Gizmodo editor's devices being examined in prototype iPhone case

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The computers and devices of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, seized in April as part of an investigation into the obtained prototype Apple iPhone, are now being examined for evidence.



Stephen Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney for San Mateo County, Calif., told Cnet on Wednesday that the authorities had begun obtaining information from Chen's devices. Previously, officials said they were waiting to determine whether the suspect was protected as a journalist under state laws.



Wagstaffe reportedly said that his department and Chen's attorney "came to an agreement on how Chen's computer and other equipment could be searched." That agreement calls for a "special master" to search the items seized. The special master is an independent volunteer who will search the devices to find what is believed to be relevant to the case. The appropriate information will be reviewed by Chen and his lawyers so they can make objections, and then a judge will decide what to forward to the district attorney.



Attorneys for Gawker Media, the parent company of Gizmodo, argued that the search warrant used to obtain Chen's devices was invalid. Authorities entered Chen's home in late April and seized four computers and two servers, along with a number of devices including an iPad, iPhone, AirPort Extreme and multiple external hard drives.



The editor was not arrested, but authorities broke open the front door to his home and searched the property, obtaining the electronics for evidence. Chen has still not been charged with a crime, though the investigation continues.



Apple co-founder Steve Jobs spoke about the Gizmodo case at this week's D8 conference. The chief executive openly questioned whether Chen is considered to be a journalist, drawing gasps from the audience.



"There's a debate about whether he left in a bar, or if it was stolen out of his bag," Jobs said.



The saga of the lost prototype iPhone began in March when an Apple engineer went to a bar in Redwood City, Calif. The Apple employee frantically searched for the device when he discovered he no longer had it, but it was taken and sold by another person for $5,000 to Gizmodo.



The non-functional hardware was photographed and disassembled by the website. Gizmodo also asked Apple for a formal letter requesting the device, something Jobs said this week said he felt amounted to "extortion."



"This is a story that's amazing: It's got theft, it's got buying stolen property, it's got extortion," Jobs said. "I'm sure there's some sex in there."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92
    dgnr8dgnr8 Posts: 196member
    Seriously
  • Reply 2 of 92
    le studiosle studios Posts: 199member
    I'm sure if he would ask Steve Jobs to borrow it I'm sure he would have.



    I need to boost my blog (see above) but I'm not paying $5,000 for a hot iPhone prototype. I mean seriously!
  • Reply 3 of 92
    I watched as much of that interview as could on YouTube and Jobs comes as a very thoughtful, serious and focused individual....he doesn't seen to want to let this one go!



    I would hate to be on his bad side!



    Hope we can get a link to the video for the entire interview
  • Reply 4 of 92
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,155member
    His attorneys will try to associate any incriminating evidence with Chen's newsgathering activities.
  • Reply 5 of 92
    emulatoremulator Posts: 251member
    If there was sex in there, Jobs had already censored it. Bigot hypocrites ftw. \
  • Reply 6 of 92
    masternavmasternav Posts: 442member
    Are bloggers to be considered journalists, and therefore covered under the explicit rights and responsibilities tacitly and assumed to be granted as "4th estate" agents?



    This raises some difficult issues. On one hand you have the potential dilution of the role of the journalists, due to the fact that ANYONE can be a blogger, and therefore assumed to be covered by these rights and responsibilities traditionally granted formally trained journalist writers and presenters. What are the advantages of doing this? Do the protections offered traditional journalists in their role belong to the average blogger simply because they have created, or participate in, or are labelled "journalist" by the company supporting them in blogging activity?



    Had I taken the time and effort to be formally trained as a journalist, I might have some real concerns about this - if potentially everyone can be a journalist (blogger), then there is no distinction for the role and the special rights and protections become problematic. The rights and protections assume a certain level of professionalism and adherance to standards, both industry and peer created and controlled. If anyone can assume the role of journalist de facto as a blogger, without regard to those standards and controls - the role of journalist is hopelessly compromised.



    On the other hand, is the role of journalist an artifact of an earlier "analog" society, and are the role, standards, professionalism and protections no longer valid in the current digital information age? If so, then while Chen can under these circumstances claim to be a "journalist", can he really then also claim the rights and protections of the older role that is being made invalid?



  • Reply 7 of 92
    vatdorovatdoro Posts: 52member
    "The chief executive openly questioned whether Chen is considered to be a journalist, drawing gasps from the audience."



    I've watched the whole Gizmodo clip, and read the initial "quick and dirty transcript". I heard SJ call Chen a journalist, but I never heard him question whether he was a journalist. And I never heard the crowd gasp.



    Are you just making that up?



    BTW, I personally don't think Chen is a journalist, and I doubt SJ does either.
  • Reply 8 of 92
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The chief executive openly questioned whether Chen is considered to be a journalist, drawing gasps from the audience.



    The law is quite clear, Bloggers are NOT journalists.



    http://journalism.about.com/b/2010/0...rt-says-no.htm
  • Reply 9 of 92
    masternavmasternav Posts: 442member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emulator View Post


    If there was sex in there, Jobs had already censored it. Bigot hypocrites ftw. \



    try. Look how quickly your knuckles drag on the floor, and you descend into trolldom. A transformation that would challenge Industrial Light and Magic in it's swiftness and completeness.
  • Reply 10 of 92
    tulsetulse Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    His attorneys will try to associate any incriminating evidence with Chen's newsgathering activities.



