Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Details US Requests For Customer Data

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the give-me-a-number dept.

Privacy 116

An anonymous reader writes "Not to be left out Apple has released details about government requests for customer data. The company said it received between 4,000-5,000 government requests, affecting as many as 10,000 accounts or devices. From the article: 'The iPad maker said that it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement agencies for customer data from December 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, and that 9,000 to 10,000 accounts or devices were specified in the requests. Apple did not state how many of the requests were from the National Security Agency or how many affected accounts or devices may have been tied to any NSA requests.' Facebook and Microsoft released their numbers this weekend."

cancel ×

116 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Just keep calm, nothing to see here (4, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year ago | (#44029619)

Just keep shopping America, pay no attention to the camera over your shoulder. I mean if you don't have anything to hide, you have nothing to fear.

Less complaining, more fixing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44029731)

It's easy to criticize the status quo. It's harder to work on a long-term solution [metagovernment.org] . But the fact is, we won't be able to control the rise in totalitarianism in government if we continue to cede our control of the government itself.

Re:Less complaining, more fixing (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#44031025)

Theres not much help when even anti-authoritarian communities like slashdot are willing to submit to "think of the children arguments" when it comes to the 2nd amendment and 5th amendment [slashdot.org] .

Or are the folks advocating their abolition truly the minority on here? I certainly hope so.

Re:Less complaining, more fixing (1, Troll)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#44032029)

Slashdot is not anti-authoritarian. Majority of slashdot posters, and certainly modders are liberal, which is as authoritarian as it gets.

Re:Less complaining, more fixing (2)

spazdor (902907) | about a year ago | (#44032649)

You must not have been around for very long. It gets much more authoritarian than that.

Re:Just keep calm, nothing to see here (1)

number17 (952777) | about a year ago | (#44030755)

And yet walking around naked will get you thrown in jail.

Re:Just keep calm, nothing to see here (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | about a year ago | (#44031641)

All your records are belong to us

Patent pending (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44029635)

Apple's just doing this so they can patent the process of going public so they can start suing other companies that come out for royalties.

Shocked I am not. (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#44029811)

The Government is doing what we said they could (and in some cases insisted) do. Not sure why everyone is acting so shocked.

Re:Shocked I am not. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44029991)

Because not all of us want to be under someones boot like you. Can't stand a government a$$ kisser.

Re:Shocked I am not. (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#44030089)

Just because I'm not shocked they're doing what we said they could do does not mean I like it. However the time to raise objections was when the laws where passed. We can't really get mad that they are following the laws we let pass. Now if you want to talk about overturning the laws, that would be a constructive discussion. But getting mad about the NSA watching us after the Patriot Act etc passed is just silly.

Re:Shocked I am not. (5, Insightful)

x_t0ken_407 (2716535) | about a year ago | (#44030227)

So if we did not want to the Patriot Act to be passed in the first place, according to you it's "silly" to continue being mad that it was passed? And now that the [pacified] public realizes the extent that the unconstitutional law is being used, those who were against the law from the beginning are "silly" to try to capitalize on said realization? If some of us have objected to the law since it was passed, should we not now continue objecting to it, because it would be "silly"? Flawed logic, imo.

Perhaps you meant "those who idly watched as the Patriot Act was passed are silly to be mad about the current events"? Not everyone who posts here "idly watched"...your post makes the incorrect assumption that everyone did -- apparently by the fact that the Patriot Act still remains active. Just because it remains active does not mean that there was a minority of those who were against it.

Re:Shocked I am not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030243)

You are ill-informed. All of these powers are specifically based on a secret interpretation of the Patriot Act. Not the actual law itself. Even one of the authors of the act clarified that he did not write it to be interpreted that way. So yes people should be getting mad because the way that the law was interpreted in secret with no clarification.

Re:Shocked I am not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030741)

And yet, we were screaming at the top of our lungs to stop it from passing because we knew it would be used for just this purpose. The authors couldn't see how it was going to be perverted, even in the face of such strong opposition? Bullshit... they are complicit; they're upset not that it happened, but that it came to light.

Captcha: wiretaps. Touche, Slashdot...

