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9to5Mac Writer Caught Bribing a Source Who Ended up Being a Double Agent for Apple

I want to start this article by saying: JESUS CHRIST.

A new report from Vice / Motherboard claims that Guilherme Rambo (@_inside), a writer for online publication 9to5Mac, bribed a source in 2018 that he met in an online “Apple Internal” community that discusses… well, internal Apple information.

Guilherme Rambo on Twitter

The source was Andrey Shumeyko — known online by the usernames YRH04E and JVHResearch — and he has now come forward, admitting that he was a double-agent of sorts for Apple. Across Twitter and Discord, Andrey shared leaked apps, stolen device prototypes, and manuals.

He actively targeted Apple employees who were suspected of leaking Apple information online, as well as journalists who had previous relationships with leakers and were looking to publish the next big story.

Andrey told Vice that he has a relationship with Apple’s anti-leak team, known as “Global Security” and it was his job to act as a “mole” by investigating and reporting leaks to the company.

That’s where 9to5Mac and writer Guilherme Rambo come into the story…

After meeting in the online “Apple Internal” community, Guilherme reportedly offered Andrey Shumeyko $500 worth of Bitcoin — now worth $3,592 USD — in exchange for information and data regarding (at the time) upcoming iPad Pro features.

Shumeyko admitted that in a previous conversation, Rambo told him that “9to5Mac doesn’t pay sources”. However, not long after, when Shumeyko told Rambo that he had extracted data from an iPhone XR prototype, Rambo responded with, “I’d pay you for that dump”. F**kin’ YIKES.

As you’d expect, 9to5Mac then published a story on October 10, 2018 called: “Exclusive: iPad Pro Face ID details, 4K HDR video over USB-C, AirPod-like Apple Pencil 2 pairing, more”

Archived screenshot of the original story

Guilherme Rambo told Vice that it is against 9to5Mac policy to pay sources, and that others at 9to5Mac were unaware of the payment.

The post has now been taken down by 9to5Mac, citing that it went against their sourcing policies.

OUR TAKE:

This story is being widely ignored online, but it is a huge deal. Though Guilherme claims that 9to5Mac did not know of the payment that was made, as a respected Apple news outlet that published the article, this doesn’t necessarily look good for them. I sincerely hope that 1) this isn’t a common practice for 9to5Mac writers, and 2) 9to5Mac is telling the truth when claiming that they were unaware of the payment.

Personally, I love 9to5Mac and I have a lot of respect for the writers over there, so this is disappointing to see.

It’s also EXTREMELY disappointing and concerning to see many tech publications totally avoid reporting this story. If this Vice article had been about me, the internet would have blown it up into a huge scandal, about how Jon Prosser bribed and paid a source. But, because it involves 9to5Mac, most tech outlets are turning a blind eye to it, possibly to keep this story as quiet as possible — because again, as I said, this does not make 9to5Mac look good.

To all other journalists: DO NOT BRIBE OR PAY SOURCES.

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