    Hasn't Chen already admitted publicly (by posting on Gizmodo) to buying the phone and disassembling it, then attempting to extort an admission of authenticity from Apple? I'm not clear what most "incrimination" is necessary for him to be charged.
  • Reply 11 of 92
    tulsetulse Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by masternav View Post


    Are bloggers to be considered journalists, and therefore covered under the explicit rights and responsibilities tacitly and assumed to be granted as "4th estate" agents?



    "We don't seek to do good," says Denton, wearing a purplish shirt, jeans and a beard that resembles a three-day growth. "We may inadvertently do good. We may inadvertently commit journalism. That is not the institutional intention."
  • Reply 12 of 92
    neilmneilm Posts: 525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post


    The law is quite clear, Bloggers are NOT journalists.



    http://journalism.about.com/b/2010/0...rt-says-no.htm



    At least in NJ they're not. In California...?



    In any case it should be noted that journalist shield laws do not protect them against being pursued for criminal acts they may have committed. You know, like buying stolen property...
  • Reply 13 of 92
    I think what may end up coming into play is Gizmodo's offer of basiclly a bounty for anyone that got the a new iPhone. If the DA can prove a link between the person that "found" it and the person that bought it, it may make there case a little stronger. What we don't know is if the guy in the bar knew it was a new phone. If he did, and that is a big if, and they can prove he knew it was valuable, it could be bad news for all involved. Apple has taken the stance that it was stolen under the law, and the "finder" did not have a right to sell it, and Gizmodo did not have a right to buy it / tear it apart. Asking Apple to prove it was theirs and then posting that fact maybe crossed the line also. This is going into a gray area with people blogging online. I don't think the protection applies here since we have evidence (his own posts) that he was in fact in possesion of a lost / stolen product. Claiming he did not know if it was "real" will be a hard sell, since it had that real nice Apple on the back.
  • Reply 14 of 92
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    I doubt that they will find anything on the phone itself, since it has been remote wiped, which I believe erases everything on the phone rendering it unusable.
  • Reply 15 of 92
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,044member
    Rest assured, there was no sex. These are BLOGGERS we are talking about!
  • Reply 16 of 92
    masternavmasternav Posts: 442member


    Gawker Media operates as a media gossip blog with the thinnest possible veneer of journalism it is possible to scrape down to without losing any letters from the word covering your activities. Some say that they have scraped it so much that the only letters left are j******ism. Gawker has in fact institutionalized a wannabe journalistic schaudenfeude that thrives on it's inherent illegitimacy and this bleeds from every pore of its bastard children: Valleywag, Fleshbot, Deadspin, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Jezebel, etc. It's a kind of affected, angry, whiney, pissy sort of blogging that is instantly attractive in the way a truly horrific carny sideshow is attractive.



    The incessant "look at me! look at me!" post-traumatic adolescent undertone to both Gizmodo's blog and their activities out in public completely belie any claim to legitimacy.



  • Reply 17 of 92
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,455member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post


    "The chief executive openly questioned whether Chen is considered to be a journalist, drawing gasps from the audience."



    I've watched the whole Gizmodo clip, and read the initial "quick and dirty transcript". I heard SJ call Chen a journalist, but I never heard him question whether he was a journalist. And I never heard the crowd gasp.



    Are you just making that up?



    BTW, I personally don't think Chen is a journalist, and I doubt SJ does either.



    I saw that segment of the clip on WSJ, and I agree with you that I did not see/hear something similar. However, it could have been edited out (all of the clips on wsj.com did seem edited).



    But I disagree with you regarding whether he is 'journalist.' Compared to the sheer illiteracy and shallowness that I see out there -- even amongst the so-called mainstream media -- it does not seem to require all that much to be considered a 'journalist.'
  • Reply 18 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post


    "The chief executive openly questioned whether Chen is considered to be a journalist, drawing gasps from the audience."



    I've watched the whole Gizmodo clip, and read the initial "quick and dirty transcript". I heard SJ call Chen a journalist, but I never heard him question whether he was a journalist. And I never heard the crowd gasp.



    Are you just making that up?



    Yes, they're just making that up. I watched the clip as well, and no, the crowd didn't "gasp". Steve also never associated anyone with the word when he said "extortion". He listed extortion as one of the features of the case - but never said who, or toward what ends. This "report" is worthy of, well, of Gizmodo.
  • Reply 19 of 92
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,455member
    All this Gizmodo/Chen stuff is pretty irrelevant, anyway. The reporting of has already moved on to places like Vietnam and Portugal. Short of bringing the entire value chain back home -- which cannot happen -- there's nothing that Apple or California or its police/judges can do going forward.
  • Reply 20 of 92
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    All this Gizmodo/Chen stuff is pretty irrelevant, anyway. The reporting of has already moved on to places like Vietnam and Portugal. Short of bringing the entire value chain back home -- which cannot happen -- there's nothing that Apple or California or its police/judges can do going forward.



    Yes they can!!!!



    They can use the taser!!!! the taser!!!!!
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