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Apple issues public report detailing government information requests, reveals efforts to increase...

post #1 of 17
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Apple Tuesday afternoon issued a public report detailing the number and types of requests it receives from governments around the world for information regarding individual users or devices, while also expressing concerns that the U.S. government prevents it from disclosing more data in the interest of public transparency.

Apple government request report


The new report, titled Report on Government Information Requests, is available in PDF form from Apple's website. The company said it considers it a responsibility to provide its users "the best privacy protections available," and that the report has been filed in the "interest of transparency for our customers around the world."

The report kicks off by assuring customers that their privacy is "a consideration from the earliest stages of design" for all of the company's products. It highlights security solutions such as Find My iPhone and Touch ID as "innovative" offerings that aid in convenience and security.Apple receives far more information requests from the U.S. government than any other government. The company is also prevented from giving exact figures on those requests by the government -- a policy Apple has lobbied against.

In a thinly veiled stab at competitor Google, Apple notes that its business model "does not depend on collecting personal data."

"We have no interest in amassing personal information about our customers," the report reads. "We protect personal conversations by providing end-to-end encryption over iMessage and FaceTime. We do not store location data, Maps searches, or Siri requests in any identifiable form."

The company also revealed that the U.S. government prevents Apple from disclosing the exact number of national security orders, and the number of accounts affected by such orders.

"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," the report states. "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."



In line with these comments, Apple's report includes a chart disclosing the exact number of account information requests it has received from governments across the world, except for the U.S., where such requests are presented in a wide range of numbers. Even within those ranges, the amount of requests from the U.S. government well exceed those of other governments: While Apple has received between 1,000 and 2,000 law enforcement requests in the U.S., the next-closes international government is the U.K. with just 127.

The U..S. government also leads the way in device information requests from Apple, with 3,542 total tracked by the company. That was well ahead of Germany, which came in second with 2,156 requests, while Singapore came in third with 1,498.

Apple was also prompted to make a rare public comment on customer privacy in June of this year in the wake of reports about the U.S. National Security Agency "Prism" surveillance program. Since then, even more information about alleged government spying has come to light.

Apple said back in June that the company has "never heard of Prism," and that the iPhone maker has not provided "any government agency with direct access" to its servers.
post #2 of 17
Quote: From the PDF
 Unlike many other companies dealing with requests for customer data from government agencies, Apple’s main business is not about collecting information.

Who could they possibly be referring to here...hmm?

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #3 of 17
Just read the report. It is my impression that Apple did this to show how much different our (US) policies are versus those of other countries.

Also of note, the last line of the report before the Glossary reads, "Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge such an order if served on us."
post #4 of 17
Dear NSA, CIA et al, as you can see from the report of Data requests by your agency, I would surmise to say that almost none of them are for TERRORISM as you always claim it is for, when most of those countries are allies or business partners.

Why is Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia not on the list if that is where the 'evil doer' terrorists are?

Looks to me like this is business as usual nit protecting the US citizenry
post #5 of 17

Kudos to Apple for being as transparent as possible on this - but of course one has to paraphrase Phil Schiller: 

 

"Land of the free" MY ASS.

iMac Intel 27" Core i7 3.4, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD + 1TB HD + 4TB RAID 1+0, Nuforce Icon HDP, OS X 10.9.1; iPad Air 64GB; iPhone 5 32GB; iPod Classic; iPod Nano 4G; Apple TV 2.
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iMac Intel 27" Core i7 3.4, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD + 1TB HD + 4TB RAID 1+0, Nuforce Icon HDP, OS X 10.9.1; iPad Air 64GB; iPhone 5 32GB; iPod Classic; iPod Nano 4G; Apple TV 2.
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satch99 View Post

Dear NSA, CIA et al, as you can see from the report of Data requests by your agency, I would surmise to say that almost none of them are for TERRORISM as you always claim it is for, when most of those countries are allies or business partners.

Why is Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia not on the list if that is where the 'evil doer' terrorists are?

Looks to me like this is business as usual nit protecting the US citizenry

 

The list is of the countries asking for data. All the terrorist-hunting requests would be included in the US listing.

post #7 of 17
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Shame what the US has become.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Who could they possibly be referring to here...hmm?

Facebook and Google.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 17
I know this is not only tied to iphones, but I expect most is. If you look at general numbers, there are about twice as many iPhones in the US as in Europe, and if you total up all the European countries on the list you get about 600 requests.

if you assume the U.S. number is 1500 (half way between the 1000 and 2000) then on a per device level the US and Europe are very close (1500 to 1200 if you double the Europe number)

Comparing the US number to the UK number is not really valid (even based on straight population, the US is 5 times the UK)
post #10 of 17

Spying for the current economic war ( a war the USA could lose in the near future, if European leaders do get wiser than the 21 century tea party fools ), not much about terrorism.

 

Almost every country spy on other.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Shame what the US has become.

 

 

Since when?

When it was the so called communist, the anti Vietnam war activists, the Black Panther activists, who cared?

 

Now it is a big thing?

 

There is not much difference between the West propaganda ( lazy journalists: CNN, BBC etc... ) and the North Korea´s Communist party brain wash.

post #12 of 17

Not to be too political but I can't help not be when commenting about this article...

 

I used to LOVE this country and stand behind our Government...for which it stands...100%. I still love my country but am really beginning not to like how our Government isn't being very transparent....like we were all promised leading up to the election in 2008.

 

Looks like our transparent Government isn't allowing Apple to be transparent with their reporting of U.S. data specifics. I'm glad this bothers Apple. What makes the U.S. Government any different than all the other countries that willfully provided specifics?

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You talkin' to me?
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post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommentPerson View Post

I know this is not only tied to iphones, but I expect most is. If you look at general numbers, there are about twice as many iPhones in the US as in Europe, and if you total up all the European countries on the list you get about 600 requests.

if you assume the U.S. number is 1500 (half way between the 1000 and 2000) then on a per device level the US and Europe are very close (1500 to 1200 if you double the Europe number)

Comparing the US number to the UK number is not really valid (even based on straight population, the US is 5 times the UK)

This.

I do though think it's silly of the US authorities not to allow companies to state the exact number of requests. No other country seems to have a problem with doing that. What exactly do the US authorities gain by not having the exact number released?
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #14 of 17
I would be curious to see how many of these are from federal agencies, who focus on white collar crime and terrorism, and state governments, which investigate anything from murders to theft of iPhones. Cell phone exploitation is big business, and it often has nothing to do with the NSA.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Shame what the US has become.

"Last thing to talk about, before end of discussion
I heard power corrupts, no it just shows our corruption
But power's really a blessing, to meet it, to resurrection"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g7ydLH5Uvo

-- Trip Lee - Heart Problem

W. Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in physics, said that all scientific methods fail when questions of origin are involved.


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

http://www.answersingenesis.org...

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W. Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in physics, said that all scientific methods fail when questions of origin are involved.


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

http://www.answersingenesis.org...

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post #16 of 17

The Germany one is pretty funny, Apple received 93 requests and objected 86 times.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

I would be curious to see how many of these are from federal agencies, who focus on white collar crime and terrorism, and state governments, which investigate anything from murders to theft of iPhones. Cell phone exploitation is big business, and it often has nothing to do with the NSA.

 

This.

 

My brother in law is a cop in a suburban town, and he says it's pretty routine to request access to Facebook, Google, etc during an investigation in cases involving suicide, pedophiles, un-solved murders, etc. 

 

I wonder/assume if these count when they're tallying up the number of government requests.

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