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Leaked Recording: Inside Apple's Global War On Leakers (theoutline.com) 81

Reader citadrianne writes: A recording of an internal briefing at Apple earlier this month obtained by The Outline sheds new light on how far the most valuable company in the world will go to prevent leaks about new products. The briefing, titled 'Stopping Leakers -- Keeping Confidential at Apple,' was led by Director of Global Security David Rice, Director of Worldwide Investigations Lee Freedman, and Jenny Hubbert, who works on the Global Security communications and training team. According to the hour-long presentation, Apple's Global Security team employs an undisclosed number of investigators around the world to prevent information from reaching competitors, counterfeiters, and the press, as well as hunt down the source when leaks do occur. Some of these investigators have previously worked at U.S. intelligence agencies like the National Security Administration (NSA), law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, and in the U.S. military. Top-notch reporting from The Outline, consider reading the full report. During the briefing, a company executive said they have been able to find two employees who leaked information to media.
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Leaked Recording: Inside Apple's Global War On Leakers

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  • The Irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by XXongo ( 3986865 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @09:08AM (#54653765) Homepage
    Of course, the irony of a leak about leakers being leaked is amusing.
  • Maybe they should start paying the chinese workers fair wages so the won't have an incentive to leak stuff to get some extra cach to support their families.
    • I fully agree on fair wages bro, but the shit after that is pure fucking insane.
      You have to be retarded to think a rise in wages will prevent leaks. Obviously you are an ideologue and you can not help but being duped into thinking that the belief system you operate under is the fix for every problem you see.

      Possibly if you opened your mind a bit you could operate intelligently on the facts around you instead of looking like a pathetic retard spouting crazy shit.
      • I didn't say the approach will cure the problem. Of course leaks will happen no matter how high the salaries are but higher salaries would probably lower the incentives significantly.
        • Title of your comment.
          Treat the problem rather than the symptoms

          Maybe they should start paying the chinese workers fair wages so the won't have an incentive to leak stuff

          I didn't say the approach will cure the problem.

          You stated quite clearly that the problem WAS the wages. The problem is not wages. The problem is that the incentives are many and huge. Also the newer Chinese culture is built around the idea of cheating and theft. They have entire regions dedicated to it.

          In short, if you raised wages by 50%, it would not make more than a 1% difference in leaks.

      • by haruchai ( 17472 )

        A better approach would be to bring the jobs back to the USA & Western countries.

    • Those people you mention are not Apple employees, I'm not sure why you'd expect Apple is paying their wages at all.

      The opposite is mostly true. You very rarely hear of leaks from Apple employees in the US, because those in engineering are in a job market that consists significantly of companies looking to outsource, offshore and H1B every possible thing they can. One does not intentionally jeopardize a top flight job by doing something like that, particularly since they are going to be blackballed and have

    • I don't know about you but my wife doesn't feel supported at all when I bring home the cache.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe they should start paying the chinese workers fair wages so the won't have an incentive to leak stuff to get some extra cach to support their families.

      They do get paid fair wages. It's a much better job than similar jobs at other local companies. Or perhaps by "fair" you mean US wages? You might consider that to be fair, but the reality is they would be out of a job because doctors and teachers and educated professionals would be taking those jobs instead of what they trained to do. In the mean time

    • Most leaks that originate in Asia come from component suppliers. Apple has little control over wages deep in their supply line, even if there was some reason to believe that would stop leaks (it wouldn't).

      Apple does not directly employ many people in China, but the people it does employ are pretty well paid by Chinese standards, and Apple is considered a prestigious company to work for. The contracting assembly companies also pay well by Chinese standards. A Foxconn worker in Shenzhen can take home about

    • So Apple needs to start paying other company's employees fair wages? It would be very difficult for apple to enforce any terms where they set the wages.
    • By the time the factory workers know, it matters very little. It's during design and development (read 6 figure salaries) that the leaks matter the most.
  • I heard you hate leakers, so we put a leak in your leak, so you can leak while you leak.

