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App developers ignoring NDAs, leaking iOS 6 screenshots

Despite Apple's commitment to secrecy, developers have been leaking iOS screenshots to news outlets like The Verge and BGR in the wake of the company's WWDC keynote announcements.

This screenshot, from the forthcoming Apple iOS 6, was presumably leaked by a developer to BGR, which published it today. Screenshot by CNET of Boy Genius Report image.

When Apple CEO Tim Cook said last month that the company is going to "double down on secrecy," he must have had a good idea how developers who leak information will be punished.

If so, those plans should be kicking in today, after what appear to be clear leaks by developers of screenshots from the forthcoming iOS 6 to news outlets like The Verge and BGR. Apple unveiled iOS 6 during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote today in San Francisco.

All Apple app developers -- including CNET -- must agree to an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) before being given an iOS software development kit. So while Apple released its own screenshots today from its new mobile operating system, the images that were published by The Verge, BGR, and others, were most likely not approved by Apple under the terms of the NDA. As a result, the developers who leaked them would likely be subject to some kind of penalty.

However, there is probably no way the company would be able to tell who leaked the images, and the news sites would almost certainly be considered to be within their rights to publish them as legitimate news.

We've contacted Apple for comment and will update this post when we hear back.

But there's got to be some teeth-gnashing in Cupertino, Calif., Apple's home, in the wake of Cook's comments at last month's D10 conference, when he told interviewers Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg that, "We're going to double down on secrecy on products."