Apple says it has tightened rules surrounding the legal requests that are made by the U.S. Justice Deparment. The news comes after it was revealed that the previous administration headed by Donald Trump had forced the iPhone maker’s hand with a subpoena for information on Democratic party leaders. Apple was reportedly under a gag order and was not to share the information with anyone; the gag order expired this year.
The Cuperino based company reportedly received a subpoena in February 2018 from the U.S. Justice Department. Apple was to provide information on 109 identifiters which consisted of 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses. However, the company adds that it did not share emails or pictures (any content) with the prosecutors.
The news about Apple being forced to reveal information was first reported by The New York Times. It has been reported that it was not just Apple but several other tech companies were also subpoenaed as well. The goal was reportedly to find the source behind the news of Trump administration and Russia’s relationship.
As part of the investigation in 2018, two Democratic leaders who were part of the House of Represntaives Intelligence Committe were targetted. It has been reported that even the Democratics leaders’ family members and aides were also targeted. According to the report by The New York Times, a minor was also included in the list of people who were targeted.
“We regularly challenge warrants, subpoenas and nondisclosure orders and have made it our policy to inform affected customers of governmental requests about them just as soon as possible,” said Apple spokessperson Fred Sainz in a statement. “In this case, the subpoena, which was was issued by a federal grand jury and included a nondisclosure order signed by a federal magistrate judge, provided no information on the nature of the investigation and it would have been virtually impossible for Apple to understand the intent of the desired information without digging through users’ accounts. Consistent with the request, Apple limited the information it provided to account subscriber information and did not provide any content such as emails or pictures.”