There should be a soap opera dedicated to Silicon Valley drama. Between Facebook’s data breach, Apple’s phone throttling, and the industry’s sexual harassment scandals — to name a few — there seems to be a never-ending stream of gripping headlines these days. Keeping that trend going, Apple said in a leaked internal memo that it “caught 29 leakers” last year. Now, 12 of those employees have been arrested for leaking internal information.

Apple Cracking Down on Leakers

Apple and other tech companies rely on the confidentiality of their staff to maintain trade secrets and to handle the announcements of new products and software in a way that’s as advantageous to their businesses as possible. In an industry that’s so intensely competitive and whose products are so highly anticipated, this is no small feat. Apple is letting its employees know that they are getting better and faster at catching leakers, although they did so through an internal memo that was leaked.

Leaking a Federal Crime?

Apple’s memo — directed at employees, contractors, and supply chain partners — not only warned potential leakers of Apple’s ability to track them down, but of the serious consequences those leakers could face. “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 addition to criminal charges, Apple’s memo also warned of the difficulty in finding employment elsewhere after being fired or arrested for leaking.

If you’ve been accused of mishandling or leaking confidential company information, speak with an experienced attorney who can advise you of your rights and obligations under the law.

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