How Apple Prevents Leaks Outlined–in Ironically Leaked Recording

Apple has recently confirmed that more leaks of its upcoming products are in fact dispersed to the public from the Cupertino company’s headquarters rather than through its various Asian factories that build its products, as many would have assumed.

In response to this revelation, Apple had many of its employees attend an hour-long presentation given by former NSA investigators regarding how classified Apple information gets out into the world.

Ironically, an apparently-leaked recording of the internal briefing at Apple earlier this month, which was titled “Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple,” was obtained by The Outline. The audio describes the lengths Apple goes to in order to keep information about new products out of the hands of leakers, competitors, and the press.

The briefing was led by Apple’s director of global security, David Rice, alongside the company’s director of worldwide investigations, Lee Freedman, and Jenny Hubbert, from the global security communications and training team. Rice formerly worked at the US National Security Agency as a global network cryptologist for the US Navy.

“Last year was the first year that Apple [campuses] leaked more than the supply chain,” said Rice. “More stuff came out of Apple [campuses] last year than all of our supply chain combined.”

Rice notes that Apple’s work of screening employees is greater than that of the TSA. “Their peak volume is 1.8 million a day. Ours, for just 40 factories in China, is 2.7 million a day.” That number surges to 3 million when Apple ramps up production and each employee needs to be checked entering and exiting the factory.

“In aggregate, we do about 221 million transits a year. For comparison, 223 million is the top level volume for the top 25 theme parks in the world,” Rice says. “So this is just one big theme park. People coming in, coming out, there’s billions of parts flying around at any given instance. So you marry up a bunch of parts moving around plus a lot of people moving around and it’s no wonder that we don’t leak even more.”

The Outline has a full report on “Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple” and it’s well worth a read.

World-traveling, tech-savvy, music-producing writer obsessed with all things Apple, video games, and the finer things in life, e.g. mezcal and tacos. When I'm not writing I'm exploring new places, eating new foods, and generally trying to be a decent human.