Macworld UK – Apple failed its duty, court documents reveal

Link: Macworld UK – Apple failed its duty, court documents reveal.

Crucially, Apple also claimed its internal investigation to be a trade secret, demanding it be sealed from the defendants.

The defendants representatives appealled and last week won against this assertion in the courts. These documents are now available to the public (in PDF format).

They show that the only computer forensics conducted by Apple were a search of Apple’s email servers and a rudimentary examination of a single file server.

Apple failed to examine employees’ individual work computers, hard drives, telephone records, photocopiers, "or otherwise investigate the possibility that information about Asteroid was transmitted by means other than email", the EFF said.

Apple also failed to obtain sworn statements from employees who had access to the leaked information.

"The First Amendment requires that compelled disclosure from journalists be a last resort," said EFF staff attorney Kurt Opsahl. "Apple must first investigate its own house before seeking to disturb the freedom of the press."

Not entirely surprising. Apple’s aim in this case was always more to do with attacking the press than actually plugging its own leaks – in other words, to enact a "chilling effect" over websites.

Of course, this has largely failed – and that larger media organisations like the Wall Street Journal are now blowing the trumpets for Apple’s "trade secrets" weeks before announcements are made officially.