In a blog post today, famous iPhone security expert Jonathan Zdziarski announced that he’s going to work for Apple. It’s an unusual announcement for a number of reasons — firstly, people don’t normally know or care who’s working on Apple’s security team — but Zdziarski is a little different.

Zdziarski is a prominent security consultant who’s also been a thorn in Apple’s side for years. Most notably, he’s called out Apple for shipping a version of iOS without an encrypted kernel, pulled apart Facebook’s iOS code to reveal “malware-like” code, and been a vital source of information during Apple’s short war with the FBI.

In his blog post, Zdziarski briefly summarized his reasons for the move:

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a position with Apple’s Security Engineering and Architecture team, and am very excited to be working with a group of like minded individuals so passionate about protecting the security and privacy of others.

This decision marks the conclusion of what I feel has been a matter of conscience for me over time. Privacy is sacred; our digital lives can reveal so much about us – our interests, our deepest thoughts, and even who we love. I am thrilled to be working with such an exceptional group of people who share a passion to protect that.

Zdziarski has long been an advocate for customer privacy and strong encryption. Apple’s hiring move is likely just a coincidence, a case of a company picking up a talented employee where possible. But in the current climate, going and finding a security engineer who is also well known for his ethical stance on hacking certainly sounds like a message.

Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.