Apple has updated its National Security and Law Enforcement Orders report, the company's effort to notify the public on how many times the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies have asked for and received information on Apple's customers.
According to the update, Apple received 927 requests from law enforcement agencies around the country in the six months between January 1st, 2013 and June 30th, 2013. During the same period, Apple has received between zero and 249 National Security Orders, or orders from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
The update was issued on Monday, January 27th immediately after the White House announced slightly relaxed rules on what kind of data companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and other tech giants can reveal. For instance, these companies were limited to announcing National Security Orders in blocks of 1,000—now they can specify such Orders in blocks of 250.
|National Security Orders|
|Total National Security Orders Received||Total Accounts Affected|
|Account Information Requests|
Total Number of Law Enforcement Account Requests Received
|Number of Accounts Specified in the Requests||Number of Accounts for Which Data Was Disclosed||Number of Account Requests Where Apple Objected||Number of Account Requests Where No Data Was Disclosed||Number of Account Requests Where Non-Content Data Was Disclosed||Number of Account Requests Where Some Content Was Disclosed||Percentage of Account Requests Where Some Data Was Disclosed|
Apple last published numbers on November 5th, 2013 for this time period. The company has not yet reported data on the last six months of that year.
At that time, Apple said that many law enforcement requests were related to lost devices, or customers working with la enforcement to recover a lost or stolen device. Must of the rest of this information, however, isn't specified.
For instance, we don't know how many of the 102 Apple objections were successful, why the company objected, or how U.S. law enforcement agencies responded. We also don't know what "non content data" means, or how much data was disclosed in any instance.
Apple and the other tech giants have been lobbying the White House for the ability to disclose more information and be more transparent. They believe—rightly so—that that their reputations have taken a hit in the wake of disclosures from Edward Snowden about NSA surveillance, and that by being more transparent about that surveillance, customers will be less concerned.
In the updated document released on Monday, the company specified, "We did not receive any orders for bulk data. The number of accounts involved in national security orders is infinitesimal relative to the hundreds of millions of accounts registered with Apple."