Apple has joined Google, Microsoft and other tech companies in the fight against the United States government over ongoing surveillance. The firm contends in a new brief that the FBI “irrationally prohibits” its right to publish information about the national security requests it receives.
The company is not challenging the government’s right to impose secrecy over specific investigations. Instead, it wants to be able to alert users how many requests it receives. As it stands, Apple can only disclose “broad bands of numbers,” that include “ordinary police requests.”
Apple says the current rules violate free speech rights:
From Apple’s perspective, as well as the perspective of its customers and the public as a whole, this limited disclosure does not contribute effectively to the debate over the Government’s national security systems and and (as discussed infra) is unnecessary to protect national security .. a deliberate attempt to reduce public knowledge as to the activities of the Government.
Apple also takes issue with the government’s assertion that by providing solid numbers on surveillance requests would somehow “tip the bad guys” as to what the government was watching.
Apple’s entire filing is located here: