Apple on Monday released an updated report regarding the number of National Security Orders (NSO) that were received by it in the first half of 2013. According to the report, Apple received less than 250 such orders from national security and law enforcement agencies.
The report comes in the wake of the recent speech by US president Barrack Obama on NSA reform and the joint statement issued by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. With the new agreement, the government is set to declassify information will allow companies such as Apple, as well as major telecom carriers to publish transparency reports. This will be done to ensure that subscribers and customers know about the information that is being asked for, and shared.
In the updated document, Apple states that they have been working closely with the White House, the US Attorney General, congressional leaders and the Department of Justice to advocate for greater transparency regarding national security orders that they receive. Another important aspect mentioned in the report is the protection of personal conversations that are had using iMessage and Facetime. The report says that personal conversations are protected using end-to-end encryption and that it doesn’t store location data, Maps searches or Siri requests in any form. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, too had recently reaffirmed the company’s position with regards to handing out data to security organisations saying that he has been pushing for more transparency.
The report now can provide actual, accurate numbers now. Apple, in the report mentions that the law enforcement requests most often relate to criminal investigations. They have also not received any orders for bulk data. Each order is reviewed individually to ensure that it is legally issued and ‘as narrowly tailored as possible’. The report also mentions the guidelines for the NSLs (National Security Letters) and the manner in which Apple is required to submit information for it. The report itself, has data encompassed from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013.
Following are the details of the report:
Total National Security Orders
Accounts affected: 0-249
Account Information Request
Total Number of Law Enforcement Account requests received: 927
Number of accounts specified in requests: 2330
Number of accounts for which data was disclosed: 747
Number of account requests where Apple objected: 102
Number of account requests where no data was disclosed: 254
Number of account requests where non-content data was disclosed: 601
Number of account requests where some data was disclosed: 71
Percentage of account requests where some data was disclosed: 81