US government Stories February 27

US Government imposing new restrictions on shipping charged batteries in the name of safety

New regulations proposed to Congress by the U.S Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) are set to take effect soon, which will limit the maximum charge of lithium-ion batteries to 30% or less when shipped as cargo on passenger flights or on cargo only planes.

US government Stories January 7

Trump Commerce Secretary says Apple shouldn’t blame China for struggling iPhone

President Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, spoke with CNBC today and claimed Apple’s current earnings struggles have nothing to do with ongoing trade tensions in China.

US government Stories January 23, 2015

Apple extends sanctions-compliance in Crimea by blocking sales of all Apple products & services

Apple has ordered resellers to cease all sales of Apple products and services in Crimea as of 1st February. This follows the termination of agreements with app developers in the region earlier this week. Apple states that both moves are to comply with sanctions on the Crimea region of the Ukraine imposed by the US Government. The company informed retailers of the decision by letter.

With reference made to Section 5G, «Export Compliance» of Apple Authorized Service Provider Agreement dated 01.04.14, please be informed that in accordance with the new sanctions on the Crimea Region announced by the US Government on December 19, 2014 you shall not sell Apple products and/or provide services related to Apple products in the Crimea Region as of February 1, 2015.

The US joined the EU in imposing economic sanctions in protest at Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, which legally remains part of the Ukraine. Google has likewise started to block AdSense and Adwords accounts in the region, and Google Play services will cease on 1st February.

TechCrunch notes that the political conflict could escalate, with the possibility that Russian government may retaliate by blocking the sale of US imports into Russia–an important market for many US companies, including Apple.

Apple recently responded to a dramatic fall in value of the Russian ruble by temporarily halting online sales before returning with a 35% increase in prices to reflect the current dollar exchange rate. It also increased the prices of apps in the Russian App Store.

US government Stories August 8, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and other technology company executives today to discuss government surveillance, according to a report from Politico. Earlier this week, according to the report, the President and his staff began holding confidential meetings about surveillance tactics and topics such as the recent NSA-related controversies with company executives and other members of pertinent organizations.

Those invited were mostly senior executives, including Cook, Stephenson and Cerf, as well as representatives of groups like the Center for Democracy and Technology and Gigi Sohn, the leader of Public Knowledge, according to three sources familiar with the meeting. Each declined comment for this story.

The report names AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and former Google Vice President Vint Serf as the other technology community members involved in the meetings. Serf recently was appointed by President Obama to the National Science Board, and Serf is also known as a pioneer of the internet…

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US government Stories July 26, 2013

App developers may soon be asked to tell us what data they collect and how it is used under a set of government proposals released today (via TNW). 

The US government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration today issued its first draft of what will be a mobile apps code of conduct intended to better protect consumers and their privacy. If made final, policy states that publishers must provide consumers with “short-form” notices in multiple languages informing them of how their data is being used […]

Just so that there’s no doubt about what “data” means, the government entity specifically says it includes biometrics, browser history, phone or text log, contacts, financial info, health, medical, or therapy info, location, and user files …

There is doubt, however, about how effective the proposals might prove …  expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

US government Stories June 16, 2013

Apple published an open letter late Sunday night responding to recent allegations that the company had given customers’ personal information, including phone call logs, to the U.S. government as part of the National Security Agency’s secret “PRISM” program.

In the letter, Apple notes that the government had in fact issued several thousand requests for such information, but that Apple’s legal department had carefully examined each request and turned over only the smallest amount of information necessary, sometimes rejecting requests outright.

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.

Apple has placed a link to the full letter at the bottom of their home page, or you can read the entire thing after the break. expand full story

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