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Apple is working on new tools for law enforcement officials.


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Apple is creating a dedicated team to help train law enforcement officials around the world in digital forensics, the company said Tuesday in a letter to Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

The letter, obtained by CNET, addresses a report issued earlier this year by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) regarding cybersecurity and the “digital evidence needs” of law enforcement agencies.

To meet challenges raised in the report, Apple said in the letter, the company is upgrading its law enforcement training program. This includes developing an online training module for police that mirrors Apple’s current in-person training, according to the letter and to details on the company’s website.

“This will assist Apple in training a larger number of law enforcement agencies and officers globally, and ensure that our company’s information and guidance can be updated to reflect the rapidly changing data landscape,” the site says. 

The company is also working on a portal, set to be operational by the end of 2018, where law enforcement officials can submit and track requests for data. 

Apple also reiterated in the letter that it’s “committed to protecting the security and privacy of our users” and that company initiatives and “the work we do to assist investigations uphold this fundamental commitment.”

Apple, along with tech companies like Google and Microsoft, publishes regular transparency reports detailing how often it gets requests for data from governments as well as private parties. In the first half of 2017, for example, Apple received 13,250 to 13,499 national security requests from the US government. 

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