Re:Shocked I am not. (1)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#44031099)

The Patriot Act is a very bad piece of legislation passed in a very rushed manner and yes certainly more people should have spoken out about this earlier but nonetheless, no act of Congress has authority to over-ride the Constitution, and any law that purports to, e.g. over-rule the 4th Amendment is null and void on its face. So no, I dont think it's silly at all.

Re:Shocked I am not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030127)

*We* didn't say that the NSA could spy on americans without a warrant. The FISA court did, under their own secret interpretations of patriot 215 and FISA 207, which were only passed after 9/11.

It's new, it touches every american regardless of whether or not they're suspected of wrongdoing, and it's unconstitutional.

these are "normal" warrants that we knew about alr (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44030743)

The Government is doing what we said they could (and in some cases insisted) do. Not sure why everyone is acting so shocked.

look, these are just the normal warrants. like for robberies, drug dealings and such.

these are not the nsa secret mass warrants, since they're not at liberty to tell about those. but they can try to move the focus to the warrants we already knew all the fucking time about, since they're used in court regularly as evidence.

apple just jumped on this semi-revelations train since others did it too.

Re:these are "normal" warrants that we knew about (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#44031971)

look, these are just the normal warrants. like for robberies, drug dealings and such.

these are not the nsa secret mass warrants, since they're not at liberty to tell about those.

My interpretation is this: Apple (and probably Microsoft, Google, etc. ) have got permission not to tell us how many "secret" warrants they received, but how many warrants in total - secret and the "normal" ones. I suppose they won't be allowed to give the number of "normal" warrants anymore. So if they say "about 5,000" that could be 10 normal and 4,990 super secret, or 4,999 normal and 1 super secret warrant, we don't know. If you define "mass warrants" as "more than 10,000" then there were no "secret nsa mass warrants" to Apple.

Re:Shocked I am not. (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about a year ago | (#44030831)

If you demand security by all means, means will be tried that take away other things. So demand rights AND security. It's incorrect that we can't have both (as Bruce Schneier has iterated for the last 15 years).

Tech industry is not the problem, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44029841)

The problem is not technical at all, we have secret courts that account to no one, and have no public records - these are referred to as FISA courts but they could also be called Kangaroo Courts.

The second issue is the national security letters that companies like Apple, MS, Google and Yahoo receive - they cant even acknowledge that they got the damn letter! how re they then supposed to be upfront with their customers about what they hand over?

The problem is really that the judicial and legislative branches have given the executive too much power, and this isn't a Red vs Blue thing, Bush was bad, Obama is bad, and whoever is next will be as bad or worse unless we fundamentally change things bacl to the way they were structured under the Constitution/.

Re: Tech industry is not the problem, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030129)

Dear Citizen,
Be thankful that we told you that secret programs and the FISA court even exists.

Wave to the cameras,
Your Overreaching Overlords

Not the big problem (1)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#44030839)

The big problem here is that the watchers entrusted with enforcing the laws have set themselves above the laws. Not exactly news but with more confirmation coming out every day more and more people are becoming aware.

But there are technical problems. Our technical systems (computers and the internet) are very poorly designed. I have been saying this since the 80s but everyone was focused on making something happen now, instead of designing it right so it would continue to work in the future. So we have computers that are impossible to secure, communicating over network protocols where encryption is an afterthought, if that. And a mass of Septemberizens online reliant on extremely poorly designed browsers that will happily run code from any random server that they see a reference to. None of these technical problems are 'the problem' here but they certainly contribute to it, by making it absurdly easy for this spying to be performed, by the US government or anyone else.

just FYI (4, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44029921)

11 people were killed by toddlers accidentally firing guns in 2013 and 4 by terrorists on US soil.
Another fun fact, terrorists don't tend to post giant posts on public areas like Facebook, Twitter, or Verizon text message with giant keywords like "nuclear bomb" and "terrorist attack" nor do they do it on the internet or a blog.

Re:just FYI (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44029981)

4 by terrorists on US soil.

The programs are working!

Re:just FYI (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#44030639)

Actually, my magic rock is what's helped to reduce the amount of terrorism in the U.S.. But, I'm afraid its magic is running out due to lack of finding. Perhaps you'd like to help fund my magic rock that keeps terrorists away? The government uses magic rocks too, but they toss in governmental jargon and slap acronyms on them to make it less obvious.

