National security requests for Apple user data doubled in last half of 2016

Apple Security Jacket Apple has shared the
number of user data requests it received last year.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

National security requests for user data from Apple doubled in
the second half of 2016, compared to the first six months,
Apple’s newly-published biannual transparency report reveals.

Apple received
somewhere between 5,750 and 5,999 orders during the
July-December period of last year, compared to the 2,750 and
2,999 requests it was handed in the January-June period. This
represents the highest total count in the 3.5 years since Apple
first began releasing this information in a six-monthly report.

Looking at
the stats on a worldwide basis, Apple received 2,231 requests
Worldwide Government Account Requests for information. Of
these, more than half — 1,219 — came from U.S. agencies. Apple
provided data 79 percent of the time, and 83 percent of
the time in the U.S.

As with previous transparency reports,
Apple said that it, “has not received any orders for bulk data”

securityApple received one
National Security Letter about one of its users.
Photo: Apple What
Apple did receive, however, is a National Security
Letter from the U.S. government, which allows the FBI and other
agencies to secure private data from customers even before they
receive court approval to do so. Such data cannot include call
content, emails, or other messages.

barred from sharing specific details about the National
Security Letter in question, but its report does confirm that
it received one. This is the first time Apple has reported
receiving such a letter.

You can
check out Apple’s entire transparency report