FBI serves Apple warrant to obtain iCloud data of NC Sen. Richard Burr, leads to iPhone seizure

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What you need to know

  • Apple was served an FBI warrant demanding access to the iCloud data of Senator Richard Burr.
  • The Senator for North Carolina is being investigated, after selling off stock in February.
  • Information obtained from Apple led to a further warrant, granting the seizure of the senator's iPhone.

An FBI warrant served on Apple seeking the iCloud data of Senator Richard Burr has led to the seizure of his iPhone.

As the Los Angeles Times reports:

Federal agents seized a cellphone belonging to a prominent Republican senator on Wednesday night as part of the Justice Department's investigation into controversial stock trades he made as the novel coronavirus first struck the U.S., a law enforcement official said. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, turned over his phone to agents after they served a search warrant on the lawmaker at his residence in the Washington area, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a law enforcement action.

According to the report, FBI agents served a warrant on Apple "in recent days" in order to obtain information from Senator Burr's iCloud account. Upon execution of this warrant, the data found was used as evidence for a further warrant to obtain the Senator's iPhone, which he duly handed over.

The Senator in question is being investigated over the sale of "a significant percentage" of his stock portfolio on February 13. It appears implied that 33 different trades were made on the basis of information the Senator received about the coronavirus pandemic in daily briefings to the Senate Intelligence Committee, of which he is the chair. The trade value is pegged between $628,000 and $1.72 million. As the report notes, Senator Kelly Loeffler is also under scrutiny for similar dealings.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9