Re:just FYI (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44030723)

You should start a White House Petition to fund your magic rock. Mine has permanent magic that keeps the Earth from flying off into space.

Re:just FYI (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031821)

The programs are working!

No, they're not. There are toddlers out there who are killing Americans at a rate even greater than the terrorist themselves!

It's long past time we declared a war on toddlers and do something save American lives. Think of the children damn it!

Re:just FYI (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44032033)

Guns don't kill people, toddlers kill people.

Re:just FYI (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44030023)

Another fun fact, terrorists don't tend to post giant posts on public areas like Facebook, Twitter, or Verizon text message with giant keywords like "nuclear bomb" and "terrorist attack" nor do they do it on the internet or a blog.

So by saying "nuclear bomb" and "terrorist attack" on a forum like Slashdot, by your logic, I've just been flagged as a non-terrorist?

For your information, I use nuclear bombs all the time in Starcraft II. Godamn zergs.

Re:just FYI (1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44030177)

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/ss-130415-boston-bombing-tease.photoblog600.jpg [msn.com]

Yeah, that guy didn't die, because people saved his life (and many others) it wasn't because of lack of trying by the terrorists.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/specials/boston_marathon_bombing_victim_list/ [boston.com]

There is nothing like trying to minimalize tragedy to make a political point. You make me sick.

Re:just FYI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030465)

The point (and it's a good one), is that we freak out disproportionately over things that scare us, like terrorism, and yawn at the things that kill many more people and are much more preventable (like children with guns).

We do more damage to our society with overreaction than the actual deaths and woundings by the attacks.

But all this is too complicated for your widdle bwain, so just repeat after me;
Baaa! Baaa! Baaa!

You scare the shit out of me.

Re:just FYI (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44031725)

I get the point. I agree that we tend to freak out about loud noises (guns) and horrific acts (9/11, Boston) and over state their over all significance. More people are killed by clubs and bats than rifles, yet we are more scared of rifles, because they are "scary, loud", and not because people die. If people were concerned with people dying, we'd ban "assault bats".

But saying "only 4 people died" minimizes the tragedy. It flat out ignores the impact on other people, as if they don't matter at all. And equating the impact of terrorism with kids and guns, without considering all the people affected is ignoring facts to suit an agenda. AND that is just sick.

Re:just FYI (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year ago | (#44032081)

More people are killed by clubs and bats than rifles, yet we are more scared of rifles

[citation needed] [snopes.com]

Re:just FYI (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44032621)

citation given

original citation [fbi.gov]

Snopes says "Firearms", I said "Rifles". This is an example of not paying attention to the actual claim.

From the FBI's own statistics ... 323 (Rifles) vs 496 (Blunt Objects) (clubs / hammers).

You do know that SNOPES is not quoting the actual argument correctly now. Perhaps in the future you'll actually refer to what is claimed (rifles) and what SNOPES claims is claimed (all guns).

Re:just FYI (2)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year ago | (#44033327)

citation given

original citation [fbi.gov]

Snopes says "Firearms", I said "Rifles". This is an example of not paying attention to the actual claim.

From the FBI's own statistics ... 323 (Rifles) vs 496 (Blunt Objects) (clubs / hammers).

Hammers are neither clubs nor bats, so even if we ignore the obvious fact that you left out all "accidental" deaths by focusing on murder, "no citation given".

"More people are killed by clubs and bats than rifles" [citation still needed]

Re:just FYI (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44033623)

Now you're being a dickhead. Do you do that with every "statistic" or just ones you don't agree with. I gave the CLEAR example of the source, and my "quote" was meant to be illustrative of the point than actual "citation". But since you can't figure out obviousness of what I meant from the context of the actual citation, it is clear you lack higher level thought and understanding.

Here's one, WHY do liberals support banning "assault rifles*", when they account for so few homicides (subset of 323) ? Same reason they poke fun at Dipshit conservatives that use 9/11 to go after "terrorists" in their "war on terrorism". It has NOTHING to do with actual facts or likelihood of something "bad**" happening.

