Apple a director of task force that raided Gizmodo journalist's home

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple is among a group of Silicon Valley firms that are listed as helping to steer the California police task force that raided the home of a Gizmodo journalist who published photos and information of Apple's fourth-generation iPhone prototype.



Others steering the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, or REACT, include both Google and Adobe, according to MarketWatch, which unearthed the data from California's High Technology Crime Advisory Committee's annual report filed for 2008.



The REACT task force dates back to 1999, according to the following year's annual report. It received $2.3 billion in funding last year, which it used to facilitate 102 "high-tech investigations" that resulted in 28 arrests and subsequently 12 convictions.



There's reportedly no "defined membership" of the committee overseeing REACT and its meetings are open to all company representatives. And while there is no record of Apple reps attending any recent meeting, the iPhone maker is listed amongst the companies who have open investigations to attend.



On Friday, the REACT task force executed a warrant to search the home and car of Gizmodo blogger Jason Chen, who had possession of the iPhone prototype before it was returned to Apple, and who was responsible for the gadget blogs breaking stories on the device.



Chen 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. He was provided with a copy of the warrant, which stated that there was probable cause his computers were "used as the means of committing a felony."



Those beliefs stem from the fact that Gizmodo's parent company, Gawker Media, openly admitted that it paid $5,000 to obtain the iPhone prototype from a man who claimed he found it at a California bar after it was left their by an Apple baseband engineer who was field testing the device.



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.







A full inventory of the material seized from Chen's home included a MacBook, MacBook Pro, 32GB iPad, 16GB iPhone, an AirPort Extreme, IBM ThinkPad, a Dell desktop, external hard drives, and American Express credit card bills. The items were removed from numerous rooms in his home.



Gawker has since argued that by executing the search warrant, the REACT task force was in violation of California's shield law, which was designed to protect journalists from being forced to turn over their sources.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    What a silly article.



    Are they accusing Apple of wrong-doing? If so, how about some evidence.



    Or maybe they're suggesting that companies who are on the task force shouldn't get police protection. That would sure encourage companies to volunteer.
  • Reply 2 of 63
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    With Apple and the rest of the Tech Industry along with the RIAA and MPAA I think we can all sleep well in the knowledge that the police are here to... To Protect (the corporate profits) & Serve (the CEO)!



    I'd laugh if it wasn't so sickeningly sad.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    Basically are you saying that Apple somehow controls the DA that signs the search warrant?

    It's only a violation of the shield law if Jason Chen is not a suspect.

    Unfortunately he could very well be a suspect in this case.
  • Reply 4 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    What a silly article.



    Are they accusing Apple of wrong-doing? If so, how about some evidence.



    Or maybe they're suggesting that companies who are on the task force shouldn't get police protection. That would sure encourage companies to volunteer.



    Yeah, this has to be one of the most ridiculous articles I've ever seen on here.



    In the first place, it's not even news because these facts were all known within five minutes of the cops bashing down Jason Chen's front door, and in the second place, it's completely immaterial to the whole controversy.



    The implication is that Apple shouldn't be involved because they are on the board, but you only have to think of the reverse (that no crimes against members of the board should be investigated), to see how bloody stupid the whole idea is. Apple shouldn't ask for an investigation of a crime? Seriously?
  • Reply 5 of 63
    this story is just stupid. the engineer should have be more careful with the phone. apple is just throwing a fit like they always do. the phone is out on the internet, apple should just move on and stop acting like a little kid. Gizmodo had all rights to do what he wanted to do with the phone. apple got it back anyways
  • Reply 6 of 63
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fbrider View Post


    this story is just stupid. the engineer should have be more careful with the phone. apple is just throwing a fit like they always do. the phone is out on the internet, apple should just move on and stop acting like a little kid. Gizmodo had all rights to do what he wanted to do with the phone. apple got it back anyways



    Yeah. Someone stole your wallet. So what?! It already happened. The thief should not be investigated and arrested. And if you are the member of a law enforcement agency then you are "throwing a fit" and acting like a child. Let it go
  • Reply 7 of 63
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fbrider View Post


    this story is just stupid. the engineer should have be more careful with the phone. apple is just throwing a fit like they always do. the phone is out on the internet, apple should just move on and stop acting like a little kid. Gizmodo had all rights to do what he wanted to do with the phone. apple got it back anyways



    They said they did not know it was stolen, that doesn't make it true.

