National security requests for user data from Apple doubled in the second half of 2016, compared to the first six months, Apple’s newly-published biannual transparency report reveals.
Apple received somewhere between 5,750 and 5,999 orders during the July-December period of last year, compared to the 2,750 and 2,999 requests it was handed in the January-June period. This represents the highest total count in the 3.5 years since Apple first began releasing this information in a six-monthly report.
Looking at the stats on a worldwide basis, Apple received 2,231 requests Worldwide Government Account Requests for information. Of these, more than half — 1,219 — came from U.S. agencies. Apple provided data 79 percent of the time, and 83 percent of the time in the U.S.
As with previous transparency reports, Apple said that it, “has not received any orders for bulk data” collection.
What Apple did receive, however, is a National Security Letter from the U.S. government, which allows the FBI and other agencies to secure private data from customers even before they receive court approval to do so. Such data cannot include call content, emails, or other messages.
Apple’s barred from sharing specific details about the National Security Letter in question, but its report does confirm that it received one. This is the first time Apple has reported receiving such a letter.
You can check out Apple’s entire transparency report here.