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Apple publishes how-to guide for law enforcement data requests

Papers please…
Thu May 08 2014, 14:43
Apple logo on New York store

APPLE HAS PUBLISHED a document that explains how it deals with law enforcement requests for your personal information.

The guidance sees Apple informing the authorities on when it will bend, how far and in what direction. Included is information on what kind of data can be provided and the circumstances in which a customer's activities can be documented.

The document follows controversy after Edward Snowden's internet surveillance revelations, and moves from Apple to be more open about its dealings with the NSA, law enforcement and personal data.

Apple makes it clear that it could update the guidance, but said that as of now it stands.

"These Guidelines are provided for use by law enforcement or other government entities in the US when seeking information from Apple Inc ("Apple") about users of Apple's products and services, or from Apple devices," it explains.

Information is provided in a FAQ, and there Apple said that it will only accept subpoenas directly, and not for example, those that are dropped off in one if its stores.

It explained that paperwork must be full and precise, adding that it will only respond to specific requests.

"Requests for information not included within the body of the signed subpoena, search warrant, or court order will be disregarded; all information requested must be in the actual legal process document," said Apple.

"Responsive production of records and information will be sent in an encrypted electronic container via email or, in some instances, via FedEx delivery. If no responsive information is available, a letter indicating this will be sent via email or, in some cases, via US mail."

Apple said that it will tell users if their data was requested as part of a criminal investigation, unless it felt it best to avoid doing this, "[If] we believe in our sole discretion that such notice may pose immediate risk of serious injury or death to a member of the public or the case relates to a child endangerment matter."

Apple told the agencies that it will intercept communications, when it is presented with a valid Wiretap Order, but added that iMessage and Facetime communications have end to end encryption. µ


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