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Apple says it didn't know Trump's DOJ was asking for Democrats' data when it complied with subpoena

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Tech > Apple says it didn't know Trump's DOJ was asking for Democrats' data when it complied with subpoena

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MSFTTim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, speaks as President Donald Trump listens during an American Technology Council roundtable in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Monday, June 19, 2017, in Washington.Alex Brandon | AP

Apple said Friday it didn’t know former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice was asking for the metadata of Democratic lawmakers when it complied with a subpoena seeking the information.

Apple’s admission that it complied with the DOJ’s request demonstrates the thorny position tech companies are placed in when forced to balance their customers’ private online activity with legitimate requests from law enforcement. In general, companies like Apple challenge such requests, but in this case a grand jury and federal judge forced Apple to comply and keep it quiet.

The admission follows a Thursday New York Times report that Trump’s DOJ seized at least a dozen records from people close to the House intelligence panel related to news reports on the former president’s contacts with Russia. At the time, the DOJ was looking for records from House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and committee member Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.

Apple said it received a subpoena from a federal grand jury on Feb. 6, 2018. According to