California authorities seize computers of Gizmodo editor

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 530
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,732member
    Good God!
  • Reply 2 of 530
    robzrrobzr Posts: 20member
    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
  • Reply 3 of 530
    freddychfreddych Posts: 266member
    This is pretty crazy. Assuming the evidence doesn't get thrown out, we'll finally get to see the truthfulness of Gizmodo's claims.
  • Reply 4 of 530
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,735member
  • Reply 5 of 530
    min_tmin_t Posts: 74member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 530
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 530
    robzrrobzr Posts: 20member
    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
  • Reply 8 of 530
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 530
    Sweet music to my ears...
  • Reply 10 of 530
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 445member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 530
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    HAHAHH.



    End transmission.
  • Reply 12 of 530
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 445member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 530
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 530
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 530
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 530
    rmg007rmg007 Posts: 1member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 530
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Hopefully this will discourage other amoral bloggers from pulling similar stunts in future. I doubt it will though.
  • Reply 18 of 530
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 530
    tri3tri3 Posts: 20member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 530
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post


    HAHAHH.



    End transmission.



    In addition, hee HEE hee hee hee HAAWWWW!
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