    Chances are they knew it was a stolen Apple prototype, and they paid 5 grand for it.

    Unfortunately nobody has the right to buy/sell stolen property.
  • Reply 8 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fbrider View Post


    this story is just stupid. the engineer should have be more careful with the phone. apple is just throwing a fit like they always do. the phone is out on the internet, apple should just move on and stop acting like a little kid. Gizmodo had all rights to do what he wanted to do with the phone. apple got it back anyways



    Hey dude, I just found your car, it was lying around on the side of the street so yeah I got in to find the owners name and waited to see if you'd come back for a bit but you didn't so I drove off with it. Hung onto it for a while, called your employer's reception (maybe) and then sold it to someone else.



    Don't go throwing a fit now, I had all the rights to do what I wanted with it.



    Get a grip on reality man
  • Reply 9 of 63
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fbrider View Post


    this story is just stupid. the engineer should have be more careful with the phone. apple is just throwing a fit like they always do. the phone is out on the internet, apple should just move on and stop acting like a little kid. Gizmodo had all rights to do what he wanted to do with the phone. apple got it back anyways



    Says the grown up with the degree in law and yet who knows not how to capitalise.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    gfizgfiz Posts: 32member
    getting bored of hearing about Gizmodo and how they should be able to facilitate stealing legally...
  • Reply 11 of 63
    panupanu Posts: 135member
    How is it a surprise or a scandal that the victim of a theft called the police to report the crime?
  • Reply 12 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post


    Hey dude, I just found your car, it was lying around on the side of the street so yeah I got in to find the owners name and waited to see if you'd come back for a bit but you didn't so I drove off with it. Hung onto it for a while, called your employer's reception (maybe) and then sold it to someone else.



    Don't go throwing a fit now, I had all the rights to do what I wanted with it.



    Get a grip on reality man



    You forgot the part where, when you return it, he'll have to put the engine back together and remold the framing, since, of course, you took the entire car apart while you had it, too. Just to see if maybe his name was written in some obscure place like one of the axles or in the container for the windshield washer fluid.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    Taking Apple out of the equation-has anyone thought about the cost of this task force and how well they are doing convicting people?



    1) 2.3 billon in 2009 to fund Task Force, yielded-102 investigations, 28 arrests and 12 convictions.



    2) That is 17.9 million per investigation, 82 million/arrest, and 192 million/conviction. This is how CA spends its money? You have got to be kidding me.



    The percentages don't add up to have this task force operating at all, unless companies are funding the task force and are using them as they're personal police force. Which I suspect Apple, Google, and Adobe is. Pretty hard to get a search warrant on the public when you are a private company isn't it?



    3) Percentages- 27% of the investigations led to an arrest and only 42% of the arrests led to a conviction. If that happened in a business it would be bankrupt in months.



    After this stunt by Apple I will be thinking twice about ever purchasing another Apple product in my lifetime. This also goes for using Google and Adobe.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fbrider View Post


    this story is just stupid. the engineer should have be more careful with the phone. apple is just throwing a fit like they always do. the phone is out on the internet, apple should just move on and stop acting like a little kid. Gizmodo had all rights to do what he wanted to do with the phone. apple got it back anyways



    If Gizmodo had the rights to take the phone, then the police had the rights to take Gizmodo's computers. After all, Gizmodo left them lying around and they didn't build a moat around their house and stock it with alligators.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post


    You forgot the part where, when you return it, he'll have to put the engine back together and remold the framing, since, of course, you took the entire car apart while you had it, too. Just to see if maybe his name was written in some obscure place like one of the axles or in the container for the windshield washer fluid.



    You also forgot the part where the crook published your social security number and checking account number on the Internet before returning your wallet to you.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alicat2441 View Post


    Taking Apple out of the equation-has anyone thought about the cost of this task force and how well they are doing convicting people?



