Apple tightens rules after Justice Department targets U.S. lawmakers
By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – Apple Inc said on Friday it had tightened some of its rules for responding to legal demands after the U.S. Department of Justice subpoenaed it during Donald Trump’s presidency for information on Democratic lawmakers.
Apple said it recently instituted a limit of 25 identifiers such as email addresses or phone numbers by legal request.
The Cupertino, Calif.-Based company said it received a subpoena from the Department of Justice in February 2018 to obtain information on 109 IDs made up of 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, but that it does not had not disclosed content such as emails and images to prosecutors.
The New York Times reported Thursday that federal prosecutors have subpoenaed Apple and other companies in an investigation into the sources behind media reports of contacts between Trump’s associates and Russia.
The investigation targeted at least two Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee, aides and family members, including a minor, the Times reported.
Apple said it had no way of telling what the nature of the investigation was and only released basic “subscriber account information” such as names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers, as well as connection logs and IP addresses.
Apple said it did not provide data indicating to whom or when messages of any kind were sent.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said on Friday he would investigate the department’s efforts under Trump to seize communications data from lawmakers and members of the media.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler and Will Dunham)