(FORBES) – Anyone who believes Apple and the FBI are at an impasse over investigations into the iPhone maker’s criminal customers should think again. In Seattle, Apple has given the feds vital evidence from one of its iCloud users who was arrested for firebombing cop cars during the George Floyd protests in late May.
The case shows how Apple is willing to help even where the context of the crime is controversial, namely the Black Lives Matter protests. That’s despite President Trump and Attorney General William Barr lambasting the company for failing to help track down serious criminals while caving in to the demands of the Chinese government. Their comments came after Apple said it wouldn’t help the government get into the physical iPhones of a Saudi national who shot and killed three on a Pensacola, Florida, naval base in December 2019. (The FBI hacked into the phones anyway.)
In the Seattle case, the FBI had been tipped off about the identity of a protester police believed had set fire to at least two police patrol vehicles during a protest against police brutality on May 30 following the killing of George Floyd, according to a search warrant reviewed by Forbes. The FBI checked the tip against surveillance feeds, news broadcast footage and social media images, deciding that the lead was worth chasing down. They obtained Verizon records for the suspect, Kelly Jackson, that revealed his location during the protests, what calls he made and the fact that he was using an iPhone 7.
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