Apple’s anti-leak memo gets leaked

FinancialPress – An internal memo sent by Apple brass to its employees, warning of the consequences and repercsusions of leaking secret company information, has been leaked.

Through the years, Apple has made trade secrecy a staple of its business practices – having strict, firm control over information on its work culture and unreleased products. A new report highlights the lengths the company will go to ensure its own secrecy. In it, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman showcases a memo that came to his attention.
The memo in question is a stern warning to employees about what can happen if they decide to leak insider information to external parties, even citing the possibility of arrest. Apple claims that out of the 29 insider leaksters it tracked down last year, 12 were arrested.

“Leakers do not simply lose their jobs at Apple. In some cases, they face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets both classified as federal crimes. In 2017, Apple caught 29 leakers. 12 of those were arrested,” says the memo, which can be read in full here.

Bold claims, for sure – yet the memo omitted any information that may lead to the identification of the alleged leakers. It did disclose that they were not only employees of the company itself, but also contractors and supply chain partners.

Apple hadnot respondd to a request for comment by the time of this publication.

Crying wolf?

Trade secret law specialist Warren Braunig, of Keker, Van Nest and Peters, is skeptical of Apple’s claims. He believes that the link between employees leaking information to reporters and their subsequent arrests is, at best, a stretch.

“The memo conflates ‘leaking’ —which is likely a violation of Apple’s corporate confidentiality agreement but not criminal — with serious criminal wrongdoing such as stealing trade secrets for a competitor, or hacking into Apple’s proprietary computer systems,” said Braunig. “Apple is obviously trying to minimize leaks from employees. That’s a reasonable goal, but talking about the number of employees you’ve had arrested seems like an over-the-top scare tactic.”

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