Apple sees steep increase in U.S. national security requests

“Apple Inc on Friday issued its twice yearly transparency report on government data requests, showing another sharp increase in U.S. national security-related requests,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters.

“Apple said it received as many as 16,249 national security requests affecting up to 8,249 accounts during the second half of 2017. The number of requests rose 20 percent compared with the first half of 2017, when Apple received 13,499 such requests,” Nellis reports. “But the most recent figures are more than two-and-a-half times higher than the comparable period a year earlier, when Apple received only 5,999 such requests.”

“Other tech firms also experienced a jump in national security request between the second half of 2016 and the first half of 2017. National security requests to Alphabet Inc’s Google rose 36 percent, to almost 51,000. Similar requests to Facebook Inc nearly doubled, to almost 27,000,” Nellis reports. “Apple also said on Friday that it would start reporting requests from governments to take down apps from its App Store… Apple’s new tracking of app takedown requests starts on July 1, so the data will begin to appear starting one year from now.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s report on government requests is located here.

Interns: The three-day holiday weekend starts now! Tap away!

Cheers, everyone!

9 Comments

  1. Just in time for THIS revelation:

    FBI exaggerated the number of phones it can’t unlock by up to 550 percent
    FBI’s case for weakening encryption suffers blow as agency admits math error.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation has repeatedly claimed that it was unable to access data on nearly 7,800 encrypted devices in fiscal 2017, but the FBI now admits the number is far lower. In reality, there were just 1,000 to 2,000 devices that the FBI couldn’t unlock last year, The Washington Post reported yesterday….

    “In April 2016, the FBI implemented a new collection methodology, which gathered data from three separate databases maintained by the FBI’s Operational Technology Division (OTD). The FBI relied upon information from these databases to publicly report that approximately 7,775 devices could not be accessed in Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 2017), despite the FBI having the legal authority to do so. However, the FBI recently became aware of flaws with the methodology implemented in April 2016, and has determined the previously reported FY 2017 statistics are incorrect. The FBI’s initial assessment is that programming errors resulted in significant over-counting of mobile devices reported through OTD’s databases. The FBI is currently conducting an in-depth review of how this over- counting previously occurred, and how the methodology can be corrected to capture future data accurately.”

    (o_0) Thus my hashtag: #MyStupidGovernment. But to be candid, I did post #MySmartGovernment regarding the Secure Data Act currently being considered in the US Congress. It’s not all stupid. Just most of it. Violations of our Fourth and Fifth Amendments are profoundly stupid.

    1. So, FY2017’s data was many times higher than reality due to a new methodology. And the obvious question is what about FY2016’s data, and if that was correct, since it didn’t use the flawed new methodology, then why didn’t anyone ask the obvious question of, why has the number QUINTUPLED?

      1. They did ask the question. The answer was that a programmer wrote a routine to total all the locked phones in multiple databases and he forgot to have the routine check for duplicate entries. Stupid but not sinister.

  2. Hmmm…let’s see…nope…nothing sinister at all. It’s all hunky-dory apparently. I don’t think there has ever been a more stable world with so little controversy. Amazing really.

    1. T. Cook’s SJ-Warriorism is a blight to me. CEO’s focus should be zeroed in on the biz. On the other hand, TC’s stated commitment to user’s security and privacy, I embrace wholeheartedly. I’m of the belief that if security and privacy were the ONLY factors separating Apple from the rest, Apple would be the victor.
      With this in mind, TC should not relent, not abate, not become “flexible” to demands to give “security/law” experts access to Apple technology. In this realm, I encourage his SJ-Warriorism. May he become battle ready and tested and make Apple the only safe tech refuge (as safe as safe can be).

  3. Read about the astounding growth and extraordinary expansion of the National Security Letters:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_security_letter

    A snippet: “The oldest NSL provisions were created in 1978 (Under Jimmy Carter) as a little-used investigative tool in terrorism and espionage investigations to obtain financial records.”

    If you hate big government, you should hate the NSL, not some woman with kids on food stamps.

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