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Yahoo, Apple Disclose Government Data Requests
Yahoo, Apple Disclose Government Data Requests

By Jennifer LeClaire
June 18, 2013 11:14AM

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"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," Apple said in a statement. "In fact, from time to time when we see inconsistencies or inaccuracies in a request, we will refuse to fulfill it."
 



(Page 2 of 2)

"For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them," Apple said. "Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers' location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.

"We will continue to work hard to strike the right balance between fulfilling our legal responsibilities and protecting our customers' privacy as they expect and deserve."

Reassuring Users

Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, said it's important for these companies to reassure users that they simply don't turn over user data without any showing of need or legal justification. However, he added, these company's statements don't resolve or otherwise end the questions about the ultimate legality and constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and PRISM program.

"If these companies had remained silent it's not clear it would have impacted user behavior," Sterling told us. "However, it would have subjected them to heavy criticism and questions from the tech press. The tech companies may have established their 'non-complicity' in domestic surveillance but the scandal appears to be far from over."

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