*Completely Arbitrary distinction based upon "scary looking, scary named" guns?
** You are more likely to die in a car accident than in a terrorist act or gun violence combined. (Google the statistics yourself)

They didn't catch Boston (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030957)

The NY Subway bomber was spotted by policemen, not NSA, the Boston bomber wasn't spotted at all. They're pretending their mass surveillance fixed crimes it didn't.

The constitution is clear, this military coup needs to end, they need to step back within the laws of the land. The judiciary at this point need to assert their controlling role unmask the warrants, and we'll pick apart the REAL story.

Also realize that Vladimir Putin was ex KGB (Russian NSA if you will), rose through the ranks, to a senior level (equivalent to a 4 star general), used the excuse of terrorism to be where his is today, a dictator. He manipulated a country that went from pro-democracy to dictatorship in two presidential cycles.

All it would take at this point is for an NSA General to run for President, with his NSA buddies backing him, and this coup turns from stealth military coup, to all out control. You think the USA can't collapse into a dictatorship, but the founding fathers knew otherwise.

Re:They didn't catch Boston (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44031771)

I am a Libertarian, so guess where I stand on the whole NSA thing. And to go further, they put Boston and surrounds under martial law, for one guy, who was caught by a guy violating martial law and noticed something out of sorts in his backyard. Most of the military police were not even looking in the right place. If he hadn't been shot, they would likely never caught him.

Re:just FYI (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44030203)

11 people were killed by toddlers accidentally firing guns in 2013

Guns are safe! Ban toddlers!

Re:just FYI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031409)

Guns are safe! Ban toddlers!

I would be okay with this.

Re:just FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031571)

There's something to be said for not letting small children have access to deadly weapons. No one ever said guns were safe.... just a necessary evil.

Swords are deadly and very effective too. I wouldn't let my kids play with those either.

Re:just FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031619)

Only an American citizen would say "guns are a necessary evil". You don't see the average Canadian, Australian, European or Japanese joe carrying a gun.

Re:just FYI (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44032101)

Only an American citizen would say "guns are a necessary evil". You don't see the average Canadian, Australian, European or Japanese joe carrying a gun.

Canada has a higher gun ownership rate than the US.

Re:just FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032205)

They're also heavily regulated.

Re:just FYI (1)

spazdor (902907) | about a year ago | (#44032713)

and a far greater percentage of those are hunting rifles and shotguns as opposed to combat rifles and pistols.

Re:just FYI (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44033313)

But what about the toddler rate?

Re:just FYI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031727)

11 people were killed by toddlers accidentally firing guns in 2013

Guns are safe! Ban toddlers!

You'll have to pry this toddler from my cold dead hands

Re:just FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030437)

11 people were killed by toddlers accidentally firing guns in 2013 and 4 by terrorists on US soil.

The only way to stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with a gun.

captch: overtake

Re:just FYI (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year ago | (#44030781)

Bundling bags. They solve all manner of problems.

Re:just FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030773)

And more people die from drunk driving. So ban booze. I don't drink so I don't care about alcoholic products. Alcohol has been characterized as the worse drug ever by medical professionals. Clearly it is a far worse danger than anything else. So we should start there.

See how easy it is to pick on the other person's "hobby"?

Re:just FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032275)

Actually, they are very close to the same, both being around 30-40k per year in the US once you include accidental and intentional deaths on both sides.

It's just plain crazy that it's easier to get a gun in the US than it is to get a driver license.

Re:just FYI (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year ago | (#44031849)

11 people were killed by toddlers accidentally firing guns in 2013 and 4 by terrorists on US soil.

To be fair –most europeans would argue that this is pretty retarded ;)

Just, Shut Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44029969)

Don't question government, go about your daily life. Your role in society was pre-assigned. Don't fight it and you will be much happier.
Some of us are born into Masters.

Again, shut up and go back to your trailer/suburbun park.

Re:Just, Shut Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030307)

Don't question government, go about your daily life. Your role in society was pre-assigned. Don't fight it and you will be much happier.
Some of us are born into Masters.

Again, shut up and go back to your trailer/suburbun park.

You can't even spell correctly.

