Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz has posted a piece about the Apple Gestapo and how they conduct periodic raids of departments on the company's Cupertino campus -- and it's quite scary. As someone who's been investigated, litigated and harassed by high-paid Apple goons the piece struck a chord with me.
According to the source, Apple has moles working everywhere, especially in departments where leaks are suspected and management is not aware of them.
When Apple suspects a leak in a certain department, it send its "Worldwide Loyalty Team" (code for "security") for a little visit. The henchmen give instructions to the department manager and supervise the operation, or "event" as they call it, never interacting with the employees.
The manager instructs all employees to stay at their desks. All mobile phones are then taken. If you need to contact anyone during the time your phone is being examined, you must ask for permission and your call will be monitored. Cameras aren't permitted on the Apple campus, so they don't even ask for them.
All the employees are asked to unlock and disable any locking features on their phones. If you have an iPhone, it gets backed up onto a laptop for off-site review.
In fact, at the beginning they used to say that the iPhones were really their property, since Apple gave every employee a free iPhone.
If you have another type of phone (which is probably some sort of strike against you) Apple's Storm Troopers go through all its email, text messages and pictures.
While all this is happening, the employees are ordered to activate the screensaver on their computers, so the special forces are sure there are no chats happening between employees or with the exterior. They are told not to speak, text or call one other when the lockdown is happening: "It is like a gag order, and if the employee does not want to participate, they are basically asked to leave and never come back."
According to the source, it is not one of a kind event. It's just a normal practice.
While Apple's Orwellian security policy is undoubtedly part of the confidentiality, non-disclosure and employment agreements that all employees must sign, there's something unsavory about hearing all the gory details about how this stuff goes down.
I thought that everyone on campus kinda just hung out, drank Odwalla, and ate Cliff bars around the foosball table. I guess that 2009 is like "1984." At least in Cupertino.