Apple Publishes Report Outlining Government Information Requests

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    Apple today published a Report on Government Information Requests [PDF], outlining statistics on government and law enforcement requests it has received seeking information about individual users or devices from January to the end of June.
    In the report, Apple specifies that it has "no interest in collecting customer data" and details the number of law enforcement requests that it has received, the number of accounts specified within the requests, the number of accounts that Apple supplied data for, and the number of requests Apple objected to.

    According to the data, Apple received 3,542 device information requests, for 8,605 devices. Apple provided data for 88 percent or 3,110 of those requests. The company also received between 1,000 and 2,000 requests for account information for 2,000 to 3,000 accounts, but is unable to disclose the information that it provided. Apple also provided information for law enforcement agencies in a number of other countries.

    [​IMG]
    Click for Full Size
    Apple reports that it has published all of the information that it is legally allowed to share, which does not include the number of national security orders, the number of accounts affected by orders, or the content disclosed. Apple notes that it is continuing to seek greater transparency in government, to attempt to provide better privacy disclosures to customers.

    Apple's disclosures come following news of a top secret intelligence data gathering program called 'PRISM', which was revealed in June. A number of tech companies, including Apple, were accused of providing the government with direct access to user data.

    In response, Apple published a statement of "Commitment to Customer Privacy" denying its participation in PRISM and teamed up with a number of tech companies to form an alliance requesting greater NSA surveillance transparency, allowing it to provide customers with regular reports on security related requests.

    Apple and other companies also met with President Obama in August to discuss privacy issues and government surveillance. Most recently, Apple and 30 other technology corporations signed a letter urging the U.S. Congress to pass the Surveillance Order Reporting Act of 2013 and the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013, which would result in increased surveillance disclosures and would give technology companies the right to publish detailed statistics on demands for user data.

    Update: As noted by FOSS Patents, Apple has also filed an Amicus brief with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in support of a group of cases (filed by Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and LinkedIn) requesting greater transparency. "The Court should declare that the providers have a right to disclose accurate information about the number of national security requests received and the number of user accounts affected," reads the brief.

    TechCrunch also notes that Apple has cleverly specified in the report that it has not "received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act" and would "expect to challenge" such an order if served. If the section 215 disclosure disappears from future privacy reports, it will potentially serve as a "warrant canary" indication that Apple did indeed receive an order under section 215.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Apple Publishes Report Outlining Government Information Requests
     
  2. Amacfa macrumors 65816

    Amacfa

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    D.C.
  3. sigma8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #3
    Gotta love how the United States figures are a vague "0-1000". Maybe none, maybe 5. Maybe 1000. Can't really say.

    I live in such a transparent place. Go go government.
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    If you really didn't have freedom, you wouldn't have the opportunity to say you didn't have freedom. ;)
     
  5. bpcookson macrumors 6502

    bpcookson

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Location:
    MA
  6. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    #6
    ^^This and the fact that that graph doesn't show the percentage for the U.S.
     
  7. WAM2 macrumors 6502a

    WAM2

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    soooooooo.. what the hell does 0-1000 mean?

    Sounds like a coverup. They may have given them nothing, or it all.

    All the other countries have detailed information, then the US is just a range of data??? Come on now.
     
  8. Branskins macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #8
    Are there legal reasons?
     
  9. WAM2 macrumors 6502a

    WAM2

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #9

    Theres nothing in the law detailing a company can't give its paying customers numbers on what and when things are being requested and collected on them, it's nonsense really.

    EDIT: Judging by the Chart, Apple really does give up the information being voluntarily. If it were my company, with just a powerful base of customers and influences and money, I would give nothing to anyone for whatever reason, just so my customers knew they could put their trust in Apple. No company has to give any stored data of anything to anyone, anywhere, unless there is a Judge demanding it, which is why the less data even collected the better, as whatever could be given up is useless.
     
  10. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #10
    That's the joy of the secret subpoenas that are "National Security Letters". They can't even acknowledge individual ones, so they have to generalize. It would have been nice if they had at least rounded to the "hundreds", and called out '0' explicitely. (So instead of "0-1000", it would be either "0", or "1-100", or "101-200", etc.)
     
  11. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #11
    Without privacy, there can be no freedom - and the American government is taking away that privacy from the entire population of the world. Just ask yourself how free you would feel if the NSA installed microphones and video cameras in your house - because that is exactly what they are doing behind their smoke screen.
     
