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California authorities seize computers of Gizmodo editor

post #1 of 531
Thread Starter 
Armed with a warrant, California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team entered Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home last week and seized four computers and two servers in its felony investigation of an obtained prototype iPhone.

Gizmodo revealed the information, along with a copy of the warrant issued by a judge of the superior court in San Mateo County, Calif. In response, the website's post argued that it believes the warrant was invalid under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code.

The warrant states that there was probable cause that Chen's computers were "used as the means of committing a felony." The REACT authorities entered Chen's home without him present, according to Gizmodo.

A full inventory of the seized material includes a MacBook, MacBook Pro, 32GB iPad, 16GB iPhone, an AirPort Extreme, IBM ThinkPad, a Dell desktop, external hard drives, and many more. The items were removed from numerous rooms in his home.

An account of the events by Chen was also filed. The Gizmodo editor said he and his wife came back home from dinner around 9:45 p.m. when they noticed their garage door was half-open. When he tried to open the door, officers searched him and informed him that his property was under their control.

Chen's front door was reportedly broken open so the authorities could enter, and those on the scene informed him that he could be reimbursed for the damage. Chen was provided with a copy of the warrant, and declined to comment to the authorities. He was not arrested.

Last week it was revealed that police are investigating the Gizmodo purchase of a prototype iPhone from Apple. The publication's parent company, Gawker Media, has openly admitted it paid $5,000 to obtain the device from a man who claimed he found it at a California bar.

The prototype handset was allegedly left at the Redwood City, Calif., establishment by an Apple engineer. The employee frantically searched for the device, calling the bar multiple times to see if it had been returned, but the owner of the bar said no one ever contacted him to say they had found an iPhone. Gizmodo claimed that the person who found the phone attempted to call Apple and did not receive a response.

Gizmodo returned the iPhone to Apple after the Cupertino, Calif., company requested it be given back, but not before the publication wrote numerous stories about the device and revealed the name of the engineer who allegedly lost the device. The website also disassembled the hardware to confirm it was manufactured by Apple.
post #2 of 531
Good God!
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post #3 of 531
OOOOooooh ain't karma a BITCH! 9to5Mac and Gizmodo both disabled comments. I'm sure Gizmodo will be able to read ALL the reader love over here though...

The way they exposed Grays name was so sleazy, this is just really beautiful karma. I hope Nick does the right thing and has lots of cash for lawyers. The individual who allegedly found the phone and sold it to Giz (if thats what really happened) has got to be pissing in his pants right now...

This soap opera just keeps getting better and better.

Rob
post #4 of 531
This is pretty crazy. Assuming the evidence doesn't get thrown out, we'll finally get to see the truthfulness of Gizmodo's claims.

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iPad2 16 GB
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post #5 of 531
post #6 of 531
I think the fact that you made Steve call you instead of just giving up the iPhone probably made this a reality. And it really didn't help that you made that snarky remark when posting the letter from Apple's attorney requesting the phone back.
After 3 netbooks from acer, toshiba, hp, I find contentment in my 11.6 MB Air. Hoping the 8-hr battery version shows up soon.
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After 3 netbooks from acer, toshiba, hp, I find contentment in my 11.6 MB Air. Hoping the 8-hr battery version shows up soon.
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post #7 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by robzr View Post

OOOOooooh ain't karma a MOTHER!

There is a direct link here that I think this is better defined as causation or cause and effect.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #8 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is a direct link here that I think this is better defined as causation or cause and effect.

Absolutely!

Welp, I'm off to go bet my retirement savings on gizmodos future on intrade.com.........



Rob
post #9 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddych View Post

This is pretty crazy. Assuming the evidence doesn't get thrown out, we'll finally get to see the truthfulness of Gizmodo's claims.

Yeah, the law being what it is nowadays, it's unlikely these guys will ever get anything more than a slap on the wrist. Little rich kids like them don't go to jail over anything like this.

I'm really interested in finding out what exactly happened though regardless of whether they get off or not. As Gruber first pointed out, Chen and Lam have been editing the story of what happened on their website over the last few weeks. What they *say* happened has been changing back and forth a bit, it will be interesting to find out what *actually* happened once and for all.

I'm guessing that until the identity of the original thief is known and until they are arrested and questioned, that we won't really have a good idea of what the real story is.
post #10 of 531
Sweet music to my ears...
On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984.
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On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984.
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post #11 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by robzr View Post

ooooooooh ain't karma a bitch!

the way they exposed grays name was so sleazy, this is just really beautiful karma.

This soap opera just keeps getting better and better.

Rob

amen.
post #12 of 531
HAHAHH.

