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At Apple Campus 2, security will be a priority

October 01, 2013|By Chris O'Brien
  • The new Apple Campus 2 in the Silicon Valley city of Cupertino will have strong security systems in place.
The new Apple Campus 2 in the Silicon Valley city of Cupertino will have strong… (City of Cupertino )

Apple certainly needs a new campus in Cupertino to fit its exploding number of employees.

But that is only one of the two main objectives the company lists as the reason to build it.

The other: security.

Story: Is Cupertino sacrificing its core to Apple?

In planning documents, Apple says its goal with the new campus is to:

"Achieve the security and privacy required for the invention of new products by eliminating any public access through the site, and protecting the perimeters against trespassers."

If you visit Apple's current headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, you can drive around the road that circles the buildings, and even park and walk right into the store on campus. 

But at Apple Campus 2, it will be a different story. The goal is to cut off public access as completely as possible. It will create what one former city official described as a "moat" in northeast Cupertino. 

The company has bought two chunks of land that straddle Pruneridge Avenue. Apple wants to close Pruneridge and has objected to any suggestions that would reduce security in the slightest. 

For instance, as mentioned in our story this weekend on the new Apple Campus, in one email exchange with city staff, an Apple executive haggled over the location of a single tree.

"Also, if we move the tree an additional 5 feet in, the tree becomes a security issue for us," Apple executive Meg Thomas wrote. "People will be able to potentially climb the tree and hop the fence.

In responses to the environmental impact report conducted by the city, the company apparently objected to requirements that it build a trail along nearby Calabazas Creek because:

"Apple has indicated that the fundamental objective of a secure campus would be compromised with the provision of a public trail immediately adjacent to or through the project site. Even with security and design measures such as fencing, Apple maintains that such a trail through a portion of the site would pose security risks because Apple has been the target of intense scrutiny regarding its future projects. Given that Apple’s research and development facility is to be located at this site, perimeter security that will afford privacy is a fundamental objective."

Indeed, any suggestion of public trails or access through the site is a non-starter. Apple is already keeping a close watch on its new borders:

"As described on page 59 of the Draft EIR, under existing conditions, the perimeter of the project site is patrolled by Apple personnel on a 24-hour basis. Security personnel also monitor other parts of the project site."

Once built, that tight security will be maintained and even increased:

"This security protocol would continue with implementation of the proposed project and would ensure that the landscaping along the perimeter of the site would not harbor criminal activity. In addition, as part of the project, Apple would utilize camera surveillance along the perimeter fence that would be monitored at a centrally-located campus operations center."

Of course, Cupertino residents don't have to wait to get a taste of the focus on security. Two reporters from the L.A. Times discovered that when they visited the proposed site this summer. 

While standing on a sidewalk along Pruneridge Avenue near the entrance to the former Hewlett-Packard campus, a guard approached the reporters and told them they were not allowed to be there because he mistakenly believed Apple already owned the road. 

After taking some pictures and video, the reporters got back in their car. A second guard tailed them in a car for several more minutes as they drove along the perimeter of the campus shooting more video. 

Here, by the way, is a short history of Apple's headquarters and a brief tour around the proposed site for Apple Campus 2, including some of that video:


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