The U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating a major leak of classified data that occurred in the early days of the Trump administration in 2017. However, it has now been revealed that the DOJ has subpoenaed Apple for data related to these leaked information, which has obviously raised new concerns about privacy.
In a report from The New York Times on Thursday, it was revealed that the Department of Justice requested Apple to provide data from at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as other information from aides and even members of their families — including a minor.
NYT says DOJ has requested “records of at least a dozen people” who were related to the committee between 2017 and 2018. One of these people was Representative Adam B. Schiff of California.
Prosecutors wanted to know who was behind the information leaked to the media about the Trump administration, which led them to order a warrant against Apple for obtaining personal data from multiple people. The report mentions that the lawmakers didn’t even know they were being investigated until they were informed by Apple in May this year, after the gag order had expired.
Sources state that Apple has only provided some metadata about the accounts of the people involved, but has not given access to photos, emails, or other personal data.
In 2017 and 2018, a grand jury subpoenaed Apple and another internet service provider for the records of the people associated with the Intelligence Committee. They learned about most of the subpoenas last month, when Apple informed them that their records had been shared but did not detail the extent of the request, committee officials said. A second service provider had notified one member of the committee’s staff about such a request last year.
Since no records proving the leaks were found, the US prosecutors decided to close the investigation. Even so, cases like this raise concerns about how governments can request big tech companies to get access to someone else’s personal data.
The full report can be read on The New York Times website.
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