When hundreds of people raged the U.S. Capitol during the counting of the 2020 electoral votes, one thing was very noticeable: Many of them were holding up iPhones.
In the days that followed the January 8 capitol attack, it was clear that iPhones would be playing a huge role in the arrests and eventual prosecutions of some participants. Many of those who took part in the revolution not only shot and poured out footage, but they were peeked on the cameras of photos and videos shot by others, sometimes in the act of executing crimes.
Those phones were emitting location data, and law enforcement agencies have moreover been wielding facial recognition technology, encompassing the controversial application Clearview AI, which Apple banned in February 2020.
The FBI, per The Verge, has compiled more than 100,000 pieces of digital evidence related to the Capitol attack, and more than 170 cases had been unwrapped as of January 12. At least one criminal complaint about a person charged in connection with the attack particularly referenced an iPhone search, which appeared location data.
DOJ makes clear that if you had a cell phone on inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, you will get caught. pic.twitter.com/nLXaeG1RpE
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) January 14, 2021
Meanwhile, various members of Congress reported computers being stolen from their offices. Rep. Jim Clyburn, a member of the House Democratic leadership, was initially reported to have had his iPad stolen during the riot, although it was later concluded that a staffer had changed positions of it, reports CNN.