Law enforcement agencies can use arrest warrants in other ways as well. The police have issued arrest warrants against Google for any device that was in the vicinity of a crime.

The companies say it sometimes Work with law enforcement agencies to narrow down their requests the companies only pass on information that is relevant to a case.

Apple said it received more than 5,850 requests from US authorities for data on 18,600 accounts in the first half of 2020, the last available period. In 43 percent of these inquiries, basic data and in 44 percent of the inquiries actual content data such as e-mails or photos were transferred.

Microsoft said it received 5,500 US law enforcement requests over the same period, covering 17,700 accounts, and that it disclosed basic data to 54 percent of requests and content to 15 percent of requests.

Google said it received 39,500 queries in the United States during that period, covering nearly 84,700 accounts, and that it shared some data 83 percent of the time. Google didn’t break down the percentage of queries that shared basic data versus content, but it did say 39 percent of queries were subpoenas while half were search warrants.

Facebook said it received 61,500 inquiries in the US during the reporting period, covering 106,100 accounts, and that it passed some data to 88 percent of the inquiries. The company said it had received 38,850 arrest warrants and complied with 89 percent of them, as well as 10,250 subpoenas and 85 percent during the reporting period.

In these cases, U.S. authorities include any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency.

Yes. Companies say they sometimes reject subpoenas, court orders, and arrest warrants if they believe officers lack legal authority or if the motions are too broad.



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