So why don't you tell us how your life is as a prole, you cum-slurping
piece of subhuman waste ?

Contradiction (2)

joeflies (529536) | about a year ago | (#44029973)

"The most common requests came from police investigating crimes or searching for people". Searching for people would mean that each request would affect one account. 4,000-5,000 requests affecting 10,000 accounts implies that each request touched on average two accounts (a caller and a recipient?). In addition, it doesn't say how much data was slurped out of each request either - is it a particular imessage or a whole dump of all imessage records, or is it tapping all imessages to come?

Re: Contradiction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030189)

TFA also includes Apple's statements about what they don't/can't hand over. Which includes iMessage and FaceTime calls which are encrypted with a key they don't have. And some other data which they don't record in a way that can be split out on a per-user basis to respond to requests like these.

Unless you believe that is a lie of course.

Re:Contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030231)

Read the article. Apple cannot access individual iMessages. They state that rather clearly. Please do try to read beyond just an article summary.

Re:Contradiction (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44030291)

"The most common requests came from police investigating crimes or searching for people". Searching for people would mean that each request would affect one account. 4,000-5,000 requests affecting 10,000 accounts implies that each request touched on average two accounts (a caller and a recipient?). In addition, it doesn't say how much data was slurped out of each request either - is it a particular imessage or a whole dump of all imessage records, or is it tapping all imessages to come?

I would expect for searching for people that you'd want both sides. The lost person's side obviously, but you'd want information on the person who spoke with them to gather details - their location, who they are, their relationship, etc. Because if you're looking for someone, anyone who had contact may have further information. And the lost person's details may have information to their whereabouts - location, etc.

As for what data - all of the above.

Re:Contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030433)

Try reading the actual statement.

"conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data."

Re:Contradiction (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year ago | (#44030791)

conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data.

conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Only the NSA can.

Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44029975)

The US government does not release one bit of actual information about what the NSA is doing... All they keep saying is "nothing to see here, move along" in so many ways.

But the NSA said there were only 300 requests! (3, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44029977)

That can't be right. The NSA said there were fewer than 300 requests total, and they would never lie to us.

Re:But the NSA said there were only 300 requests! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030107)

Well um, it's pretty clear that the total here is for all US law enforcement agencies, so it doesn't contradict the NSA number, really.

Re:But the NSA said there were only 300 requests! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030153)

"I responded in the most honest -- or at least the least dishonest -- way by saying 300"

10 billion budget, 14000 analysts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030621)

So to sum up,

They have a secret budget estimated to be 10 billion, with 4 billion for cyber operations, a datacenter large enough to store all phone calls, and logs of all your internet usage. We know they have recruited 14000 analysts just in the latest expansion, the actual number must be huge.

They've removed the warrant on suspicion of crime, and replaced it with a blanket "everyone's a terrorist suspect so we take everything" and stuck it in a big database. Which is accessed by analysts without warrant.

They denied doing it because that would be illegal
then they said they did it but only meta data
then they admitted it was also voice calls
then they said it needed a warrant, but there's no such warrant in the law for accessing the non-existent database that shouldn't exist in law
now they're saying nobody touches the database anyway, only 300 uses a year

Enough. Repeated flat out lying, under oath.

We know from Boundless Informant leak that they collect 97 billion pieces of data, 3 billion on the USA alone EACH MONTH. That this data isn't covered by the FISA warrant (because Boundless Informant doesn't have security clearance to show the FISA warrant stats, so it only shows the 3 billion pieces collected without the warrant). So that is warrantless snooping.

I don't believe for a minute the database is queried by tens of thousands of analysts 300 times in a year.

That's just another fucking lie from professional liars.

Re:But the NSA said there were only 300 requests! (2)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#44032119)

Right, because there are no government agencies other than the NSA who might have made those requests. Most of those requests were made by local police departments and are related to ordinary crimes, missing persons etc and nothing to do with national security.

