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According to a new report from The Washington Post tonight, Apple will join Google and other high-profile companies in updating their privacy policy to routinely notify users when a government or law enforcement agency requests information on them.

The move should appease user privacy rights activists, who believe it’s unlawful for a government agency to have the power to access user data so discretely. The Justice Department, however, is concerned that the new routine could threaten investigations…

Here’s the report from The Post:

Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google all are updating their policies to expand routine notification of users about government data seizures, unless specifically gagged by a judge or other legal authority, officials at all four companies said. Yahoo announced similar changes in July.

And here’s Apple’s statement on the change:

“Later this month, Apple will update its policies so that in most cases when law enforcement requests personal information about a customer, the customer will receive a notification from Apple,” company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said. 

Of course, this is all still part of the ongoing fallout from last year’s PRISM scandal. In June, whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked a number of internal NSA documents incriminating Apple and other tech companies as members of a data surveillance program.

All of the companies have since rebuffed the report, and several of them have launched a campaign to fight for greater transparency regarding government info requests. And judging by tonight’s report, it would seem that their efforts are yielding some results.

  • Frank Anthony

    Great moves. But the bad guys gonna take advantage of this especially when they(Apple) inform him/her that the NSA is watching his ass 😉

    • Hyr3m

      Say you get the notification today and delete everything. What’s stopping Apple from providing yesterday’s backup to the NSA ?
      A notification will not help you unless you plan on fleeing the country or something…

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Apple or anyone else won’t tell you anyway:

        “unless specifically gagged by a judge or other legal authority”

        The intelligence agencies and legal authorities will continue to take out gag orders alongside their requests for data hiding anything their doing…

      • Hyr3m

        That’s precisely what I said in another comment ^^

  • Hyr3m

    So the next newsflash will say “New information request template for US judges to include gag-order to prevent users from knowing they’re being spied on”?

    Oh no… it wont be a newsflash so people will keep thinking they get warned. Also, backdoors and embedded moles don’t require information requests 😀

    • Rowan09

      Since 9-11 Americans were willing and willingly gave away their rights in search of protection from the government. After the passing of the Patriot Act we became closer to being a Nazi State.

      • jack

        the Nazi probably wouldn’t have to do this because their people were loyal. US is a social experiment going wrong

      • Hyr3m

        The majority of Americans now know that they’ve been lied to regarding 9/11.
        The media and elites act as if nothing was wrong and keep talking about 9/11 as if the official story still had any credibility.
        Other staged/faked events received a lot of coverage in the hopes of forcing citizens to willingly give up or limit their rights : Boston marathon “bombings” -> forcibly search houses without warrants, assault people that resist. Fake shootings like Sandy Hook and that Batman premiere -> ban the AR-15 and normal-sized magazines.

        The elites are already prepping for the revolution that’s coming… If only we had a gravity-gun…

      • Rowan09

        I’ve been speaking about a revolution coming in America and some people laughed, but they will see soon enough. It’s going to start with the kids just like in Egypt and London.

      • Hyr3m

        If (when) it happens, it’s going to be very tough to gain power and then to weed out the douches that will inevitably try corrupt the new system…

      • Rowan09

        I agree.

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  • Antzboogie

    I like this decision. Finally someone protecting our freedom.