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Earlier this month Apple announced its decision to notify customers of law enforcement requests for user information. Today the company also published a new set of guidelines for law enforcement officials regarding how it will handle such requests, what types of information can be obtained, and more.

Most of the document contains information regular customers won’t ever need to know, but for those interested in Apple’s participation in the legal process will find a wealth of information here. The document also confirms once again that Apple will notify users in most cases where law enforcement requests their personal information:

Apple will notify its customers when their personal information is being sought in response to legal process except where providing notice is prohibited by the legal process itself, by a court order Apple receives (e.g., an order under 18 U.S.C. §2705(b)), or by applicable law or where Apple, in its sole discretion, believes that providing notice could create a risk of injury or death to an identifiable individual or group of individuals or in situations where the case relates to child endangerment.

A frequently-asked questions section includes answers to a variety of common concerns, including whether Apple can (or will) intercept user emails and other communications, including iMessage and FaceTime calls:

Can Apple intercept users’ communications pursuant to a Wiretap Order? 

Apple can intercept users’ email communications, upon receipt of a valid Wiretap Order. Apple cannot intercept users’ iMessage or FaceTime communications as these communications are end-to-end encrypted.

Much of the information is pretty straightforward: Apple can’t give law enforcement officials the passcode to a locked iOS device, geolocation data for active iOS devices is not stored by Apple and thus cannot be turned over to law enforcement, and so on.

You can find the entire lengthy document on Apple’s legal web page.

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6 Responses to “Apple publishes new legal process guidelines for law enforcement information requests”

  1. They should provide processional guidelines for filing patent infringement lawsuits against them, too.


  2. PMZanetti says:

    “Apple cannot intercept users’ iMessage or FaceTime communications as these communications are end-to-end encrypted”

    B.S. Anyone who believes that LIE that should be ashamed of themselves.


    • eldernorm says:

      PMZ, You are so right. Even now the NSA is watching everything you do, say, think (remember to use the aluminum foil hat). Every computer monitor is actually a camera too. They are watching you… Night and day.

      PS, remember that EVERYONE lies….. unless they have a really far fetched conspiracy theory, then, of course, they are telling the truth.

      You do fully believe samsung…….right???


  3. vkd108 says:

    This is just carefully packaged complicity directed towards hiding the fact that your personal rights are being compromised and reduced and blatantly waived and that Apple and other tech companies are simply extensions of the implementation of government policy.


  4. Winski says: