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PRISM: Apple discloses US government data requests

Apple said it received requests for information affecting between 9,000 and 10,000 user accounts or devices in the first six months of 2012 alone.

Clone of Apple stock prices 01 25 2013Enlarge
The company said it received 4,000 and 5,000 requests from US law enforcement for customer data for the first six months of 2012. People walk past the Apple store at Grand Central Terminal in New York City on January 25, 2013. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Apple joined Facebook and Microsoft Monday, as the latest tech firm to confirm details of United States' government requests to hand over data from its users' accounts and devices.

The company said it received 4,000 and 5,000 requests from law enforcement for customer data for the first six months of 2012.

Those requests gathered information from between 9,000 and 10,000 Apple user accounts, some pertaining to national security.

More from GlobalPost: Facebook confirms US govt. requested surveillance data

These kind of disclosures have been slowly trickling out from tech companies who say they have to clear any information they disclose to the government with the public.

The problem, according to lawyers at Apple, Twitter, Google, Facebook, is the government isn't allowing them to specify which requests are coming directly from the National Security Agency, or how many.  

Twitter's legal counsel Benjamin Lee tweeted:

The companies say they want to provide some transparency about how their customers' data is being used, in the wake of recent revelations about the NSA PRISM surveillance program.

Apple's number of requests are in line with Facebook's disclosure that it also received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data over six months last year.

More from GlobalPost: Are we doomed to a national surveillance state?

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