Re:But the NSA said there were only 300 requests! (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | about a year ago | (#44034117)

From the Guardian's Edward Snowden Q&A [guardian.co.uk] (definitely worth a read):

Q. What are your thoughts on Google's and Facebook's denials? Do you think that they're honestly in the dark about PRISM, or do you think they're compelled to lie?
Perhaps this is a better question to a lawyer like Greenwald, but: If you're presented with a secret order that you're forbidding to reveal the existence of, what will they actually do if you simply refuse to comply (without revealing the order)?

A: Their denials went through several revisions as it become more and more clear they were misleading and included identical, specific language across companies. As a result of these disclosures and the clout of these companies, we're finally beginning to see more transparency and better details about these programs for the first time since their inception.
        They are legally compelled to comply and maintain their silence in regard to specifics of the program, but that does not comply them from ethical obligation. If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?
[Emphasis mine]

This is Transparency without actual Transparency (4, Insightful)

paulsnx2 (453081) | about a year ago | (#44030063)

Microsoft gave a bit of detail about how this is done:

"We are permitted to publish data on national security orders received (including, if any, FISA Orders and FISA Directives), but only if aggregated with law enforcement requests from all other U.S. local, state and federal law enforcement agencies; only for the six-month period of July 1, 2012 thru December 31, 2012; only if the totals are presented in bands of 1,000; and all Microsoft consumer services had to be reported together."

That way nobody can really tell what these numbers mean...

Re:This is Transparency without actual Transparenc (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about a year ago | (#44032027)

Now they should release detailed data on requests from all other U.S. local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, excluding the FISA/NSA requests.

This wouldn't give any precise numbers, but it would give a better estimate- and no super duper secret information would have been released.

I can tell you what the numbers mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44034229)

The numbers themselves are irrelevant since we now know they have unfettered direct access.
That and the fact that it happens without any effective oversight was supposed to be the scandal.
These numbers are attempts at damage limitation, they are probably not aimed at you and me although we are the recipient but instead by social pressure and "common knowledge" and obfuscated and murky water they're aimed at the public companies who have been subverted/infiltrated/rooted who can now believe that they are masters in their own house (which they are not) and that they have everything in order both juridically and ethically (things they are not privy to have when not in control).

TL;DR read the italics.

System success === system failure.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030119)

It should be made public which accounts are being watched. That way neighbors could look up the new people in the block and keep a closer eye on them, terrorists would leave (knowing they are being watched) and everybody not being watched can live happily judging others. It's like a win-win-win situation basically.

Re:Sunlight is the best disinfectant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031349)

Replace terrorist with communist, or witch, and it's moron-moron-moron all over again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism [wikipedia.org]

Free Publicity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030155)

This is nothing more than a publicity stunt by Apple to jump on the NSA data collecting bandwagon by spouting off useless figures and chanting rah rah. If anything it helps to detract from the real data mining issue at hand.

And how many "special updates" did they push (1)

Marrow (195242) | about a year ago | (#44030159)

To unsuspecting people? The kind of updates that change your device into a traitor.

First claim that iMessage is encrypted end to end (1, Interesting)

sdavid (556770) | about a year ago | (#44030365)

What I find most interesting here is that this is the first time I've seen a claim that iMessage supports end to end encryption. It seems to me that the online consensus was that it probably didn't. Probably time for Apple to provide us a little more detail about how this works, especially if they want us to trust them with password synchronization through the new keychain.

Re:First claim that iMessage is encrypted end to e (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030501)

This is the not the first claim. iMessage/Facetime were stated to be encrypted end-to-end in the iOS security whitepaper that was released in mid-2012.

As a general rule, relying on "online consensus" from people who are not reverse engineers, when attempting to determine how a technical feature works, is foolish.

Re:First claim that iMessage is encrypted end to e (3, Informative)

sdavid (556770) | about a year ago | (#44030713)

This was the discussion on Slashdot: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/04/07/2029233/is-the-dea-lying-about-imessage-security [slashdot.org] Here was Schneier's piece, noting concerns: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/04/apples_imessage.html [schneier.com] I couldn't find the white paper you refer to on Apple's site, though there are references to it elsewhere. This article (with a dead link to the white paper) makes no mention of iMessage, though it does refer to other aspects of iOS security: http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/none/298642-nothing-new-in-apple-s-ios-security-guide [pcmag.com]

Re:First claim that iMessage is encrypted end to e (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032919)

An updated link to the whitepaper: https://www.apple.com/ipad/business/docs/iOS_Security_Oct12.pdf

It contains the sentence "iMessage and FaceTime provide client-to-client encryption as well."

