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Police Raid Gizmodo Editor's Home Over iPhone 4G

By , Kevin Parrish - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 114 comments

Gizmodo management says warrant for Jason Chen's house was invalid.

The big news of last week was Gizmodo's acquisition of the iPhone prototype, but after the initial oohs and ahhs from the reveal, the fallout that followed concerned both the moral and legal questions of how that iPhone made it away from Apple.

While there haven't been any formal complaints yet, the New York Times reports that the San Mateo district attorney could by early next week file criminal charges in connection with the sale of a missing next-generation iPhone belonging to Apple.

CNet also reports that a computer crime task force called REACT, which stands for Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, is investigating the Gizmodo iPhone event as well. Apple has supposedly already spoken with the local law enforcement, but none of the parties involved are commenting on the situation.

UPDATE: Police have raided Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home and have seized some four computers and two servers.

A dream come true in the form of an Apple iPhone 4G prototype may have become Gawker Media's worst nightmare, as authorities have just raided the house of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen. According to the Associated Press, members of REACT confiscated computers, digital cameras, his cell phone, and many other electronic items in relation to a possible felony regarding to the "lost" prototype. The team also took an American Express card statement and copies of his checks.

The search warrant, issued by a Superior Court judge in San Mateo County, alleges that the devices owned by Jason Chen may have been used in a felony. However Gawker Media's Nick Denton believes that California law--which protects journalists from turning over anonymous sources or unpublished material to law enforcement during a search--also applies to Chen's personal property.

The big question at the moment is what defines the online writer: are they journalists, or are they bloggers? "I guess we'll find out," Denton told the AP.

The DA's office is currently investigating that particular issue.

UPDATE 2: Looks like the investigation into Chen's property is halted while the legal system ponders on whether or not it has the right to continue.

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Top Comments
  • 37 Hide
    filmman03 , April 26, 2010 10:13 PM
    seriously? wtf? and the apple employee who left the phone behind doesn't get fired... wow. apple is seriously fucked up.
  • 34 Hide
    babybeluga , April 26, 2010 10:18 PM
    Steve Jobs probably pre-raided his house and planted child porn. Apple doesn't play!
  • 33 Hide
    megamanx00 , April 26, 2010 10:19 PM
    After he gave back the phone? WTF?
Other Comments
    Display all 114 comments.
  • 37 Hide
    filmman03 , April 26, 2010 10:13 PM
    seriously? wtf? and the apple employee who left the phone behind doesn't get fired... wow. apple is seriously fucked up.
  • 34 Hide
    babybeluga , April 26, 2010 10:18 PM
    Steve Jobs probably pre-raided his house and planted child porn. Apple doesn't play!
  • 30 Hide
    Anonymous , April 26, 2010 10:18 PM
    Of course they were able to raid his house. If he lived in Texas, they would have tripped the automated machine guns and deployment of the rapid wolverines on angel dust. Just sayin.
  • 30 Hide
    BoxBabaX , April 26, 2010 10:18 PM
    Ironic considering Gizmodo's apple fanboyism. Steve must be going nuts!
  • 33 Hide
    megamanx00 , April 26, 2010 10:19 PM
    After he gave back the phone? WTF?
  • 25 Hide
    emtownsend , April 26, 2010 10:21 PM
    The judge screwed up and should never have issued that warrant... It was likely done on purpose with knowledge they cannot keep anything, but they will still get the info they want. Sneaky and not right. Let us know what happens!
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , April 26, 2010 10:23 PM
    Does this mean every place that reported about the iphone 4G is going to be subjected to a raid?
  • 24 Hide
    njkid3 , April 26, 2010 10:24 PM
    this shows the type of company that apple is. a subversive and evil company that will manipulate the facts to further themselves. they probably influenced the judge somehow. heck the guy returned the damn phone.
  • 30 Hide
    toastninja17 , April 26, 2010 10:24 PM
    This is seriously taking things too far...WTF.
  • 27 Hide
    Ramar , April 26, 2010 10:25 PM
    Can't there be a single country where the government doesn't abuse people? Was there ANY reason to take his computers?
  • 25 Hide
    micky_lund , April 26, 2010 10:30 PM
    apple.
    LOL
  • 21 Hide
    nforce4max , April 26, 2010 10:35 PM
    KGB gestapo police serving their masters at Apple...........The empire strikes back.
  • 15 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 26, 2010 10:39 PM
    I'm pretty sure this is all legal. Apple is claiming that the phone was stolen and that Gizmodo knowingly bought stolen property. Whether this is true or not will come out later, and possibly lead to charges.

    What surprised me here is that Apple would do this at all. There is no upside. They already got the device back, damage has been done, all this will do is piss off a lot of enthusiasts. Bad PR in effect here.
  • 21 Hide
    truehighroller , April 26, 2010 10:40 PM
    I'm smelling a revolution getting closer and closer every day.
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , April 26, 2010 10:40 PM
    I hope Google wins out in the Smart Devices race. Apple's head is getting too big. This is beyond ridiculous.
  • 7 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 26, 2010 10:44 PM
    gm0n3yI'm pretty sure this is all legal. Apple is claiming that the phone was stolen and that Gizmodo knowingly bought stolen property. Whether this is true or not will come out later, and possibly lead to charges.


    To further elaborate:

    If I steal at TV from BestBuy and tell you that I have a stolen TV for sale, then you buy it from me, this is illegal and you could get charged for this.

    The questions here are 1) was this iPhone stolen or just found (and depending on California law, you may have to report a 'found' device, selling it without reporting may be illegal) and 2) did Gizmodo know that the device was stolen when they bought it.
  • 4 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , April 26, 2010 10:46 PM
    There are bit and pieces of information that are missing. Would like to see how this plays out.
  • 6 Hide
    Hatchet , April 26, 2010 10:52 PM
    Holy fk. Totally unexpected. This is big.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 26, 2010 10:56 PM
    Wow! what a waste of taxpayer money. No more fee press huh? I thought Apple sucked before.
  • 10 Hide
    gimmeausername , April 26, 2010 10:57 PM
    Keep in mind that these guys gave the phone back to Apple, not like they refused to do that. This just shows how pathetic Apple is...
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