In a bizarre story over at Ars Technica that seems like the plot of a terrible mafioso movie, a man named Gregory McKenna is claiming that Apple knowingly colluded with the Mafia (and various governmental agencies) to help them threaten him with death via his iPod mini. According to McKenna, it is apparently fairly standard practice for Apple to add receivers and transmitters to its portable media players as a special service for organized crime.
Apple attracts its own fair share of wacko legal action, but this one is so intricate in its level of detail that it deserves a closer look, if only to admire the craftsmanship. McKenna believes that not one, but two separate iPods contained Mafia bugs. One, a Shuffle he picked up on eBay, makes a little sense, since it would be easy to tamper with the hardware after the fact, if the Mafia was really committed to doing so.
It’s the other, an iPod mini he bought new from an Apple retail store, six months after the model was officially discontinued, that vaults McKenna’s story into the realm of complete absurdity. The sheer number of steps required for Apple to have specifically targeted McKenna for the receipt of a specially modified iPod mini boggle the mind. I guess that’s what makes it a conspiracy theory, instead of a coincidence theory.
Why, you may ask, did the Mafia even care enough about McKenna to harass him so diligently for so long? He apparently once worked for a modeling agency which he claims is just a front for the mob. And he was so good at what he did, the couldn’t let him just get away. The Mafia is the one job you can’t quit, after all.
Apple isn’t the only defendant named in the suit. McKenna also believes that every law enforcement agency from the St. Louis PD to the Department of Justice was in on the plan, since (shockingly) none would take his allegations against the Mafia seriously. The suit also targets an auto repair shop that conspired to bug his car, and a private investigator who helped “cover up” the existence of surveillance devices by conveniently not finding any when hired by McKenna to do so.
In total, McKenna is seeking $14.3 million in damages from all the defendants named in the suit, much of which is accounted for by the $550,000 in lost wages he claims to have missed out on as a result of conspiracy effort. Oh, that must be the reason I’m not making half a million a year, too. I knew it couldn’t be my decided lack of marketable skills.