Apple sees spike in government data requests relating to national security

on May25

Apple CEO Tim Cook smiles during a product launch event on October 27, 2016 in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. unveiled the latest iterations of its MacBook Pro line of laptops and TV app.

Stephen Lam | Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook smiles during a product launch event on October 27, 2016 in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. unveiled the latest iterations of its MacBook Pro line of laptops and TV app.

Apple hasn’t always had the easiest of relationships with law enforcement. Last year, a federal judge asked Apple to help the FBI to unlock an iPhone that belonged to Syed Farook, who was responsible for the shootings in San Bernardino in December which left 14 people dead.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, called the order “chilling” at the time and refused to help.

Elsewhere in Apple’s report, it was revealed that governments across the world put in 30,184 requests relating to devices in the second half of 2016. This amounted to 151,105 devices in total as more than one device could be of interest per request. The number of devices in question actually fell from the 261,275 recorded in the first half of 2016.

“Examples of such requests are where law enforcement agencies are working on behalf of customers who have requested assistance locating lost or stolen devices. Additionally, Apple regularly receives multi-device requests related to fraud investigations. Device-based requests generally seek details of customers associated with devices or device connections to Apple services,” Apple explained.



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