End transmission.
post #13 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, the law being what it is nowadays, it's unlikely these guys will ever get anything more than a slap on the wrist. Little rich kids like them don't go to jail over anything like this.

I'm really interested in finding out what exactly happened though regardless of whether they get off or not. As Gruber first pointed out, Chen and Lam have been editing the story of what happened on their website over the last few weeks. What they *say* happened has been changing back and forth a bit, it will be interesting to find out what *actually* happened once and for all.

I'm guessing that until the identity of the original thief is known and until they are arrested and questioned, that we won't really have a good idea of what the real story is.

I don't know that Jail is the answer or a fitting punishment, but little rich kids are hurt most by a hit to the wallet. Legal fees.

Plus, if whoever decided to run the story on Gray Powell gets his own reputation ruined and career destroyed, I'd find it a fitting and just conclusion to this fiasco.
post #14 of 531
I'm glad that law enforcement officials are following up on this. I think "Gizmodo" went too far on this one. Rumors are fine, but if they knowingly took possession of property that they knew was Apple's and then went on to disassemble and distribute information about it, I think they should be charged.
post #15 of 531
This is a very important development. For a while I've thought there has been a legal wrangle developing over what constitutes a journalist and whether or not a blogger can realistically claim to be a journalist, with the associated protections that entails.

It'll be interesting to see how this ends up. It has ramifications way beyond a story about Apple.
post #16 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by min_t View Post

I think the fact that you made Steve call you instead of just giving up the iPhone probably made this a reality. And it really didn't help that you made that snarky remark when posting the letter from Apple's attorney requesting the phone back.

And that is very, very disturbing.

I'll wait for all of this to play out, but I'm pretty close to swearing off Apple products for good.
post #17 of 531
The warrant was signed by the judge at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night. It did NOT authorize night service. I think the search and seizure may have been unlawful.
post #18 of 531
Hopefully this will discourage other amoral bloggers from pulling similar stunts in future. I doubt it will though.
post #19 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

And that is very, very disturbing.

I'll wait for all of this to play out, but I'm pretty close to swearing off Apple products for good.

Why? Because someone may have broken the law and stole an Apple prototype and then sold it to 2-bit trash?
On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984.
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On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984.
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post #20 of 531
Wow that was pretty fast. Guess money and good lawyers buys speed in these type of cases. Image this was your phone that got taken. There is no way the police would go after someone like Gizmodo for you.

I am surprised that they didn't perform the search early in the morning when they probably would have been home. Would have saved the tax payers a little money on the damage they did.

Normally a Search Warrant has a specific time that the search may occur. When the judge deems a search warrant appropriate, they will validate the search of a specific place, at a certain time, for certain items. This Search Warrant seemed pretty broad.

A good defense lawyer would have a field day with this.
post #21 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

HAHAHH.

End transmission.

In addition, hee HEE hee hee hee HAAWWWW!
post #22 of 531
I would not be surprised to read in many blogs:

"It is all part of Apple's carefully scripted PR"

"The Police Department is in Steve Jobs pocket."

Those aside, if the law officers entered the premises before the warrant was served, it may weaken the case. However, the US Supreme Court has loosened the rules on gathering or seizure of evidence, or legitimate confession.

CGC
post #23 of 531
pass the popcorn.

and the beer.
post #24 of 531
Several felonies. Buh-bye Gizmodo.
post #25 of 531
I bet they disassemble the computers before they give them back

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #26 of 531
looks like gizmodo finally realized the seriousness of the situation, and disabled comments for this story.
post #27 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple 1984 View Post

Sweet music to my ears...

Oh really? Apparently you're unable to put 2 + 2 together and realize how dangerous a precedent this is for our free media. If the rich (Steve Jobs) can influence the police to raid the homes of his enemies, even after the police are legally notified their warrant is invalid, that means you can no longer trust what you read in the press. You must assume going forward that everything published has been put through a filter of "we had to make sure this wouldn't piss off anyone rich who might raid us", which puts a tinge of doubt into every article. And that's a scary thing indeed. Cold War Pravda, anyone?
post #28 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

And that is very, very disturbing.

I'll wait for all of this to play out, but I'm pretty close to swearing off Apple products for good.

You are swearing off apple products because someone stole an Apple prototype?
post #29 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by min_t View Post

I think the fact that you made Steve call you instead of just giving up the iPhone probably made this a reality. And it really didn't help that you made that snarky remark when posting the letter from Apple's attorney requesting the phone back.

This is a criminal investigation, not civil. i.e. this isn't being done on Apple's behest. Its the police who are investigating it.
post #30 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple 1984 View Post

Why? Because someone may have broken the law and stole an Apple prototype and then sold it to 2-bit trash?

