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In a Leaked Memo, Apple Warns Employees to Stop Leaking Information (bloomberg.com) 100

Apple warned employees to stop leaking internal information on future plans and raised the specter of potential legal action and criminal charges, one of the most-aggressive moves by the world's largest technology company to control information about its activities. From a report: The Cupertino, California-based company said in a lengthy memo posted to its internal blog that it "caught 29 leakers," last year and noted that 12 of those were arrested. "These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere," Apple added. The company declined to comment on Friday. Apple outlined situations in which information was leaked to the media, including a meeting earlier this year where Apple's software engineering head Craig Federighi told employees that some planned iPhone software features would be delayed. Apple also cited a yet-to-be-released software package that revealed details about the unreleased iPhone X and new Apple Watch. Leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of current models, give rivals more time to begin on a competitive response, and lead to fewer sales when the new product launches, according to the memo.

In a Leaked Memo, Apple Warns Employees to Stop Leaking Information

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  • NDA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 13, 2018 @02:00PM (#56432639)

    I hate it when companies force NDAs on business operations. I had one that said we couldn't talk about any aspect of the business, even though there was nothing to hide except corrupt business practices (which is probably the reason for it).

    • Re:NDA? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @04:16PM (#56433479)

      I work in the videogame industry, and so I've worked my entire career with the knowledge that absolutely everything I was working on was covered under the blanket NDA everyone signs before they're hired. There's a lot of people interested in the stuff we're working on, and so I guess human nature being what it is, it's hard not to tell people what neat stuff you see being worked on. But leaks tend to kill the careful marketing plan put in place for the game you may have spent several years developing.

      So, I guess I'm sort of used to that. You simply don't talk about what you're working on unless you have express permission, or you risk get disciplined or fired. Given that there's a lot of interest in what Apple does, I can see why maintaining internal secrets is important to them as well.

      I'm actually fairly impressed when I've worked at a company with several hundred people and there WEREN'T leaks. I can imagine how difficult that must be when you have many thousands of employees.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "But leaks tend to kill the careful marketing plan put in place for the game you may have spent several years developing."

        I assure you the plan was not as carefully thought through as you claim.

    • How many times has Apple thrown accelerant on issues and fanned the flames in order to have the authorities descend on its employees or customers? Honestly asking....I know someone has this saved off somewhere.

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @02:04PM (#56432671)

    ... it "caught 29 leakers," last year and noted that 12 of those were arrested. "These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere," ...

    ... I imagine Trump will pardon [politico.com] them too.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "if you leak, we will find you, we will find your children, your whole family and add them to our silicon valley do not hire list" /s

    Reminds me of this... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Tech_Employee_Antitrust_Litigation

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I thought industry wide blacklists were forbidden? This sounds pretty much like an admission of their existence. Also, this is about leakers; who else goes on the list?

    • They're not saying it's a blacklist, they're saying you're unlikely to get a job if the first thing potential employers get when they Google your name is a news article along the lines of "Former Apple employee convicted of selling company secrets, also fined $3,000 for three instances of copyright infringement in unrelated file sharing lawsuits brought by NBC Universal, Fox Studios, and Buttsex Video Inc, but sentencing postponed for unsolicited candid photos."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Updated Mac Pro and Mac Mini. A MacBook Pro available in 17 inches and 32GB RAM. USB-A ports and headphone jacks all round. How about instead of trying to do ARM macs do Ryzen and Threadripper Macs.
    • EPYC mac pro with 4 X16 slots. 4 m.2 slots 6 TB 3 buses and dual 10-gig-e can work.

      • But what will you do with the extra lanes?

        You get 128 total, and you're using 64 on PCIe slots, 16 on M.2, 12 on TB3 (Intel bottlenecks their shit by using only 2 lanes per port), and 4 on networking.

        You've got 32 left over, man.
        How about we just give you a couple dozen USB 3 ports and if you want SATA/SCSI/Floppy/Whatever you just buy some adapters?

  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @02:16PM (#56432793)
    Name a company that doesn't ask their employees to protect corporate secrets.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They all do. It is not news. Just a low level employee being snotty. I imagine Apple has a lot of low level know nothing employees.

      The real question is why would anyone leak info to the press? For kicks? The press is not your friend, they will misrepresent anything you say, they will twist facts to suit their ideology, and they will sell you out to your employer or the cops if pushed. They do not care about you.

      • The irony is that someone probably thought they were leaking the memo for fun and will probably be fired because of it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 13, 2018 @02:23PM (#56432835)

    As a former Apple diehard (been clean about 10 years now), I really can't believe what major league douche bags Apple has become. I only stopped using their computers because my university didn't support them on their network at the time, but between incredibly overpriced machines and devices, suing everyone under the sun and over matching them on lawyers, threatening and almost abusing employees on the regular, trying to intimidate everyone that has anything to do with them, making devices that are almost impossible to repair and then deliberately breaking third party repairs with software updates which seem to have no legitimate purpose and appear to only be pushed to break the repairs, spam dialing 911 from their repair centers and then not having any idea how to stop it, supporting terrorists (I'm all for protecting people's data and standing up to the man about it, but you lose your right to have your data shielded when you openly murder a room full of people), their general smugness about everything, and probably a few other things I'm missing, I am very glad that I haven't contributed a dime to them in the last decade. I think back to how awful M$ was in the '90s (and they're still not much better), and I feel like Apple has actually surpassed them in terms of shitty and abusive business practices. It would almost be impressive if it wasn't so horrifying.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dont forget apples laughable "thermonuclear war" on Android; ebook price fixing; suing schools and grocery stores for using an apple in their logos; media blacklisting.

    • I only stopped using their computers because my university didn't support them on their network at the time
      The brand of a computer does not matter when connected to a network ...
      Just saying.

      • I only stopped using their computers because my university didn't support them on their network at the time
        The brand of a computer does not matter when connected to a network ...
        Just saying.

        Back when Mac's still used AppleTalk they were banned on many networks. If you connected a Mac, the sysadmin would hunt you down and disconnect you.

        That's because AppleTalk is probably the worst local network protocol design of all time, with everything broadcast, and super linear blowup of overhad based on the number Macs connected, ruining the network efficiency for everybody

        • I worked in a cluster with about 100 Macs, and we had plenty of 20 - 30 Macs clusters. Never noticed any issues. I guess they had enough switches, on the other hand, I don't remember if we even used AppleTalk or where already using EtherTalk.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @02:34PM (#56432899)

    After all, it can't possibly be due to the high price or to Siri's limitations.

  • There you go! Just deserts for all those pointy haired bosses who kept giving recursion problems in job interviews.
  • Have they hired from kindergarden or what?

  • Someone leaked a memo telling them to stop leaking internal news.
  • Yo Dawg! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Subm ( 79417 ) on Friday April 13, 2018 @02:52PM (#56433001)

    Yo Dawg, I heard you liked leaking memos, so I leaked a memo about leaking memos so you could leak memos while you leak memos.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's an older meme sir, but it checks out.

  • Kommandant Trump isn't the only person who has problems with leakers.

  • PR disguised as a news article.

  • Sounds like it came from the Onion!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yo dawg, I heard you like to leak memos when you leak memos so hereâ(TM)s a leaked memo!

  • The Cupertino, California-based company said in a lengthy memo ...

    Whoever wrote that sentence can be trusted on the subject of long memos.

    A windbag dilettante would have merely written "Apple".

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