Re:First claim that iMessage is encrypted end to e (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030669)

Trusting the security of regular documents or files in the cloud is foolish, even when behind a password and encryption. Storing and transmitting ones core passwords through the cloud should be unthinkable!

Re:First claim that iMessage is encrypted end to e (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031667)

No remote logins for anyone, anything from anywhere on any protocol!

The iPad Maker (1)

paxprobellum (2521464) | about a year ago | (#44030503)

Why is Apple referred to as 'the iPad Maker'? That's the best description they could come up with?

Re:The iPad Maker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44030801)

Because describing Apple as 'beleaguered' finally wore out.

Re:The iPad Maker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032641)

Why is Apple referred to as 'the iPad Maker'? That's the best description they could come up with?

Indeed. If you're counting on a unit-sales or revenue basis, Apple is "the iPhone maker."

Ads masquerading as news (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about a year ago | (#44030539)

As if we don't know what Apple is, they have to explain that it's "the iPad maker." You'd think that for this particular type of news, "the iPhone maker" would be more appropriate, albeit still unnecessary. Why would they do that? Oh wait, "iPad" is a link to their own iPad reviews. Fuck you, cnet!

Bang for your buck (1)

zmaragdus (1686342) | about a year ago | (#44030695)

So, if the NSA is working so hard to fight terrorism by violating our rights, why couldn't the government work just as hard on something that saves more lives in the long run? Vehicles kill tens of thousands of people per year. If the government is going to trash my civil liberties, at least save more lives in the process.

Re:Bang for your buck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031013)

You assume that they are working to save lives. They aren't. They're working to consolidate power.

What About Bulk Data Dumps to NSA? (4, Insightful)

Ron Bennett (14590) | about a year ago | (#44030719)

At first glance, 5,000 or whatever "government requests" doesn't seem that bad out of millions of accounts. But that number doesn't account for data that the NSA has access to from eavesdropping / backdoors, bulk data dumps, and data acquired via 3rd parties.

Re:What About Bulk Data Dumps to NSA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033827)

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are trying to say that they don't provide any bulk data to NSA or law enforcement. That's been their story since the story broke. That could be a lie of course, but that's their story.

Now, phone companies and ISPs have not been using that as their story. We know at the very least their providing bulk metadata to the NSA. If they're giving the NSA packet contents, then the NSA may very well not need any help from Apple to know what's being done with your Apple account.

(Captcha=cheated)

Truthiness (1, Insightful)

Meneth (872868) | about a year ago | (#44030861)

What, if anything, compels Apple and the others to be truthful about these numbers?

Re:Truthiness (1)

dacullen (1666965) | about a year ago | (#44031895)

Actually it seems that they are being compelled to be a bit less than truthful e.g. must be aggregated with all LE requests, only for a specific 6 month period, only reported in bands of 1000's.

Re:Truthiness (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#44032095)

Actually it seems that they are being compelled to be a bit less than truthful e.g. must be aggregated with all LE requests, only for a specific 6 month period, only reported in bands of 1000's.

How does that make it not truthful? "We received between 5,000 and 5,999 requests" if the numbers were indeed in that range would be absolutely truthful.

Re:Truthiness (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#44032065)

What, if anything, compels Apple and the others to be truthful about these numbers?

The fact that the truth tends to come out eventually. A few employees at Apple _know_ the correct numbers. In a few years time, a few ex-employees at Apple will know the correct numbers. And eventually, some ex-Apple employee who is really unhappy with the company will know the correct numbers and tell them.

Re:Truthiness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032955)

What, if anything, compels Apple and the others to be truthful about these numbers?

The simple fact that it has no reason to lie. What's the difference between 1 and 10? Between 10 and 10,000? Does Apple gain anything from saying they fulfilled 10,000 requests instead of 100,000?

The issue is not the specific number so much as it's the fact that the number is not zero.

