June 17, 2013 - 11:04 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Apple has spoken up about the U.S. government’s PRISM program and revealed that between December 2012 and May 2013 the firm received 4,000-5,000 requests for data from the government over the last six months, The Next Web reports.
That data isn’t limited to NSA-based enquiries, however, and includes non-spying related requests, such as those aimed at finding missing persons.
The disclosure has come after Apple “asked the U.S. government for permission to report how many requests we receive related to national security and how we handle them”, and the company says it has been permitted to share “some of that data” in order to help provide greater transparency with the public.
Apple says that the 4,000-5,000 requests related to 9,000-10,000 accounts or devices, which is a rough of two per request, according to TNW.
The statement from the company reiterates its denial that it gave U.S. authorities “direct access to our servers”. Like others who were named in the NSA slides leaked to the Washington Post and Guardian, the company says that all requests for data from the government require a court order in order to be fulfilled.
“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 said.
The company also spoke out on the security of its services, claiming that iMessage and FaceTime are both encrypted and therefore not accessible by third-parties, or even Apple itself.
Microsoft revealed last week that it received 6-7,000 requests implicating 31-32,000 accounts in the last six months. Hours earlier, Facebook revealed its FISA numbers, claiming that up to 19,000 user accounts were queried by the U.S. government.