Apple to Team Up With Tech Companies to Ask for Greater NSA Transparency

NewImage.pngApple is joining forces with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and several other technology companies and civil liberties groups to request via letter that the U.S. government offer greater surveillance transparency, allowing Internet, telephone, and Web-based service providers to give consumers regular reports on security related requests, reports AllThingsD.

"Basic information about how the government uses its various law enforcement–related investigative authorities has been published for years without any apparent disruption to criminal investigations," a copy of the letter obtained by AllThingsD reads. "We seek permission for the same information to be made available regarding the government’s national security–related authorities."

The alliance is made up of 63 different companies, investors, non-profits, and trade organizations that will publish a missive on Thursday asking President Obama and congressional leaders to allow them to report on the following:

-The number of government requests for information about their users
-The number of individuals, accounts, or devices for which information was requested
-The number of requests that sought communications content, basic subscriber information, and/or other information.

The request comes after news of a top secret intelligence gathering program called 'PRISM' leaked in June, where a number of tech companies, including Apple, were accused of providing the U.S. government with direct access to user data.

Apple later clarified its position with a statement of its "Commitment to Customer Privacy," denying participation in PRISM and noting that the company conducts a thorough evaluation of each law enforcement request for data and aims to "retrieve and deliver the narrowest possible set of information to the authorities."

Update: The full letter has now been published. Direct link: [PDF]

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the comment thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All MacRumors forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
92 months ago
Damage control.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago

That's a good start, but I think we need a major overhaul of the Patriotic Act and the FISA court. I'm glad the American public is starting to understand what us Libertarians have been screaming about for years..


Understanding comes from hardship. The entire western world has been fortunate enough to live in the lap of luxury for a long time now. We don't really understand what it means to have freedoms taken away. Hopefully we never find out, but the trend is frightening.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago
ZOMG! A strongly-worded letter?

Big Brother must be shaking in his boots!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago

The government needs to be operating above board. All these excuses about why they need to have secret laws with secret courts is not justified.


The government gets away with a lot. Extortion, murder, illegal surveillance, etc. It's all okay if the government's doing it, but if I were to, I'd be locked up. We have a long way to go for the government to be operating "above board".
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago
That's a good start, but I think we need a major overhaul of the Patriotic Act and the FISA court. I'm glad the American public is starting to understand what us Libertarians have been screaming about for years..
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago
The government needs to be operating above board. All these excuses about why they need to have secret laws with secret courts is not justified.

----------

That's a good start, but I think we need a major overhaul of the Patriotic Act and the FISA court. I'm glad the American public is starting to understand what us Libertarians have been screaming about for years..


What about liberals have been screaming about for years? Liberals were screaming about the patriot act since before it was even passed.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Microsoft to Stop Supporting Office 2016 for Mac in October

Monday August 3, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac is set to reach its end of support date on October 13, 2020, and after that date, connecting to Office 365 services using the Office 2016 for Mac software will no longer be supported. Microsoft shared the detail in a support document from July highlighting which versions of Office will be supported for connecting to Office 365 services in the future.Connecting ...

Apple Shares Requirements for Default Third-Party Browser and Email Apps With Developers

Monday August 3, 2020 4:28 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 plans to allow users to set a third-party app as the default email or browser app on an iPhone or iPad, replacing the current Apple-made default apps Safari and Mail. Apple hasn't provided many details on the new feature to users, but as noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Apple has shared documentation with developers who want their apps to have the option to be set as a...