Who knew the U.S. government kept such close tabs on Apple's dealings with China?
On Tuesday, CNN.com reported that in 2008 Apple (AAPL), in an attempt to crack down on the proliferation of fake Chinese iPods and iPhones, recruited the team that had helped Pfizer (PFE) shut down factories turning out bogus Viagra pills.
The "sensitive but unclassified" report was produced by the U.S. embassy in Beijing and distributed via the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network to officials in the Departments of State, Justice, Commerce and Homeland Security, the FBI, the Patent Office, the FTC, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Library of Congress and the White House.
Below: The full text of the memo. It's a pretty good read.
Some of the bogus Apple (AAPL) hardware recovered by Los Angeles Port Police. Estimated street value: $10 million.
"This was a well-funded operation, and the counterfeits looked very authentic," chief Ron Boyd told the L.A. Times. Buyers might not have discovered they'd been bilked, he said, until they got home and tried to hook the devices up with iTunes.
Also on Fortune.com:Inside Beijing's iPhone black market Holiday crime spree targets Apple Smash n' MORE Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 8, 2011 6:06 AM ET
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