Police Raid Gizmodo Editor's Home Over iPhone 4G
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Media's Nick Denton believes that California law--which protects journalists from turning over anonymous sources or unpublished material to law enforcement during a search--also applies to Chen's personal property.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.