The Prism story is far from over and news reports are coming out with more dramatic headlines every day. Tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple are under scrutiny for working with the government. All of them deny to know about Prism and that there would be a firehose data sharing with the NSA.
Apple explains how the share data with the government in an official statement released on their site today. It reveals the number of requests they get from the government to share customer data.
Quote: "From December 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, Apple received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement for customer data. Between 9,000 and 10,000 accounts or devices were specified in those requests, which came from federal, state and local authorities and included both criminal investigations and national security matters. The most common form of request comes from police investigating robberies and other crimes, searching for missing children, trying to locate a patient with Alzheimer’s disease, or hoping to prevent a suicide."
There are quite a lot requests and Apple says to review each one of them. This means Apple has to have a team of people that just handle those requests.
Apple also highlights in the statement that iMessage and FaceTime conversations are protected by end-to-end encryption. Apple says that they cannot decrypt that data. Question is if the NSA can. Overall this whole topic is messy. Where ends individual privacy and where starts security? This question will stay with us for a while.
Read the full statement here.