I've never really got that. Wouldn't it be better for them if they made shit for themselves?

        • by vijayiyer (728590)

          It's called trade. They make shit for us. They have about 2 1/2 trillion US dollars in foreign reserves that they can use sometime down the road to buy shit from us.

          • You mean in the unlikely event that "we" actually decide to get our hands dirty and make something that they might want? I wouldn't call that trade, I'd call it gambling.

    • by EdIII (1114411)

      Let's not also forget the complete inane bullshit of the story.

      It allowed accessory makers to make protective cases.

      The police are involved because some guy said, "Shsssshshshshshhshshshhshhsh! come over here.... give me 10$ and I will tell you the new iPad2 is x.y.z dimensions and here is where you cut the holes."

      Seriously? The physical dimensions and possibly the locations of the some fucking buttons and inputs is the lowest stupidest level of corporate espionage I have ever heard and stretches the defi

    • mac fanboys who try to minimize what Steve Jobs and Foxconn are complicit in - Dickensian working conditions in a repressive police state.

      Yes, it's those filthy mac fanbois and that evil hobgoblin Steve Jobs who are perpetrating this! Unlike all those other manufacturers of electronic goods, who are well known for paying a living wage and making the goods in countries like the US, Canada, and -- oh, wait...

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      he told several people that he was tortured.

      Chinese workers know, you DO NOT fuck with Steve.

      And this guy committed the cardinal Apple sin. He leaked the designs to a company that was able to beat Apple's own overpriced protective cover to the market--thus cutting into their bottom line. They'll probably hang him for it.

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      Remember, China pretty much is the owner of the US today. Should they choose to exercise their power the US only has the options of fighting them off militarily, trying to negotiate a settlement and utter capitulation. My vote right now is that we end up negotiating and have China replacing a good part of the Federal Government with some new unelected "ministers".

      Certainly, China can get whatever legal changes they want made right now.

  • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 28, 2011 @10:31PM (#35971562)
    ...three new financiers will be receiving heart transplants [google.com]!
    • that van may need to change for that to work
      Organ donations must be performed in hospitals and executions are held in prisons. The three-drug cocktail used in lethal injection may render organs unsuitable for transplant. And, with high rates of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C, jail and prison inmates are considered high-risk donors by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and subject to even stricter testing and lifestyle scrutiny than typical organ donors.

      http://donatelife-organdonation.blogs [blogspot.com]

      • Sorry, but that quote doesn't seem right.

        First off, that van is explicitly designed for this purpose. So it's assumed it has the necessary medical equipment to perform the organ harvesting. In TFA, it explictly states that one of the reasons for the vans is so they don't *have* to have specialized medical facilities in the prisons.

        Second, all the drugs used have regular medical uses, and have hopefully been subject to reasonable testing. I'd be really surprised if the doctor(s) who planned for these vans

      • by arivanov (12034)

        China is not using the US 3-drug cocktail which will damage heart and other organs. It uses barbiturates which kill the prisoner as fast as the 3-drug and leave the organs nicely suited for harvesting. Further to this, it is a "clean brain death" so you can put the living vegetable on a ventilator for transport purposes if you want to. The only damaged organ may be liver and even that will happen if the vegetable is kept alive too long. If the liver is collected right away it will be in OK shape for transpl

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @10:38PM (#35971594) Journal
    I think that we now know where Steve's next donor organ will be coming from...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Nuh-uh! Steve only takes designer organs. Most people in prison aren't designers, so their organs wouldn't look good inside a black turtleneck.
      • Nuh-uh! Steve only takes designer organs. Most people in prison aren't designers, so their organs wouldn't look good inside a black turtleneck.

        Unlike iPhone 4 hipsters, I'm not sure Steve will be able to wait six months till they come in white.

      • C'mon, Apple has embraced commodity hardware inside slim, elegant cases for some years now...
  • I don't think the current spate of leaks, both government and corporate, are co-incidental. It seems to reflect a wider growing community attitude that there are no secrets anymore.

    The recent manifestation of hacker-sub-culture into the mainstream seems to promote ideas such as "information wants to be free" and provided recognition and kudos for having been the leak.

    Based on this, I think that business and government alike will have to find new ways to work in an environment in which their own employees ar

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      Keeping the IP pool secure is going to be far more difficult in future when not only are those swimming in it poking holes in the side, they are getting positive public recognition for their efforts in many cases.

      "Positive public recognition"? You think that's what the Chinese police have been giving these three since December 26?

      • I'm not sure that the basement of the police station is "public"; but I suspect that at least one of the electrodes clipped to their genitalia is, in fact, positive...
    • maybe leaks are occuring at the same rate they always have.

      maybe what has changed is that government and corporations are trying to criminalize more behavior.

      evidence: Obama has prosecuted more non-spy 'espionage' cases than the last dozen or so presidents put together.

      Obama: Drake, Kim, Sterling, Leibowitz, and Manning

      BushII: Ford, Franklin, Rosen, Weissman

      Clinton: Lee

      Bush I: none???

      Reagan: Morison

      Carter: none???

      Ford: none?

      Nixon: Russo / Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers) ...

      I'm not as knowledgable about corporati

    • thats the first step a dictatorship takes IIRC. viewing not foreigners as the enemy, but its own internal population.

  • As in a criminal prosecution?
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:05PM (#35971730)
    China has a history of putting people on the block for pissing off foreigners. They'll give the death sentence to corporation heads or government officials who are involved with safety issues (tainted milk, tainted toys) for doing what everyone else is doing. So, did they actually find the three people responsible? Did they force or coerce confessions for the purpose of demonstrating that they always get their man in order to keep Apple happy?