20 secs of PRISM data - pfft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031067)

So, in order to show what's been happening over the last seven years (minimum), we get less data than PRISM would take by 00:00:24 on Monday morning.
And it will be selected and run past psychologists to make sure the ratios are right enough to make it all look nice and fuzzy. The press will say "It's all ok, see?"

As an ex-Aussie Prime Minister once said: "Unrepresentative swill".

Detail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031585)

No, the NSA is specifically not allowing them to detail how many of the requests came from the NSA, but rather only as lump sums well rounded.

Missing the point (1)

cen1 (2915315) | about a year ago | (#44032215)

All these disclosures really do not mean anything. Here is a quote from ars-technica: "NSA is tapping directly into international fiber optic cables and collecting all that information. PRISM, on the other hand, is used to "narrow and focus" that massive stream of information. Once the NSA decides on a target, it will contact Internet companies like Facebook and Google to pinpoint the suspect." So really.. these companies are not lying when they say that NSA does not have backdoors or direct access to their data. NSA simply wiretaps on ISP level.. they only go to the big ones when they lack some information.

Bullshit stats (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#44032733)

Apple, Facebook etc. are already playing ball with the government, so you can safely bet they wouldn't release this info if the US government hadn't OK'd it first. That alone means the numbers are probably suspect and that the gov. actually wants Apple and everybody else to release this kind of info. The reason? They think the 10,000 number will actually encourage most people as 10k is a drop in the ocean as a precentage of people that live in the US.

The fact that the US gov feel the need to respond (via Apple, FB etc) at all is the most telling, it indicates even they know they are conducting highly immoral behaviour. I'd also say illegal except they rewrite and interpret the law to whatever is most convenient for them at the moment, so such a statement is meaningless.
  But if something is wrong, its wrong. Period. That means it shouldn't be done to even 1 person let alone 10,000. There is no lower acceptable limit on such behaviour.

Never link to the actual source (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year ago | (#44032895)

http://www.apple.com/apples-commitment-to-customer-privacy/ [apple.com]

Two weeks ago, when technology companies were accused of indiscriminately sharing customer data with government agencies, Apple issued a clear response: We first heard of the government’s “Prism” program when news organizations asked us about it on June 6. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer content must get a court order.

Like several other companies, we have asked the U.S. government for permission to report how many requests we receive related to national security and how we handle them. We have been authorized to share some of that data, and we are providing it here in the interest of transparency.

From December 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, Apple received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement for customer data. Between 9,000 and 10,000 accounts or devices were specified in those requests, which came from federal, state and local authorities and included both criminal investigations and national security matters. The most common form of request comes from police investigating robberies and other crimes, searching for missing children, trying to locate a patient with Alzheimer’s disease, or hoping to prevent a suicide.

Regardless of the circumstances, our Legal team conducts an evaluation of each request and, only if appropriate, we retrieve and deliver the narrowest possible set of information to the authorities. In fact, from time to time when we see inconsistencies or inaccuracies in a request, we will refuse to fulfill it.

Apple has always placed a priority on protecting our customers’ personal data, and we don’t collect or maintain a mountain of personal details about our customers in the first place. There are certain categories of information which we do not provide to law enforcement or any other group because we choose not to retain it.


For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.

We will continue to work hard to strike the right balance between fulfilling our legal responsibilities and protecting our customers’ privacy as they expect and deserve.

Apple is a for profit company... (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about a year ago | (#44032933)

That people think is run by a bunch of sweet nerds.

Contractors Doing the Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033527)

So, I'm paying someone to spy on me with my tax dollars, and there's enough left over for shareholder return? For the CEO to afford a summer home in Belize? Everyone noticed these are third party contractors doing the work, right?

Corporations require growth to provide shareholder return. Where is the growth going to come from? How far up my tailpipe is this going to go?

If you haven't studied Watergate, you should, and learn what Nixon wanted to do to his "enemies". Learn about J Edgar Hoover. And if the government doesn't eventually get around to using the information against its own people, how will Senator Bob vote against funding these NSA spy corporations when CEO Joe has proof that the senator has been hanging out in the men's room with Larry Craig?

A/C for a reason. Not a great plan, I know. but let me have my illusion of anonymity a little longer, please.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>