    1) 2.3 billon in 2009 to fund Task Force, yielded-102 investigations, 28 arrests and 12 convictions.



    2) That is 17.9 million per investigation, 82 million/arrest, and 192 million/conviction. This is how CA spends its money? You have got to be kidding me.



    Since Gizmodo made this one simple by publicly confessing, those numbers should improve. So you should be thanking Apple.
  • Reply 15 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alicat2441 View Post


    Taking Apple out of the equation-has anyone thought about the cost of this task force and how well they are doing convicting people?



    1) 2.3 billon in 2009 to fund Task Force, yielded-102 investigations, 28 arrests and 12 convictions.



    2) That is 17.9 million per investigation, 82 million/arrest, and 192 million/conviction. This is how CA spends its money? You have got to be kidding me.



    Yeah I was thinking the same thing...good god man, 2.3 BILLION DOLLARS!!!! Let's cure cancer instead, my god what a waste of money.
  • Reply 16 of 63
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    With Apple and the rest of the Tech Industry along with the RIAA and MPAA I think we can all sleep well in the knowledge that the police are here to... To Protect (the corporate profits) & Serve (the CEO)!



    I'd laugh if it wasn't so sickeningly sad.



    Get a life. Your vulgar innuendo is what's sickeningly sad.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    Okay, I know this is a fan forum but even so, the reactions are ridiculous. In the US, someone is innocent until proven guilty. This is even true when a person or the organisation the person works for virtually admits being guilty.



    The facts.
    • The police raided the house of Jason Chen.

    • Chen was a journalist.

    • He worked out of his home.

    • Section 1524(g) of the CA penal code clearly states that a journalist cannot be subpoenaed for refusal to reveal a source.

    • Section 1070 of said code clearly states that a warrant cannot be issued for seizure of any objects described in section 1524(g)

    The fact that Apple has a directorship guiding the same task force that raided Chen's house might be relevant if that taskforce is prepared to bend the law just a little bit to help Apple out. It helps having friends in the right places. However, the law is supposed to work equally for everyone, not just for big corporations. I wonder if the police would have been so willing to raid the home of someone who alledgedly "stole" a phone made by a competitor.
  • Reply 18 of 63
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alicat2441 View Post


    Taking Apple out of the equation-has anyone thought about the cost of this task force and how well they are doing convicting people?



    1) 2.3 billon in 2009 to fund Task Force, yielded-102 investigations, 28 arrests and 12 convictions.



    2) That is 17.9 million per investigation, 82 million/arrest, and 192 million/conviction. This is how CA spends its money? You have got to be kidding me.



    The percentages don't add up to have this task force operating at all, unless companies are funding the task force and are using them as they're personal police force. Which I suspect Apple, Google, and Adobe is. Pretty hard to get a search warrant on the public when you are a private company isn't it?



    3) Percentages- 27% of the investigations led to an arrest and only 42% of the arrests led to a conviction. If that happened in a business it would be bankrupt in months.



    After this stunt by Apple I will be thinking twice about ever purchasing another Apple product in my lifetime. This also goes for using Google and Adobe.



    You are not taking Apple out of the equation, you are talking law out of the equation.
  • Reply 19 of 63
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Singapura View Post


    The fact that Apple has a directorship guiding the same task force that raided Chen's house might be relevant if that taskforce is prepared to bend the law just a little bit to help Apple out. It helps having friends in the right places. However, the law is supposed to work equally for everyone, not just for big corporations. I wonder if the police would have been so willing to raid the home of someone who alledgedly "stole" a phone made by a competitor.



    Are you stupid?

    You saying that Apple's controlling the DA who signed the warrant.

    how stupid can you be?
  • Reply 20 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fbrider View Post


    this story is just stupid. the engineer should have be more careful with the phone. apple is just throwing a fit like they always do. the phone is out on the internet, apple should just move on and stop acting like a little kid. Gizmodo had all rights to do what he wanted to do with the phone. apple got it back anyways



    Yea.... I just bought a stolen/lost prototype worth billions of future income from you.... but you got it back.... so stop "throwing a fit".



    Just because Apple is a big company, then it's ok for people to adversely affect them?
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