    Not that I'm sure they didn't get the right people, but the story had no details, and there's been nothing showing any details, which is how they would handle it if they didn't know who did what, but wanted to serve up some patsies.
    • They'll give the death sentence to corporation heads or government officials who are involved with safety issues (tainted milk, tainted toys) for doing what everyone else is doing.

      That's actually a good thing. When did accountability become a dirty word?

      • by jfengel (409917)

        When did accountability become a dirty word?

        When "accountability" means throwing a few patsies under the bus (in a nearly literal fashion) to cover up a culture of corruption. In many of these cases, the crime is getting caught, for which the punishment is harsh, but the government will know and ignore of the criminal activity until foreign media forces them to acknowledge it by inducing fear of Chinese goods.

        Ratcheting up the severity of the punishment isn't intended as a deterrent. It's intended as a sop to foreign media. Those who haven't been

        • Patsies? A CEO or a regional director of some government agency isn't a patsy.
          • Patsies? A CEO or a regional director of some government agency isn't a patsy.

            No, but an ex CEO or a former regional director is. It just takes a stroke of the pen.

            What cronyism and connections giveth, falling out of favour taketh away.

        • Culture of corruption? You mean like how US politicians are in bed with the banks? Why weren't there any bankers thrown in jail after the 2008 meltdown, which was caused by MASSIVE corruption in the private sector and the public agencies that were supposed to oversee the banks? Why did the SEC go after Martha Stewart for a measly $200K, while they ignored Madoff and his $40B Ponsi scheme despite many tips from people in the industry? Oh, and the war in Iraq? Guantanamo? The Chinese are pikers compared to th
          • by jfengel (409917)

            Yeah, I knew somebody was going to come back with "America is just as bad". I didn't say it wasn't. It's just different.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        Accountability for what? The bribery/corruption charges which carry a death penalty that everyone in China is guilty of? Or for actual unethical actions, which are rampant and also ignored until someone very important complains.

        There isn't real accountability. There is random and capricious accountability. And they go after the people with the least political capital who will satisfy those seeking vengeance, rather than those most directly involved. But if you count that as "accountability" and assert
    • There's a difference between tokenism and policy. We wouldn't have such a dearth of Chinese knockoffs and lead-based toys if what you said were true. And, those tainted products? China doesn't bury them in a hole or recycle them. They just ship them off to a nation that won't care.

      • by vijayiyer (728590)

        You may want to look up the word dearth for future reference...I think you meant the opposite.

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday April 29, 2011 @12:03AM (#35971950) Homepage

    That's so Apple. A case designer needs some basic info about the outside dimensions, like height, width, thickness, and corner radius. Maybe a bit of info about areas that need to to be uncovered for connector or button access. Only Apple would consider those to be significant trade secrets. Especially since this is Model #2 of the product, which is probably going to be a lot like Model #1.

    • Hmm. Where did you read in the entire story that Apple had anything to do with it? At most they may have told Foxconn that there were leaked designs but I didn't read anywhere in the story that they were involved. Also did you read the part where the covers went on sale before the iPad2 was introduced. Normally if Apple was working with a case designer they do provide the specifics but they also request that the case designer not sell their case before the product itself is unveiled. If you were one of
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        you could've made the covers and start the sales just by guesswork, and they would have matched well enough. or by leaked pics from internet. or by just taking the guesswork from analysts.

        if you were one of the companies that thought that apple would give them free launch day cash.. well pfew, how about inventing some business model that doesn't depend on crap like that, you know, artificial limitations on who can sell a piece of cloth/leather. that they were on sale before ipad2 was launched doesn't matter

        • you could've made the covers and start the sales just by guesswork, and they would have matched well enough. or by leaked pics from internet. or by just taking the guesswork from analysts.

          Except that it's maybe 50/50 that any leaked photos are of the actual product. In the case of Apple there is so much rumor going around that you don't really know. Do you gamble on manufacturing based on a guess? That did not happen in this case. Foxconn employees did leak the information.

          if you were one of the companies that thought that apple would give them free launch day cash.. well pfew, how about inventing some business model that doesn't depend on crap like that, you know, artificial limitations on who can sell a piece of cloth/leather.

          So you are equating earning money by making a product is the same as riding on someone's coattails? I don't think companies expected free cash but they may have expected everyone to play by rules. And to do so require

      • by artor3 (1344997)

        You clearly haven't dealt with Apple or contract manufacturers. At least at my company, we regularly joke that Apple's secrecy policies are similar to those of the Kremlin. Meanwhile, contractors in China or Taiwan will do the minimum to get paid. You need to send someone over at least once a quarter to let them know you mean business, otherwise they figure you aren't paying attention and start slacking off. You can always see when we visit their factories by looking for the spikes on the yield charts,

  • TFA didn't say whether the charged employees were local Chinese or foreign Taiwanese. If they were Taiwanese I wonder how this will be handled.
  • If you paid your employees a living wage they would not sell your customers info for $100.00 or a months wages.

  • SON OF A BITCH! That's how everyone knew that the iPad 2 would be a 10-inch touchscreen with a black plastic bevel and an aluminum back!
  • Is it white with rounded corn&*-
    '@*9
    n o c a r r i e r

  • Why bother stealing the specs?

    All you really need is a good set of calipers and micrometer, or an automated CAD machine and you could get the specs yourself in no time.....

    1) Buy item as soon as it is released,
    2) Dissassemble and measure dimensions,
    3) Design the product to your likes using said dimensions,
    4) Profit!!!

    Not much thinking there. Yeah you would have to wait until the product is released, but you could avoid the legal wrangling.

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