Media ask court to unseal affidavit used in prototype iPhone raid

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Major media outlets, looking into the legality of a police raid of the home of the Gizmodo editor who obtained a prototype iPhone, have asked a California judge to unseal the search warrant affidavit.



The Associated Press and other news organizations formally asked a judge on Wednesday to unseal the warrant, which was used to seize the computers of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen. The AP reported that the raid's legality is "one of many unanswered questions" in the case.



"Apple is notoriously secretive about unreleased products, and Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's dissection of what may be the next-generation iPhone appears to have rubbed the company the wrong way," the report said.



When Chen's home was searched, the search warrant itself was made public, but the news organizations seek the affidavit, which spells out the legal reasons for a search. Those documents are typically made public within 10 days, but the paperwork related to the raid, which occurred on April 23, remains sealed by the court.



"The media organizations are trying to learn whether there was a reason for the search warrant more compelling than the legal protections given to journalists," the report said. The AP is joined in its request by Bloomberg News, CNet News, the Los Angeles Times, Wired.com, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the First Amendment Coalition. A hearing related to the motion has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon.



The search warrant used in the raid was issued by a judge of the superior court in San Mateo County, Calif., and suggested the computers in Chen's home may have been used to commit a felony. California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team seized four computers, two servers, and numerous other electronic devices in the search.



But authorities are waiting to analyze the data seized in the raid, as authorities attempt to discern whether Chen was protected under the California shield laws intended to protect journalists. Prosecutors are currently considering arguments as to whether the search was illegal, and Gizmodo may attempt to sue the police over the raid.



Gizmodo and its parent company, Gawker Media, paid $5,000 to obtain the prototype device from a person who found it after it was lost at a California bar. The handset was left behind at a Redwood City establishment by an Apple engineer who frantically searched for the device after it was left behind. A spokesman for the San Mateo County district attorney's office told the AP that both Apple and the engineer reported the lost phone to the authorities.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    This is one of the things that is wrong with media today.



    Gizmodo committed a crime. Why are the other media outlets sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. Let the police do their jobs. If Gizmodo prevails in court, they can sue at that point.
  • Reply 2 of 78
    Quote:

    [..] teh report said [..]



    Staff need to use Mac's built-in 'Check spelling while typing' option, me think!



    On the (other) relevant note, those media agencies' balls must be quaking in their pant trying to know if their ass can be that easily whipped.. what do you think?
  • Reply 3 of 78
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 970member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    This is one of the things that is wrong with media today.



    Gizmodo committed a crime. Why are the other media outlets sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. Let the police do their jobs. If Gizmodo prevails in court, they can sue at that point.



    If it's a crime, It's a public matter. They have every right to stick their noses in. At any rate, they would be interested in the extent of their journalistic protections.
  • Reply 4 of 78
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    This is one of the things that is wrong with media today.



    Gizmodo committed a crime. Why are the other media outlets sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. Let the police do their jobs. If Gizmodo prevails in court, they can sue at that point.



    Actually, Apple might have committed a crime by being complicit in an illegal raid on a journalist, but ok.
  • Reply 5 of 78
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,178member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    This is one of the things that is wrong with media today.



    Gizmodo committed a crime. Why are the other media outlets sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. Let the police do their jobs. If Gizmodo prevails in court, they can sue at that point.



    Exactly. I actually love the idea of releasing the details so the media can see that the warrant was not about this blogs alleged shield rights or Apple being peeved about the leak but about Gawker's site committing a criminal (and as I recall felony) act. Just like the one they attempted in January over the ipad.



    Giz f'd up by bragging that they had the phone and that they paid for it. Then they dragged some Apple employee through the mud. At the very least, I hope the whole of Gawker loses their access and their ads over this. Not just from Apple but from all tech (and then some). Would serve them right



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Actually, Apple might have committed a crime by being complicit in an illegal raid on a journalist, but ok.



    There's no proof that Apple was involved



    Also for the raid to be illegal it would have to

    1. Lack of a properly signed warrant. no worries there they have one

    2. violate conditions of the warrant as allowed by law, such as the time, lack of presence at the location, items that could be taken. highly doubt that anyone would be that stupid

    3. violate shield laws. as this is about finding the details of the partner to a crime as well as exactly what Chen and Gizmodo's involvement was, shield laws don't apply. Said laws don't protect you when you commit, and confess, to a criminal act
  • Reply 6 of 78
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,738member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    This is one of the things that is wrong with media today.



