Apple threatens leakers with criminal action in leaked memo

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In an internal memo to employees, Apple threatened severe consequences for leaking confidential company information - reminding staff that those who leak can lose their jobs, have hard finding future employment, and even get arrested.

MacRumors first noticed the public images - on the very same day that Bloomberg revealed Apple's internal memo. In the leaked memo, it was stated that all Apple employees who were involved in the leak of pre-release iOS details were caught and fire within days while others who were responsible for sharing product details before the launches were also caught.

The Cupertino, Calif. -based company also warned employees to be wary of members of the press, saying "it's important to remember that you're getting played". A scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic for a publication and financially benefit the blogger or reporter who broke it. But, in this instance, Apple and the FCC have done the "leaking". The company declined to comment on Friday.

"Leakers do not simply lose their jobs at Apple", the memo states. In some cases, they face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets both classified as federal crimes.

Apple sympathizers will say that leakers are fundamentally different from whistleblowers-employees may justifiably feel compelled to speak out about wrongs committed at a company, but leaking for leaking's sake is bad for morale.

"These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere", the letter rants.

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"And they're getting caught faster than ever".

The crackdown is part of broader and long-running attempts by Silicon Valley technology companies to track and limit what information their employees share publicly. In 2017, Apple caught 29 leakers. They highlighted how Apple has been successful in persuading its customers to increase what they pay for iPhones from an average of somewhere around $600 to almost $800 in the last few years.

Leaking Apple's work undermines everyone at Apple and the years they've invested in creating Apple products. Just before last September's special event, an employee leaked a link to the gold master of iOS 11 to the press, again believing he wouldn't be caught. Past year they fired another employee for leaking details to 9to5mac.

And just in case you haven't got the message yet, Apple lets it be known that it will make sure you feel the pain if you are sick enough to destroy its trust in you. 12 of them were arrested.

The memo then goes on to stress how damaging leaks are to the company itself, those who worked on a project, and other employees. Among those were Apple employees, contractors and some partners in Apple's supply chain.

They threw all kinds of claims against me, I had a good lawyer that completely understood the problem, did good research, and read the law correctly. Leaks can also impact sales of current devices, as consumers hold off on buying as they know something better is soon to arrive.

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