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Jobs set "canary trap" with Asteroid?

updated 11:10 am EST, Tue March 6, 2007

Jobs set "canary trap?"

An Apple programmer who asked to remain anonymous has speculated that company CEO Steve Jobs set up a classic "canary trap" when he issued information about the product codenamed "Asteroid." That product, which has yet to surface from the Cupertino-based company, fueled a lawsuit against two websites which reported on leaked information. Apple sought the source of the information leak in the suit, and claimed that bloggers do not hold the same rights as the press with regard to maintaining the confidentiality of news sources. That argument didn't sit well with the judge presiding over the suit, who ordered Apple to pay the legal fees of both sites totaling $700,000. The programmer suspects Jobs fed each person at Apple a slightly different piece of information, and waited to see which canary sang, according to Wired.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apples Privacy

    Apple has a right to keep new products under wraps, and if an employee, developer or news agency leaks they should be sued out of existance. I love a free press, but the press (I include web blogs and rumor sites in this) does not have free reign to publish anything they want.

    If Steve Jobs was doing something illegal that is a different story, but leaked information can hurt the company (and my stock price).

  1. zac4mac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    duh

    ya think? WE all knew that was happening, with or without a real product. The leaks HAD to be found at all cost... so says Steve

  1. bravedeer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    clevelandadv

    dude, don't be ridiculous. Yeah Apple should have the right to keep new products under wraps, and it should have the right to go after an employee if it leaks information. But it has no right to go after the media for publishing information from an Apple employee. Whether you want to accept it or not, that is the case as Apple keeps losing every time it goes after the press.

  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    this is a story

    Some random, unnamed developer working at Apple has a theory he pulled out of his butt that Steve Jobs set the Asteroid thing in motion to plug a leak. Wow, stop the presses for this exclusive!

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I think . .

    Apple can and should go after employees and third parties that violate nondisclosure agreements. However, the media (including bloggers) did not sign such a contract, and is within its rights to publish information it receives from sources.

    Often these media sites are rumor sites and have no idea if the information they receive is legitimate information at all. Moreover, Apple would never have went after the Times, or Walstreet Journal for reporting on such leaks, which they often do.

  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    oh hang on

    So this is based on a story from Wired? Any particular issue or URL? This is just sloppy "reporting" all around.

  1. GORDYmac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ditto malax...

    As if such a common practice can be considered a story. Slow Mac news day I guess.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    BRAVEDEER

    you and CLEVELANDADV are both right on this_ Ya'll are argueing semantics_

    If an employee or someone under a confidentiality agreement leaks info to a news agency - the news agency itself is covered by the first ammendment [USA law]_ So in that case The company is well within it's rights to entrap an employee they suspect is leaking proprietary information_ And the company has zero recourse for shaking down the news agency_ Then said employee found out can then be fired - prosecuted - sued or whatever [including possible jail time]

    Now if the same employee leaks info to "Billy Bob's Blog" [unless BillyBob has proveable Journalist Credentials] then both the employee and the blogger can be persued_ Any Joe Blow Blogger out there is merely putting a diary online_ Just because you have a thought that maybe borders something coherent and intelligible and can say what you want [in the US] - slander and non-public information is not covered by freedom of speech_ And those involved run a risk of retaliation_

    And the less anonymous you become while online - the better and the bigger the target you become_

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    UberFu

    While your first paragraph is correct, your second makes no sense.

    Non-public information? What exactly is that?? If someone gives you information are you saying that the 1st amendment doesnt allow you to telll a friend? Or a group of friends? or a room full of people? The only thing that makes it non-public information is because the person who told Billy Bob shouldnt have in the first place. Once Billy Bob gets the information, he can do anything he wants with it. print flyers, sky write it or even tattoo it on his forhead. Billy Bob is not under any contractual agreement to hold that information secret.Unless he pinky-swore with his friend.. and last I checked, pinky-swears do not hold up in court. :P

    Slander may be a different story, but since tabloids print slander on a daily basis, there should be nothing wrong with it. And save the "tabloids are reporters & journalists" c***. They are story tellers, grapic artists & photographers... nothing more.

  1. - - e r i k - -

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Asteroid is real

    It's just not made by Apple. It refers to this product:

    http://createdigitalmusic.com/2005/06/27/icontrol-for-garageband-shipping-17995-whither-asteroid/

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