It was a gray day in late 2005. I was sitting at my desk, writing code for the next year’s iPod. Without knocking, the director of iPod Software—my boss’s boss—abruptly entered and closed the door behind him. He cut to the chase. “I have a special assignment for you. Your boss doesn’t know about it. You’ll help two engineers from the US Department of Energy build a special iPod. Report only to me.”
15 years ago, Apple helped the US government develop a custom iPod for clandestine missions. Of course, neither Apple nor the US government will admit this ever happened. Former Apple engineer and inadvertent intelligence operative David Shayer tells the story of the iPod that never existed.