FBI issues Apple with warrant as part of senator illegal stock selloff probe

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FBI wants information pertaining to Senator Richard Burr's iCloud account.
Photo: Dave Newman/Flickr CC

The FBI has served Apple with a warrant to gain information stored on U.S. Senator Richard Burr’s iCloud account. The Justice Department is investigating Burr for stock transactions that he made before the coronavirus pandemic decimated the stock market earlier this year.

Burr, who denies wrongdoing, also reportedly had his cellphone seized by federal agents. He claims that he relied entirely on news reports to guide his decision to sell stock. Burr is accused of selling off holdings after he was briefed about COVID-19 in an official capacity.

The Justice Department began its investigation into stock transactions by Burr back in March. Burr sold off stock reportedly valued at between $628,000 and $1.72 million. In a report Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times wrote that:

“A … law enforcement official said FBI agents served a warrant in recent days on Apple to obtain information from Burr’s iCloud account and said agents used data obtained from the California-based company as part of the evidence used to obtain the warrant for the senator’s phone.”

It’s not clear exactly what data Apple has provided to the FBI. In the past, Apple has had privacy related standoffs with the FBI over requests to access customer information. However, it has also helped out law enforcement where it can when the proper warrants are provided.

Apple releases a periodic report showing how many governmental requests for account data such as iCloud information it has received, and how many of these were granted.