When the police raided Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's Fremont, California home back in April, they confiscated his computers, server, and electronic devices as part of the iPhone 4G prototype theft investigation. Now officials are examining the hardware for signs of evidence that pertains to Gizmodo's $5,000 purchase of the supposed "stolen" Apple prototype.
Wednesday Stephen Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney for San Mateo County, said that the local court system had appointed a "special master," an unpaid agent that makes sure judicial orders are followed, and will search the devices for information only relative to the case. This is part on an agreement previously made with Chen's attorney on how the equipment could be searched.
Wagstaffe said that he was under court orders not to reveal the identity of the special master assigned to investigate the devices. However once the investigation is completed, the relevant evidence will be presented to a judge who will then review and present the findings to Chen and his attorney for a chance to make objections. After that, the judge will then decide what will be forwarded to the district attorney.
Overall, the process could take up to two months.
Meanwhile, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took a shot at Gizmodo Tuesday, saying that the gadget site tried to extort Apple. He gave his version of the whole incident in an on-stage interview at the All Things Digital D8 conference, admitting that there is still a question of whether the prototype was left behind, or if it was stolen from the employee's bag.
"This is a story that's amazing," he admitted, looking somewhat animated. "It's got theft; it's got buying stolen property; it's got extortion; I'm sure there's sex in there somewhere. Someone should make a movie out of this!"
Jobs also admitted that he has received advise from others that he should just let go of the whole Gizmodo ordeal. "You've got to just let it slide," he has been told. "You shouldn't go after a journalist because they bought stolen property and tried to extort you."
But Jobs was very clear on the matter, saying that "letting it slide" would change Apple's core values. "I can't do that," he admitted. "I'd rather quit."