Apple amping up anti-leaker campaign in China

Posted:
in iPhone
In an effort to crack down on unauthorized product leaks, Apple is continuing its campaign to stop who it believes is involved in illegally obtaining information on unreleased products from its supply chain.




Apple has sent another cease and desist letter to at least one Chinese leaker involved in an iPhone prototype selling scheme on social media. The letter, seen by Motherboard, warned the seller to stop advertising, obtaining, and selling leaked devices.

It also has requested a list of the seller's sources and asks for the individual's cooperation in the matter.

"Through investigation, Apple has obtained relevant evidence about your unauthorized disclosure of Apple's unreleased and rumored products," the letter reads. "Your intentional infringement is specifically manifested as: publishing unpublished information about Apple's new products through social media platforms, including but not limited to the design and performance of these new products."

This isn't the first letter that leakers have received, either. In June, Apple sent two known leakers letters that threatened legal action if they were to continue posting information about unreleased products.

Apple is no stranger to leaks. Every year, dozens of leaks make it to the internet. While many of the leaks are faked attempts to drum up traffic, there are plenty of well-known cases of factory workers and designers stealing and selling unreleased products and prototypes.

It's also likely that Apple has re-started seeding disinformation about events and hardware releases to root out leakers within the company. In March, top leakers were wrong about an upcoming Apple event, suggesting that the company may be trying to flush out secret-spilling employees.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 279member
    Genuinely curious about this... is leaking information obtained from a supply chain source illegal? Does Apple actually have any ground to stand on here - i.e. can they actually commence enforcement proceedings - or can they just send sternly worded letters asking people to stop? Especially in countries outside the US? 

    I'm not a lawyer, and most people who read this site aren't either so I suspect there's lot of 'opinion' but not much fact, but it reads to me like Apple doesn't have much that they can actually do to stop this aside from asking. 

    As for requesting a list of sources, well... worth a punt I guess, but definitely not something Apple's entitled to. 

    People from the supply chain who provide info to leakers are breaking a contract or confidentiality agreement for sure, but the leakers themselves have no such contract or agreement. "Publishing unpublished information" might well be irritating to Apple, but I do wonder whether it's illegal. 
  • Reply 2 of 7
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 654member
    Any real fan would respect Apple’s wishes and stop reading any rumors as they are then complicit in causing harm to the company. That is if they actually have any integrity in all their screeching about Apple always being right, always seeing the worse in every other companies motives and seem to act as if the company is infallible in every way. 
    Okay, that is a little over the top but is there a threat by Apple against legitimate reporting (which I think AI does a good job at) and that this site will be the next thinksecret.com?
    elijahg
  • Reply 3 of 7
    mr lizard said:

    People from the supply chain who provide info to leakers are breaking a contract or confidentiality agreement for sure, but the leakers themselves have no such contract or agreement. "Publishing unpublished information" might well be irritating to Apple, but I do wonder whether it's illegal. 
    Perhaps it’s along the lines of being in receipt of stolen goods?
  • Reply 4 of 7
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,184member
    It will take watching MacBook Pro releases for a few years to see if I'm proven wrong, but as I've written elsewhere, I think the famous dark web release in the past year of MBP drawings detailing a return of legacy ports was in reality an intentionally fabricated drawing to suss out leaks. By including something keyed into the angst-ridden narrative of "dongle-gate," it was sure to garner attention and get distributed, but by using "new" drawings featuring old tech, Apple would sacrifice no actual new information in the exercise. 
    aderutterwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    bulk001 said:
    Any real fan would respect Apple’s wishes and stop reading any rumors as they are then complicit in causing harm to the company. That is if they actually have any integrity in all their screeching about Apple always being right, always seeing the worse in every other companies motives and seem to act as if the company is infallible in every way. 
    Okay, that is a little over the top but is there a threat by Apple against legitimate reporting (which I think AI does a good job at) and that this site will be the next thinksecret.com?
    Well, I've never gone back to 9to5mac or macrumors since they released all the details on the iPhone X just a few days before launch. That showed an unforgivable lack of integrity. Also, I'm not sure why you think that Apple protecting its practices is somehow a bad thing, or that somehow Apple rumor sites are doomed lol
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 654member
    bulk001 said:
    Any real fan would respect Apple’s wishes and stop reading any rumors as they are then complicit in causing harm to the company. That is if they actually have any integrity in all their screeching about Apple always being right, always seeing the worse in every other companies motives and seem to act as if the company is infallible in every way. 
    Okay, that is a little over the top but is there a threat by Apple against legitimate reporting (which I think AI does a good job at) and that this site will be the next thinksecret.com?
    Well, I've never gone back to 9to5mac or macrumors since they released all the details on the iPhone X just a few days before launch. That showed an unforgivable lack of integrity. Also, I'm not sure why you think that Apple protecting its practices is somehow a bad thing, or that somehow Apple rumor sites are doomed lol
    I have no opinion for or against Apple’s move. But around here Apple is infallible to many of their little fanboys. So, to spell it out for you, the dilemma is this is a site that is built in sharing Apple rumors (the name is Appleinsider!) Apple is starting to stamp out these rumors. If you support the site you are going against Apple’s express wishes to stop what they view as harmful behavior. If you don’t, you miss out on finding out the new rumors. Now to give AI credit, they cover a lot more than rumors with reviews, discount codes etc. And to defend the other sites, they are rumor sites and will publish any rumors they hear. If you go there and read them then that is on you, not them. Maybe the blame is on you, not them. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 7
    mr lizard said:
    Genuinely curious about this... is leaking information obtained from a supply chain source illegal? Does Apple actually have any ground to stand on here - i.e. can they actually commence enforcement proceedings - or can they just send sternly worded letters asking people to stop? Especially in countries outside the US? 

    I'm not a lawyer, and most people who read this site aren't either so I suspect there's lot of 'opinion' but not much fact, but it reads to me like Apple doesn't have much that they can actually do to stop this aside from asking. 

    As for requesting a list of sources, well... worth a punt I guess, but definitely not something Apple's entitled to. 

    People from the supply chain who provide info to leakers are breaking a contract or confidentiality agreement for sure, but the leakers themselves have no such contract or agreement. "Publishing unpublished information" might well be irritating to Apple, but I do wonder whether it's illegal. 
    Apple should have signed NDA with its suppliers. Apple could do whatever is said in the contract. 
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