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Apple anti-leak action shifts to Yahoo!

Subpoenas Web site to demand user details

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Apple's quest for the source of leaked information about upcoming products has taken it to Yahoo! The Mac maker yesterday subpeoena'd the online operation to release any information it has on the individual Apple suspects is behind the leaks.

The leaker, named in Apple's recent trade secret violation suit as a John Doe - legal slang for an unnamed, unknown party - apparently goes by the handle 'Worker Bee' on Yahoo!'s GeoCities Web site and bulletin board conferences. Apple's subpoena, the company hopes, will provide it with further clues to Bee's identity.

For its part, Yahoo! said that it will comply with the subpoena, which requests information on Bee's name, address, telephone number, IP address and email address. If Bee has been daft enough to leave his real name, address, email address and phone number with Yahoo! he or she deserves all they get. The best Apple can hope for is an IP number, but if Bee's on a dynamic dial-up IP, that may not be much help.

Apple's trade secret violation suit, filed Wednesday with the Satan Clara Superior Court, doesn't name a host of individuals who disseminated information on future Apple products, including last week's dual-CPU Power Mac G4s, the Power Mac G4 Cube and Apple's optical mouse. Apple's lawyers said they would pursue the leakers, and yesterday's subpoena certainly shows they're serious about it. ®

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