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Apple gave the FBI data on a Black Lives Matter activist accused of firebombing police vehicles during a protest last May.


The FBI investigation into the incident, which took place at a demonstration in Seattle over the police killing of George Floyd, began after a tip pointed to Kelly Jackson as the alleged perpetrator.


After obtaining Jackson’s name, the FBI was able to secure records from Verizon placing the suspect at the protest earlier this year. The FBI also learned that the suspect owned an iPhone 7, according to a search warrant obtained by Forbes.

Investigators then contacted Apple and were given access to Jackson’s iCloud account, which included photographs from the day of the protest.

The FBI says it found a screenshot of an Instagram post in Jackson’s photo gallery describing the protest as “The Defiant Walk of Resistance Against Injustice.”


Jackson also purportedly took a screenshot of a webpage that listed the “ingredients” for a Molotov cocktail.

Investigators further claim that one video in Jackson’s iCloud account showed a white male’s hands pulling a glass bottle out of a black bag, while another showed a similar bottle being thrown into a police car that caught fire immediately after.

While the man’s face is never visible in the two videos, the FBI says it was able to match the sweatshirt worn in the clips to other videos of the suspect that day.


Jackson, who is accused of lighting two police vehicles on fire, was arrested last week and charged with arson and unlawful possession of a destructive device.

Although Apple has not commented publicly on the case, the company complies with the majority of requests it receives from law enforcement.

In its last transparency report, Apple stated that it received 4,095 requests for user data and handed over information for 3,645 during the second half of 2019.

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Tesla wins case against Gigafactory whistleblower

Tesla has won its case against a whistleblower who was fired for hacking and transferring company data to a news publication.

The electric automaker had filed a lawsuit against former Gigafactory employee Martin Tripp in 2018 after he got caught leaking an exposé to Business Insider. According to the information Tripp leaked, Tesla was shipping cars with unsafe batteries and wasting a “jaw dropping” amount of materials as it ramped up production of the Model 3 sedan.

In its suit, Tesla claimed that Tripp had admitted to writing software that hacked the carmaker’s manufacturing operating system, transferring several gigabytes of its data to third parties and making false claims to the media.

The US district court of Nevada said in its ruling that it will grant Tesla’s motions to seal “because compelling reasons support them, and they are unopposed.”

The court also denied Tripp’s motion for leave to file an additional reply citing it as “unnecessary.”

The ruling puts an end to messy saga that saw Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly wage a ruthless campaign against Tripp that included orchestrating a stunt to falsely portray him as a lunatic who threatened to shoot up the Gigafactory.

While investigating to see if Tripp was the leaker, former Gigafactory security manager Sean Gouthro said Tesla’s security team somehow hacked into Tripp’s phone and were able to read his texts in real-time.

Tesla, Tripp and the law firms leading the case did not immediately respond when Reuters contacted them late on Thursday.

With Post wires

Filed under batteries ,  electric cars ,  elon musk ,  tesla ,  whistleblowers ,  9/18/20

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