2-bit trash? Even Steve himself loves (loved) Gizmodo.

It's so funny to read things on one site that's not quite as 'Pro-Apple' as this one, and then turn and read the comments on this site, which are a stark contrast. It's like watching the Democrats and Republicans debate back and forth.

Apple may be within their right to go after Giz for this (insider information leaked knowingly is illegal in California), but they might not look too good in the press for being so damn secretive...
post #31 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Oh really? Apparently you're unable to put 2 + 2 together and realize how dangerous a precedent this is for our free media. If the rich (Steve Jobs) can influence the police to raid the homes of his enemies, even after the police are legally notified their warrant is invalid, that means you can no longer trust what you read in the press. You must assume going forward that everything published has been put through a filter of "we had to make sure this wouldn't piss off anyone rich who might raid us", which puts a tinge of doubt into every article. And that's a scary thing indeed. Cold War Pravda, anyone?

you do realize Apple has no control over what the police do do you?
Oh btw a crime occurred, something was stolen. This is a felony investigation.
post #32 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

This is a very important development. For a while I've thought there has been a legal wrangle developing over what constitutes a journalist and whether or not a blogger can realistically claim to be a journalist, with the associated protections that entails.

It'll be interesting to see how this ends up. It has ramifications way beyond a story about Apple.

This has nothing to do with journalism. It has to do with buying stolen property.
post #33 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Oh really? Apparently you're unable to put 2 + 2 together and realize how dangerous a precedent this is for our free media. If the rich (Steve Jobs) can influence the police to raid the homes of his enemies, even after the police are legally notified their warrant is invalid, that means you can no longer trust what you read in the press. You must assume going forward that everything published has been put through a filter of "we had to make sure this wouldn't piss off anyone rich who might raid us", which puts a tinge of doubt into every article. And that's a scary thing indeed. Cold War Pravda, anyone?

Please spare me the delusions... What I am able to put together is that a prototype was likely stolen and sold to some sleazebag journalist wannabes. This is not about the rich influencing the law... rather the law being broken and justice (if warranted) being served.
On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984.
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On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984.
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post #34 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

And that is very, very disturbing.

I'll wait for all of this to play out, but I'm pretty close to swearing off Apple products for good.

??
Because people who buy stolen property are your heros?
post #35 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

If the rich (Steve Jobs) can influence the police to raid the homes of his enemies, even after the police are legally notified their warrant is invalid, that means you can no longer trust what you read in the press.

Are you for real?

At least the printed press adhere to vague journalistic standards. Bloggers, and tech bloggers in particular, have no such standards. Never trust what they say.
post #36 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Oh really? Apparently you're unable to put 2 + 2 together and realize how dangerous a precedent this is for our free media. If the rich (Steve Jobs) can influence the police to raid the homes of his enemies, even after the police are legally notified their warrant is invalid, that means you can no longer trust what you read in the press. You must assume going forward that everything published has been put through a filter of "we had to make sure this wouldn't piss off anyone rich who might raid us", which puts a tinge of doubt into every article. And that's a scary thing indeed. Cold War Pravda, anyone?

Oh give us a break.
Repeat after me: Stolen Property. Criminal Case. Police Action, not Apple Action.
post #37 of 531
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #38 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmg007 View Post

The warrant was signed by the judge at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night. It did NOT authorize night service. I think the search and seizure may have been unlawful.

Although I think this action is a very bad thing for All of the blog-news sites... I found this with a super fast google search...

Quote:
"Search warrants must generally be served in the daytime unless good cause can be shown for a nighttime execution. "Night" is defined in statute as being between 2200 and 0630"

So the whole 'day/night' issue doesn't really come into play.

I can see that the usually zombies are all celebrating but lets look at the broader implications here... Do we really want the COPS or FEDS breaking in the doors of people reporting the news simply because they found a story and reported it?

Perhaps Gizmodo should have turned in the device to the police and then in due time bough the same #*%&*( 'stolen' item LEGALLY (since the cops are the ones doing the selling).

http://www.ehow.com/how_5137713_buy-...s-legally.html
Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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post #39 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Oh give us a break.
Repeat after me: Stolen Property. Criminal Case. Police Action, not Apple Action.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5137713_buy-...s-legally.html
Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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post #40 of 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... but not before the publication wrote numerous stories about the device and revealed the name of the engineer who allegedly lost the device.

I have no understanding of why they revealed his name to the world. As he didn't feel bad already. The rest, I can understand. The urge for being the first to reveal a new Apple gadget. I wouldn't have gone there but I totally understand it.
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