We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer content must get a court order.
I say this is interesting because it has less beating around the bush than the other press releases we have seen, but I still don’t like the wording of “direct access”. Either the Government has access to Apple servers are they don’t. It’s one thing for Apple to scrape their own servers and package up data that they have been compelled to turn over via Court Order, and quite another to allow direct, or indirect, access to Apple servers upon receipt of court orders.
I want these questions answered: At any point does the U.S. Government, or contractors working on their behalf, have any access to Apple servers in any way? When compelled by court order, does Apple, or the agency compelling Apple, access the data that has been legally compelled to be turned over?
I love the digs at the end though:
For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.
That seems like a dig at Google to me, I love it. I am curious though about the FaceTime and iMessage encryption. Bottom line: can those two services be intercepted and read by the NSA right now? I doubt I’ll ever get that answer, but I am dying to know.