    Gizmodo committed a crime. Why are the other media outlets sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. Let the police do their jobs. If Gizmodo prevails in court, they can sue at that point.



    Once again, they're dying for an Apple story. It's that simple. Apple's comings and goings are big business.
  • Reply 7 of 78
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    Lesson to be learned.



    You get a pre-release anything, take pictures and sell the information anonymously for cash and then dispose of the thing.



    Don´t tell your friends, don´t tell anyone and don´t return it. Don´t carry it on you or home or car.



    The law is so complicated and screwy, they might decide to make a new law on your case or use one that´s 100 years old.



    You still pay, even if your innocent.



    The stress alone is terrible. The fear of court, jail and/or fines is well known and manipulated t it´s fullest effect.



    Innocent are made to look guilty, people lie, cops lie, justice isn´t about what´s right, it´s about what they can prove.



    The young are especially vulnerable.
  • Reply 8 of 78
    delreyjonesdelreyjones Posts: 316member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    When Chen's home was searched, the search warrant itself was made public, but the news organizations seek the affidavit, which spells out the legal reasons for a search. Those documents are typically made public within 10 days, but the paperwork related to the raid, which occurred on April 23, remains sealed by the court.

    .



    As an Apple supporter and shareholder, I'm bothered by this. If it's true that these documents are typically made public in ten days, and for some reason it's not happening in this case, I think the public has a right to know why. I don't like it at all if Apple pressured the court not to release the affidavit. We don't know that Apple did that, but given their tendency towards secrecy it looks like they might have.



    Any thoughts?
  • Reply 9 of 78
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,509member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Actually, Apple might have committed a crime by being complicit in an illegal raid on a journalist, but ok.



    Apple did not conduct a raid, legal or illegal. Check yourself before you riggety-wreck yourself.
  • Reply 10 of 78
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,509member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post


    As an Apple supporter and shareholder, I'm bothered by this. If it's true that these documents are typically made public in ten days, and for some reason it's not happening in this case, I think the public has a right to know why. I don't like it at all if Apple pressured the court not to release the affidavit. We don't know that Apple did that, but given their tendency towards secrecy it looks like they might have.



    Any thoughts?



    Apple's gotta eat, too... But seriously, if someone stole something of yours and you knew who they were, wouldn't you want law enforcement to act on the information?
  • Reply 11 of 78
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,587member
    Aha. Just as I speculated. This is going to get worse for Apple before it gets better. The media will close ranks around Gizmodo (and they are probably right to do that).



    Whether it is DeGeneris, or SJ's health, or the options backdating or now this, Apple really needs to get its PR act together in a serious way. They appear to be tone deaf on that front. (When Jon Stewart, an Apple-lover calls you an 'apphole' and suggests that Microsoft is less evil than you are, there's a really serious problem with how the public perceives you; see this hilarious video at http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/we...-2010/appholes).



    It is not just a question of 'right' and 'wrong' at this level. Apple is acting remarkably childishly and foolishly for a $230+B company.
  • Reply 12 of 78
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    This is one of the things that is wrong with media today.



    Gizmodo committed a crime. Why are the other media outlets sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. Let the police do their jobs. If Gizmodo prevails in court, they can sue at that point.



    The issue here is not the crime. The issue is the basis the search warrant was requested. Whether the warrant was granted gather information about the "finder/seller" or possession of stolen property makes a BIG difference.
  • Reply 13 of 78
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Actually, Apple might have committed a crime by being complicit in an illegal raid on a journalist, but ok.



    You forgot the mention the judge, the DA, and every police officer who participated in the raid. They all committed the crime because they used the law to legally get search warrant signed by a judge. They should all go to jail. On the other hand, the person who sold the STOLEN iPhone, based on CA law, and the person who bought the STOLEN iphone should get a free pass
  • Reply 14 of 78
    voodooruvoodooru Posts: 70member
    calling Jizmodo a news org is really funny. Jason Chen and them were all glowing and acting bad-ass, bragging. even appearing on his own video to reveal his ugly face.



    but now they have to deal with it. a real news org wouldn't brag and act like a pimply high school kid.



    hope Apple prevails and Jizmodo pays.





