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Apple Publishes Latest Report on Government Information Requests

by Todd Haselton | November 5, 2013November 5, 2013 7:30 pm PDT

Spying

Following reports that it was providing private information to the U.S. government, Apple in June published a “Report on Government Information Requests.” That report covered data Apple released between December 2012 and May 2013, and today it released a new one that covers all requests received between January 1 and June 30.

The company strongly re-iterated that it’s not interested in obtaining or otherwise looking through private user data, and that it is continuing to fight with the government on being even more transparent on what it provides to government requests for that data.

“At the time of this report, the U.S. government does not allow Apple to disclose, except in broad ranges, the number of national security orders, the number of accounts affected by the orders, or whether content, such as emails, was disclosed,” Apple said in its report. “We strongly oppose this gag order, and Apple has made the case for relief from these restrictions in meetings and discussions with the White House, the U.S. Attorney General, congressional leaders, and the courts. Despite our extensive efforts in this area, we do not yet have an agreement that we feel adequately addresses our customers’ right to know how often and under what circumstances we provide data to law enforcement agencies.”

Apple said that, in addition to other large companies, it receives requests for its data from government agencies, but that most of the requests are simply seeking information on stolen or list devices. These are called “device information requests,” and Apple received 3,542 of them in the U.S. 88 percent of the device requests resulted in Apple sharing some sort of data to the government.

Other “account requests,” which are a “small fraction” of all requests, Apple says, are for information related to iCloud, iTunes and Game Center accounts. In the United States, Apple received between 1,000 and 2,000 account information requests, and disclosed data on between 0 and 1,000 of them. The company did not, perhaps under the government “gag” order it refers to, reveal the percentage of requests that resulted in some data being disclosed to the government, Apple said.

Apple also reiterated that it encrypts data that passes through users for iMessage and FaceTime, and that it doesn’t store any location data, Siri voice searches or location-based map searches.

For more information on Apple’s requests, particularly from governments around the globe, hit up the source link below.

Apple (PDF)

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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