Apple: ‘Report on Government Information Requests’ (PDF)

Interesting information, and glad to see Apple publishing it. Looks like they reject many requests for customer information.

This bit jumped out to me on the first page:

Perhaps most important, our business does not depend on collecting personal data. We have no interest in amassing personal information about our customers. 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.

Also interesting: the U.S. government only permits Apple to report account-based requests in increments of 1000. Update: And here’s Apple’s amicus brief with the U.S. FISA court, arguing to allow the disclosure of the exact aggregate number of national security requests. A rare dispute these days where Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all on the same side.

Update 2: Another interesting nugget: “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.” The ACLU has a good rundown on the odious nature of Section 215. If Apple had been served with an order under Section 215, they would not be permitted even to say that they’d received it. So the clever bit here is that if such a statement (that Apple has not received any orders under Section 215) does not appear in a future version of this report from the company, we can assume that they have been served with such an order.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013