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back to article Tech giants CAN disclose US spooks' data demands - but with heavy restrictions

Apple has announced that it received less than 250 requests for data from US intelligence agencies in the first half of last year after the Obama administration slightly loosened restrictions on disclosing spooks' data requests. After months of negotiations between the Obama administration and tech firms, from Yahoo! to Facebook …

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Headmaster

"Apple has announced that it received fewer than 250 requests for data from US"

:P

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I wonder if this is because apps running on iDevices leak enough information for the spooks to not need to ask in the first place?

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Coat

Is this another way of saying that there are only 250 "potential" world terrorists that use an iPhone ?

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No because a single order can cover "all people in a specific location' and the specific location can be "the earth"

It's like the UK restricting laws to specific high risk terrorist targets and then having the Met classify all of London as a potential target for an indefinite period.

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@Yet Another Anonymous coward

It's like the UK restricting laws to specific high risk terrorist targets and then having the Met classify all of London as a potential target for an indefinite period.

...or pretending that what the spy agencies are doing is monitored by government by requiring a warrant from the foreign secretary each time they use their powers, then allowing the foreign secretary issue a blanket warrant for everything they do.

Oh, wait... they already do that don't they?

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It's so easy

"The number of accounts involved in national security orders is infinitesimal relative to the hundreds of millions of accounts registered with Apple," the firm said.

It is easy to be blasé when it's not your confidential info being handed out without your permission. Betcha if a national security order demanded communications containing the designs for the iPhone 6, suddenly these orders would become an violation of all that is good and virtuous.

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Re: It's so easy

It is easy to be blasé when it's not your confidential info being handed out without your permission.

But is that the case? How many Apple employees use Apple's services? The odds are just as high* that a random Apple employee using an Apple service has been the target of one of these orders as a random non-employee who uses Apple services.

* Absent further demographic information anyway. Apple's hiring requirements, for example, may have some effect on the odds, but when the odds are already on the order of one in a million, I bet it's not significant.

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Megaphone

Accentuate the negative

They can always announce from time to time how many requests they did not get. Then if they go silent at some point, it's not like they are squealing - but we'll know.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmmm

None of this would even be known with out Snowden's revelations.

Besides, if the NSA truly is bugging the datacenter interconnects then these 250 warrants are for show only.

This goes a lot deeper than what is known.

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Re: Hmmmm

Warrants could be for things like billing details for a particular account they are interested in.

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FAIL

Ah but........

Ah but the first request was for a copy of everything on their servers.

All other requests were for the same thing at different times of the day plus news on the new iPhone 5s before release etc

Yeh what Apple have said is not very helpful unless you know the scope of the request.

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Hurr

The NSA and GCHQ etc don't need to request from Apple because....wait for it....

...there's an app for that!

Badum tsh! Thank you very much.

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