Apple Inc on Friday issued its biannual transparency report which is based on government data requests. The report shows a steep increase in United States national security-related requests.
Apple claims that it received around 16,000 national security requests regarding around 8,000 accounts in the 2nd half of 2017. When comparing the number of requests with the first half of 2017, the number was 20% more.
Other technology companies have also experienced a jump in national security requests they received amid the 2nd half of 2016 as well as the 1st half of 2017, for example, Alphabet Inc’s Google also had a 36% rise in the national security requests which is nearly 51,000. Similarly, Facebook Inc. also doubled to nearly 27,000.
Google and Facebook, both have not yet stated full figures of requests made for the 2nd half of 2017 because both the companies break down separate figures for requests as well as the National Security Letters under the FISA- the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Apple also claimed on Friday that it will start reporting the requests made by the government to take down applications from its App Store.
Just last year, Apple removed virtual private networking apps, and VPN’s from their China App Store. This was done in order to fulfill the new cyber security law of China. Such applications or VPN’s helps users to surf the Internet with more confidentially than before. Such private networking apps were used to dodge Chinese censorship rules on the Internet.
Chinese regulators even enforced Apple to eradicate Skype which is owned by Microsoft Corporation from the App Store in China.
Apple’s new monitoring of application takedown requests start from July 1st, data will start to appear one year from now.