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Apple Issues First Transparency Report 93

Trailrunner7 writes "In a new report (PDF) detailing the number and kind of requests for user information it's gotten from various governments, Apple said it has never received a request for information under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and would likely fight one if it ever came. The company also disclosed that it has received between 1,000 and 2,000 requests for user data from the United States government since January, but it's not clear how many of those requests it complied with because of the restrictions the U.S. government places on how companies can report this data. Right now, companies such as Apple, Google and others that issue so-called transparency reports are only allowed to report the volume of requests they get in increments of 1,000. So Apple's report shows that although it received 1,000-2,000 requests for user data so far in 2013, the number that it complied with is listed as 0-1,000. Apple, along with a number of other companies, including Google and Microsoft, have asked the government in recent months for permission to disclose more specific numbers of requests, including specific numbers of National Security Letters."
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Apple Issues First Transparency Report

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  • Re:Clear as mud (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kalriath ( 849904 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @07:24PM (#45340867)

    Try actually reading the summary. Legally, they can only report the number in increments of 1000. So 0-1000 means "somewhere between 0 and 1000 but we can't legally tell you how many".

    They know down to the decimal, guaranteed (they bill for the requests at the very least).

  • by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @07:31PM (#45340917) Homepage Journal

    >I buy that as much as I buy Apple products.

    I do. Big corporations don't lie when they make simple statements like that. It's not the way they operate.
    It would be rather useful if all organizations for which this was true would make such a statement. Then we could work out who did get the mandatory anal probe.

  • by faffod ( 905810 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @08:48PM (#45341443)
    Section 215 includes the lovely clause that you are not allow to mention that you have received one. The fact that Apple is saying they haven't in interesting because if they stop saying there is a very clear inference that can be drawn. Think of it as a canary - when you see that line dropped in subsequent reports you can assume Apple has received one, even though they won't be able to say so.
  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @10:27PM (#45341997) Homepage Journal

    I do. Big corporations don't lie when they make simple statements like that. It's not the way they operate.

    Even more, the executives of shareholder-owned companies have rather strong legal requirements to be honest in statements to shareholders, which public statements are. Public falsehoods can send execs to prison. Barring some element of the law that can allow the US government to authorize (or require) them to lie, they legally can't. And, AFAIK, there is no such law. The government can gag them, but not force them to lie.

A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two. -- Seneca