  12. jonAppleSeed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    #12
    The best prisons, are built without bars
     
  13. WAM2 macrumors 6502a

    WAM2

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #13
    If anyone or anything was a threat to the US, giving out a chart detailing numbers on data collection, would help that threat in no way. So you can bet if Apple refused to give any data, until a court order came in, they are not going to be held responsible for anything. Collection shouldn't be happening on anyone that is living in the United States. If they suspect a threat, then investigate it on a small basis, instead of affecting thousands, millions of people who follow the law and love their country. It's a stab in the back. US infrastructure according to all the latest hacks, breaches, and glitches, proves that they are not even trustable with all the information they have collected. Personally I believe if they can't even handle running a website (healthcare.gov) what the hell kind of risk do you think all that data is at?
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #14
    Yes, yes there is. Look up "National Security Letters". The US Federal Government has a subpoena process where the target of the subpoena can't acknowledge the request was made at all. They can't tell the subject of the subpoena (the individual Apple customer whose personal information was requested,) they can't tell *ANYONE*. They can't even acknowledge that they have received one of these letters.

    The process for appealing these is very secretive, and it is extremely difficult to get permission to even acknowledge you have received such a letter - much less any actual detail about it.

    See the uproar over Lavabit - it took them over two months of extreme pressure by their lawyers to get permission to acknowledge that they had gotten one of these requests. And most likely, the only reason they got permission to publish was because they chose to shut down their company rather than comply with the request. That shut down (which, at the time, they could not comment why they had shut down,) got a lot of press. Everyone assumed it was because of a "secret subpoena", so it did no harm to acknowledge it. (In the end, even though they shut down their company, they still had to comply with the request, despite many efforts to avoid it.)
     
  15. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #15
    It's not a coverup by Apple, they are required by laws not to disclose anything related to the NSA stuff, regardless of what has been revealed so far.

    They've been pushing the courts and the congress to reform the laws, so that Apple can provide detailed information.

    As for now, this report is all they can legally give without getting pounded by the federal government.
     
  16. 50548 Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Currently in Switzerland
    #16
    Kudos to Apple for being as transparent as possible on this - but of course one has to paraphrase Phil Schiller, given that the only "obscure" exception in that report is the USG's "data":

    "Land of the free" MY ASS.

    Now where is Ron Paul when we need him?
     
  17. unobtainium macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    #17
    Thank you for making an informed post. Most of these replies are incredibly naive.
     
  18. Angra-mainju macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Belarus - Like the government cares to ask
    San Marino - 30k population lol?
    Poland - 0 - I love my country haha
     
  19. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #19
    Yea, the freedom to do as your told. There are prison camps all over the country for those who though otherwise.
     
  20. WAM2 macrumors 6502a

    WAM2

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #20
    A company as big as Apple has nothing to worry about, I get they want to follow the rules. But "National Security Letters" are not even constitutional. Any business or person in the United States (legally of course), has the right to free speech, under all circumstances, and the government can't say otherwise no matter what, the constitution is there to keep the government from doing things like that, and ultimately the constitution is the law, period.
     
  21. macaddict06 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    about 3 meters from here. *points*
    #21
    Wrong Percentages?

    Did anyone else find it odd that the "% of account requests where SOME data was [sic] disclosed" is equal to the "Number of account requests where NO data was disclosed" divided by "Total number of law enforcement account requests received"?

    This seems to imply that when Apple says "for this % of cases NO data were disclosed" they ACTUALLY mean "For this % of cases data WERE disclosed".
     
  22. iLondoner macrumors 6502

    iLondoner

    #22
    I thought at first that the number of requests outside of the USA were quite low, however when you add them up it only comes to 719 plus 1000-2000 for the US. Where are all the others?
     
  23. mdelvecchio macrumors 68040

    mdelvecchio

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #23
    where did he say he didnt have freedom? the post you replied to was clear -- the US government is not very transparent.
     
  24. SoGood macrumors 6502

    SoGood

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    #24
    WT with all those US numbers!

    What kind of Govt is that? More requests and more secrecy than Russia and China? Eye opener!
     
  25. sigma8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #25
    Well, nobody is truly free. Financial, biological, and legal restraints abound even in the most permissive situations. The question is: does my government allow me more self-determination than other governments? And I guess the answer is 0-1000.
     

Share This Page