  • I think some of these leaks, are leaks "on purpose". Apple, for better or worse, is great at marketing. To built buzz/hype for an upcoming product, you have to know that most companies "leak" some things on purpose.
    • by msmash ( 4491995 ) Works for Slashdot
      Not all of those leaks. Around this time of the year, Apple picks WSJ, or Bloomberg, or NYTimes to share about the upcoming iPhone. The idea is to see people's reaction, it's Apple's way to test the water. If the reaction is mostly positive, they go ahead with the features described in the report.
    • This is some INSANE [dailymail.co.uk] marketing!
    • Buzz and Hype may be good... However what a leak normally does is show off that something new is coming soon, so customers will hold off on their purchase of say the iPhone 7 because the iPhone 7s or the 8 will be out and it will be that much cooler. So during this time of hype people are not buying the older products. Being that their products are months away from release a valid product leak sent out too early could kill a quarters revenue.

      The money to design and create the next version of the product

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Buzz and Hype may be good... However what a leak normally does is show off that something new is coming soon, so customers will hold off on their purchase of say the iPhone 7 because the iPhone 7s or the 8 will be out and it will be that much cooler. So during this time of hype people are not buying the older products. Being that their products are months away from release a valid product leak sent out too early could kill a quarters revenue.

        Hint: New iPhones have come out around September of every year. Th

    • In order for the buzz/hype to be actually relevant, you need very precisely time the "leak".

      If you release it too early/build too much anticipation, you risk being the victim of Osborne Effect [wikipedia.org], and you will be sitting on a huge pile of unsold older-generation hardware, as the (potential) userbase is holding and waiting to see the next-generation before buying it. (This supposedly killed the Osbone Executive & Vixen)

      Apple needs specially to be careful with this as (at least from the outside, to a non-Ap

  • by Anonymous Coward

    > Some of these investigators have previously worked at U.S. intelligence agencies like the National Security Administration (NSA)

    Credentials check out

    • That makes sense. They know how to leak and where to leak. Only those professionals could leak a confidential briefing about leaks so quickly.

  • ... "who later disappeared from public." :D

  • Tired of the Leaks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frightened_Turtle ( 592418 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @10:14AM (#54654187) Homepage

    I'm getting tired with all the leaks. It's like looking at all the presents under the Christmas tree and knowing what is in each wrapped box. It takes all the fun out of it. Let me be surprised!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @10:27AM (#54654291)

      For someone with a six-digit UID you sure have a weird way of looking at shit. For actual professionals who need tools to do work, Apple's secrecy is a horrible way of planning capital purchases. There is a reason that Microsoft and Intel publish their roadmap for years into the future. At Apple, they have a "pro" computer which is about five years old, they've promised to sell a $5,000 (starting price) "pro" iMac starting at the end of this year, and they say we're getting a "pro" computer next year. Will it be a normal tower computer like everyone has been screaming for since the day they announced the current "pro" trashcan? Not bloody likely. But we have no idea what it's going to be. For consumer junk like the new Apple Alexa, fine, surprise people, who cares. For real tools for people with budgets and planning this process is ridiculous.

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      It gets particularly bad when details about a still-in-production movie is leaked, people whine online about some part of it, then the idiotic director actually responds.

      The correct way to deal with stuff like this is to ignore it.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @11:14AM (#54654543)

    I love the fact that our police and intelligence agencies provide a never-ending stream of corporate mercenaries for hire.

    Wouldn't it make more sense for some of these people (FBI, NSA, etc) just to be barred from working in private intelligence jobs? Anyone above a certain level with 10+ years has a choice to either keep working to full pension age or get a partial pension, but in either case they are barred from working as private intelligence/enforcement mercenaries.

    It's one thing for an ex-street cop to work as a security guard or a bouncer, but should we really be spending a bunch of taxpayer money training and educating FBI, NSA or other intelligence-type people just so they can take that knowledge and information and apply it to what amounts to private enforcement and intelligence gathering efforts?

  • I guess they need to work harder on their strategy.

  • ... but honestly, any company working with China has to employ EXTENSIVE measures to not be completely ripped off. One thing you never do is give them a complete design. You have two or three manufacturers and they each get a piece of the design--never the whole thing.

    We live in an age were knowledge is MONEY. Our social security numbers. Our medical records. Our personal information is _valuable_ enough for hackers to spend the time to steal. Now, imagine having a patent or new design in one of the (if not

  • Apple didn't do so bad when they weren't an intelligence service with a technology company attached to it.

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