Apple helped make ‘top secret’ iPod for US government

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Apple helped make 'top secret' iPod for US government

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The key mission started in 2005, when the iPod with video was launched

Apple helped the US authorities construct a “prime secret” iPod with hidden sensors inside, a former worker has revealed.

Solely 4 folks on the firm knew concerning the mission, in keeping with former Apple software program engineer David Shayer.

Two males from a defence contractor had arrived at Apple in 2005, on behalf of the US Division of Power, he mentioned.

They’d wished assist to construct an iPod that seemed and labored similar to a standard one however secretly recorded information utilizing hidden further {hardware} inside.

Apple had helped the engineers construct a customized model of the iPod software program to accommodate the key gadget, Mr Shayer mentioned.

“They have been cautious to ensure I by no means noticed the {hardware},” he wrote in a lengthy post for Apple newsletter Tidbits.

“And I by no means did.”

He mentioned the 2 engineers, from defence contractor Bechtel, had labored out of an workplace at Apple’s buildings for months.

“They wished so as to add some customized {hardware} to an iPod and report information from this tradition {hardware} to the iPod’s disk in a approach that could not be simply detected,” he wrote.

“However it nonetheless needed to look and work like a standard iPod.”

The pair had been given a duplicate of the iPod system’s supply code on DVD and purchased their very own units at outlets to experiment on, Mr Shayer mentioned.

“This wasn’t a collaboration with Bechtel with a contract and cost,” he wrote.

“It was Apple doing a favour underneath the desk for the Division of Power.”

Nuclear energy

Mr Shayer by no means came upon precisely what the 2 engineers have been constructing however suspected “one thing like a stealth Geiger counter” to measure radiation with out being observed.

The Division of Power is, amongst different features, answerable for nuclear energy.

The story has been backed by different Apple staff of the time.

Tony Fadell, the previous vice-president of the iPod division, tweeted the story was “completely spot on” and “actual indisputably”.

“Loopy tremendous cool expertise the federal government was engaged on then… I can solely think about what’s cooking lately,” he added.

Apple has but to answer a request for affirmation of the story.

The corporate has made privateness a key advertising and marketing level of its iPhones, leading to disagreements with the US Department of Justice.

However the excessive stage of secrecy – and the very fact the 4 individuals who had recognized about it had all since left Apple – meant, Mr Shayer mentioned: “The PR folks would inform you actually that Apple has no report of any such mission.”

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