  • Reply 15 of 78
    psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 451member
    Puh-leeaaze! The media are supporting Gawker because they have a dog in this fight: their standing as journalists. What? You'd expect them to be objective? They'll trash Apple and they'll make Apple look like the bad guy because they're threatened by this apparently, or is that alleged, felony committed by Gizmodo. They'll attempt to try this case in the media and it looks like they might have turned public opinion against Apple but Apple will continue to sell their products and the stock will continue an upward trajectory. A bit of a prediction: Apple will prevail against Gawker and people will still be pissed at them, because the media will portray it as rigged, or the court was wrong, etc.
  • Reply 16 of 78
    mike fixmike fix Posts: 220member
    The media and the public deserve to know all information pertaining to the case. This is a public law enforcement agency and public court system. There should always be transparency where public tax dollars are spent.



    I do have a major problem with people taking something that doesn't belong to them and then selling it for profit, and the receiver knowing it was stolen and using it for profit.
  • Reply 17 of 78
    souliisoulsouliisoul Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    This is one of the things that is wrong with media today.



    Gizmodo committed a crime. Why are the other media outlets sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. Let the police do their jobs. If Gizmodo prevails in court, they can sue at that point.



    Issue here is your biased view of the situation by starting you comments with "Gizmodo committed a Grime" I not sure and maybe I missed a couple of days, but has that been proven already?

    I like Apple, but I enjoy more that laws are used in proper fashion and if abused, everyone should know, so we know our rights in future.
  • Reply 18 of 78
    delreyjonesdelreyjones Posts: 316member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Apple's gotta eat, too... But seriously, if someone stole something of yours and you knew who they were, wouldn't you want law enforcement to act on the information?



    Yes, absolutely I want Apple to request that law enforcement act. I even think Apple is obliged to do this on behalf of its shareholders like you and me. No question there.



    My concern is that Apple may have used its power to bend the rules for its benefit. I don't like Gizmodo and my retirement depends on Apple, but nevertheless I want them both to play by the same rules of the game. I don't want the game to be tilted towards any billion dollar corporation just cause they're rich.



    That said, this AI article does imply that the court may have bent the rules on Apple's request, but over on CNET there's another story that implies the rules may have been bent on request of the 21 year old Finder's criminal defense attorney. I hope that is the case. I want Apple to win fair and square and I want Gizmodo to be punished no worse or better than anyone else (assuming they're convicted of their role in grand theft).
  • Reply 19 of 78
    physguyphysguy Posts: 912member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Aha. Just as I speculated. This is going to get worse for Apple before it gets better. The media will close ranks around Gizmodo (and they are probably right to do that).



    Whether it is DeGeneris, or SJ's health, or the options backdating or now this, Apple really needs to get its PR act together in a serious way. They appear to be tone deaf on that front. (When Jon Stewart, an Apple-lover calls you an 'apphole' and suggests that Microsoft is less evil than you are, there's a really serious problem with how the public perceives you; see this hilarious video at http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/we...-2010/appholes).



    It is not just a question of 'right' and 'wrong' at this level. Apple is acting remarkably childishly and foolishly for a $230+B company.



    I disagree with this assessment and have to admire Apple for their handling of these type of situations. By that I mean as an adult. They don't try to control every little PR shift and change but focus on getting things done that benefit both the user and Apple. They realize that, as long as they achieve the latter, important items like great products, great customer service as measured surveys and such, and not anecdotal stories, and at the same time having one of the best development processes, supply chain management systems, in the world that they don't need to, and shouldn't sweat the small stuff. This is the small stuff. Just like their financial management, and their product development, they are focussed on the long-view. Skate to where the puck will be.
  • Reply 20 of 78
    foadfoad Posts: 697member
    I have a feeling that the records will be unsealed and the warrant/raid will be deemed legal. On something this high profile, I would think that the DA and judge would cross all their t's and dot all their i's.



    The warrant/raid was most likely related to Gizmodo receiving the stolen prototype and not to reveal the source of the theft. That information would be protected by shield laws. Wired revealed the source with their own little digging, so seizing the computers was not needed. Gizmodo could have just paid for face time with the prototype and they wouldn't be in the situation that they are in right now. All these journalists backing Gawker/Gizmodo/Chen are turning a blind eye to what actually happened. Gizmodo/Chen were constantly changing the posts related to the prototype because they eventually realized that they screwed up and that their "legal counsel" was probably wrong. I'm all for journalists being protected. Protecting sources is a top priority but this has nothing to do with the source.



    I'm sure we'll find out soon enough, but no matter what, Apple will be getting crap from the media and from Apple bashers, even though they didn't do anything wrong. Someone stole, then sold their property and it all became a very public deal. If anyone was in their position, whether it's a company or an individual, they'd do same EXACT thing.
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