Apple details government information requests for first time

Wed Nov 6, 2013 6:06am IST

The Yerba Buena Centre hosts an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

The Yerba Buena Centre hosts an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

Related Topics

Stocks

   

REUTERS - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Tuesday disclosed the number of information requests it received from governments around the world, making it one of the last big tech companies to do so in the wake of the controversy over data collection by U.S. national security agencies.

In its report, which follows similar disclosures from Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Google Inc (GOOG.O), Facebook Inc (FB.O) and others, Apple signaled its opposition to U.S. government strictures on the type of data it is allowed to report, and called for more transparency in the process.

From January 1 to June 30 this year, Apple said it received between 1,000 and 2,000 account information requests from U.S. law enforcement bodies, affecting between 2,000 and 3,000 Apple accounts. It said it disclosed data on zero to 1,000 accounts.

Apple, along with other technology companies, is allowed only to report such numbers in increments of 1,000 and must combine law enforcement and national security requests, making it impossible to know exactly how many are security-related.

The company registered its opposition to those strictures on Tuesday.

"We feel strongly that the government should lift the gag order and permit companies to disclose complete and accurate numbers regarding FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act)requests and National Security Letters," Apple said in its report. "We will continue to aggressively pursue our ability to be more transparent."

Microsoft, Google and other tech companies are challenging the U.S. Department of Justice's stance on restricting the disclosure of FISA court orders, so far with no success.

Apple said on Tuesday it filed a letter with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court supporting a group of cases requesting greater transparency.

Tech companies are keen to push for, or at least be seen to be pushing for, transparency in their dealings with U.S. intelligence agencies. Revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have suggested they allowed the NSA direct access to servers containing customer data, an allegation they deny. (Reporting by Bill Rigby. Editing by Andre Grenon)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Reuters Showcase

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Google bolsters artificial intelligence efforts, partners with Oxford.  Full Article 

Addressing Concerns

Addressing Concerns

China's Xiaomi shifts some smartphone user data out of Beijing on privacy concerns.  Full Article 

New Email Service

New Email Service

Google launches new email service dubbed "Inbox".  Full Article 

Apple-1 Auction

Apple-1 Auction

Early Apple computer sells for $905,000 at auction.  Full Article 

No More Nokia

No More Nokia

Microsoft looks set to drop Nokia name from smartphones.  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

Apple ponders sapphire options, leaves door open for GT.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage