news police raid editors home in iphone leak fallout
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Police raid editor’s home in iPhone leak fallout

Remember how Gizmodo recently came into possession of a fourth-generation iPhone prototype misplaced by an Apple engineer? Although some onlookers initially suspected a deliberate publicity stunt by Apple, the aftermath of the leak seems to rule that out. Specifically, Gizmodo reports that California police has raided the home of editor Jason Chen and confiscated his computers.

The news post includes scans of the search warrant, which says there is “probable cause to believe” that Chen’s property was “used as the means of committing a felony” and “tends to show that a felony has been committed.” California’s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team apparently seized four Apple laptops, one Dell desktop PC, an HP home server, and various other items, including Chen’s iPad, a digital SLR camera, and a box of business cards.

Gaby Darbyshire, the legal representative for Gizmodo owner Gakwer Media, subsequently wrote to Detective Matthew Broad of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, alleging that the raid violated section 1524(g) of California’s penal code. Darbyshire says the code states a search warrant “may not be validly issued to confiscate the property of a journalist.” And before you think Chen might not be seen as a journalist under the law, Darbyshire cites precedent: the California Court of Appeals purportedly “recognized that these protections apply to online journalists” in a 2006 decision.

Gizmodo admitted last week that it paid $5,000 in cash for the lost prototype, although it did make efforts to return it to the Apple engineer who lost it… after getting the scoop of the decade.

0 responses to “Police raid editor’s home in iPhone leak fallout

  1. Jobs is just pissed that people will know what he’s talking about before giving his lame “Oh, and one more thing….” line at the next Apple conference.

    I hope Chen sues REACT out of existence.

  2. Sarcasm is wonderful when used on Apple, I’ll be the first to praise anybody slamming on that POS company.

  3. You buy a shirt form a guy.
    The shirt “possibly” was stolen.
    The police comes in your house and take all of your clothes?.

    A search warrant is used to find evidence to prove criminal offense.
    BUT the the gizmo guy was *[

  4. That’s a known fact. Never mind that it contradicts itself on numerous other occasions, the most painful being that ‘a man should not have long hair because it’s disgraceful’ yadda yadda. Do tell me what hair Jesus is told to have had.

  5. No, he was paid a service fee for the honor of taking care of an poor, orphaned device. 😉

  6. He didn’t get in touch with the police to return it, he sold it to another person, knowing he wasn’t supposed to have it.

  7. Well it is certainly Apple’s fault that Applecare did not know about the phone. This still does not give the person the right to sell said phone.

  8. Regardless of your opinion, lost property of a corporation does not magically become yours because of a communications failure within said company.

    And yes, it is illegal to sell goods that do not belong to you. I would never dream of doing that, without explicit permission from the owner, of which he had none.

    You can say all you want about sometimes people go free, freedom is not free, and whatnot; but sometimes, people do indeed get in trouble for doing stupid things. Which is what this was, 2 people doing something both of them knew they shouldn’t.

    But you are correct in one thing, neither of us know all the facts behind this case, which is probably why the equipment is confiscated in the first place. However, the police know that a crime was committed, they know it was committed in their jurisdiction, and they also know that said journalist committed this crime. What was the crime, purchasing stolen property. This is a fact that has been made well aware to the public. Now, however it may get spun by the lawyers involved, we will have to wait and see.

  9. So if I lost something in the USA and someone put a pic of it on the Internet the Police will come to register his house in two days?

    Obviously not.

  10. So the police perform an illegal search and seizure.

    If so, not only do I hope the judge throws out any evidence as immiscible, criminal charges need to be brought against the ‘law enforcement’ involved. This is CA though…

  11. I love when my opponent tries to define my faith and how I should act. But, to entertain your request, if you want me to emulate Jesus (or the saccharine caricature you’ve made Jesus out to be), you forgot these:

    John 2:13-16 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”

    Matthew 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

    Luke 22:36 He [Jesus] said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

    Revelation 2:16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

    Revelation 19:11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

    Nah. I’ll leave Jesus to being Jesus. Personally, I’ll be me. Paul said it best in Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” I generally do except with the conceited, arrogant and condescending. For them, I follow Proverbs 26:5 “Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.”

  12. Haha, funny that the answer to the question about parables is in fact not in the form of a question whatsoever! 😉 btw there are two pages to that link and it was merely the first link I found. But as you said, 50% (3 of 6) of the quotes that awere answers were not in question form…hardly ‘almost never’ by any stretch.

    Personally I am not interested in arguing religious belief because I’m not a complete masochist, I am however interested in discussing religion as a philosophical construct compared to other philosophies. Unfortunately it seems clear that you are not interested in learning about the incompatability of egoism and religion since you didn’t even mention that. Fair enough, not everyone can handle having the stark incompatabilities of their beliefs exposed. Perhaps you will do some research yourself and find out how egoism and religion (especially Christianity) are incompatible.

  13. I’m not an expert, but you occasionally quote a book that I do consider authoritative, so perhaps this:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:40-48)

    Or possibly this:

    “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:8-14)

    If you’ll forgive a stretching of the metaphor, you hand out an awful lot of stones and snakes without any obvious provocation.

  14. That’s absurd. You make all sorts of assumptions not in evidence. For example:

    1. You assume the guy who ended up with the phone has a computer.
    2. You assume that he has a Facebook account.
    3. You assume that he has knowledge of the internal workings at Apple and Applecare, as a person who follows this sort of news (or an insider) would.
    4. You assume that he absolutely KNEW it was “owned” by Apple (just mail it back to Apple, you suggested. If you mailed them my iPhone, which maybe I custom modded, I’d be kinda pissed).
    5. You assume he could remember the guy’s full name correctly, and be able to spell it and guess enough details about him to be able to even PULL UP his Facebook profile. This is after possibly (we have no evidence one way or the other) only seeing the profile on an iPhone screen once or twice, drunk, late at night at a bar.

    And, you assume that all of these assumptions should be considered /[

  15. Exactly six of those 36 quotes from the Bible you linked to were answers Jesus gave to questions. And three of those six answers were in question and/or parable form. In other words, only three of your 36 quotes were Jesus directly answering a question. Those other 33 were Jesus preaching, teaching and guiding his disciples.

    And no, he didn’t often ask a rhetorical question and give an answer. He often asked a question and then gave a parable. The parable was meant to hide the true meaning of what he was saying from the ears of non-believers. So it’s hard to argue that he was giving an answer to a question. More like he was giving a non-answer to confound those who didn’t believe. See Matthew 13:10-17
    §[<http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2013:10-17&version=NIV<]§ So, thank you for reminding me why I don't waste my time arguing with you. And it was actually Ludi who told me I should be emulating Jesus, so I imagine it's you who should learn to read.

  16. Which is specifically why I said ‘engage in conversation and answer questions’ rather than ‘he did not answer a question with a question.’ Learn to read. Also, he didnt *just* answer with a question, it is generally part of the answer, typically the beginning, to pose a hypothetical or parable to which he then provided the answer. Or to put it another way he often posed rhetorical questions which are merely answers posed as questions, you have not done that here. Finally comparing your pithy writings here to Jesus is laughably and vaguely blasphemous. (p.s. I see a lot of declarative statements as answers in these quotes: §[<http://www.christian-wisdom.com/jesus-teachings/0/quote-category.html<]§ It's not even near 'almost every time' a question especially when you read them in the full context of the verses.) Anyway, maybe later I'll answer why Rand and religion, all religion but especially Christianity, are fundamentally incompatible philosophies...not that they aren't both intellectually interesting to know about, but they are incompatible to believe in at the same time. It's not very hard to know if you fully understood egoism as a philosophy but I doubt you do beyond the simplistic rhetorical stories in some books you heard about on Beck and Rush. I have hesitated so far simply because you do not seem interested in having an actual discussion whatsoever which is a bit of a shame because you used to. Now you just act enigmatic and aloof which only makes you look like a rather more obvious troll than in the past. Show me it's worth bothering and I'll gladly explain how religion and egoism are incompatible.

  17. Actually, he answered almost every question with another question (showing you know as much about Jesus as Ludi does.)

  18. Well for starters he was more than willing to engage in conversation and answer questions rather than avoid them.

  19. That is why apple lovers are considered a cult. Blindly following like the lemmings they are.

  20. But it is entirely Apple’s fault that the Applecare dept wasn’t informed in some way about the possibility of an ‘important phone’ being lost. They knew it was lost very quickly since it was bricked the next day. This is why I said that Apple’s paranoid secrecy came back to bite them in the ass…they wouldn’t have had to send out a notice that said ‘iPhone 4G prototype lost!’ but they could have set a procedure for escalation to someone who *is* in on that information.

  21. So Ludi, please tell me how Jesus acted so I might emulate him. You seem quite the expert. I’d really like to know.

  22. It depends on how much they want to be dicks.

    If they don’t care about you or what they confiscated you usually get it all back. If however you piss them off or they confiscated a “politically hot” item (ie. guns, high profile case items) then your stuff will get “lost” or they will just hold it forcing you to spend money suing them to get it back for some BS reason.

    BTW that is pretty much impossible to prove short of one of the cops responsible stepping forward and admitting it in court…

  23. Its only theft if Apple can prove that the item was not simply abandoned (ie lost) but was actually taken. It clearly doesn’t seem that way in this case. For one thing, apple made little attempt to actually go get the phone. I mean geez they can remote lock it but can’t track it? I mean they freaking killed, flat out murdered the last guy who got his hands on a prototype with their permission.This guy did try to return it with what I think is a reasonable fashion (a phone call). Its also not unreasonable to believe that the phone was indeed a chinese knockoff either, especially when its an apple rep telling you it is. I mean geez, if I find a copy of Win 8 on the floor, call microsoft, and they tell me its a freaking knockoff, guess what I’d believe them.

    Apple can go screw themselves making a big deal out of a situation they easily could have defused without the news leaking out.

  24. While finding a cell phone–prototype notwithstanding–and doing whatever the hell he wanted to do with it is not an issue with me, his owning an ipad (not to mention four apple laptops) does disturb me to no end. His judgement with respect to the former seems reasonable, but his judgement with respect to owning all the apple crap is clearly suspect.

  25. I’ve heard that everything seized is police property and you don’t get it back no matter how the case goes. I hope that’s not true. I am not a lawyer. I am a rumor spreader. Purple monkey dishwasher.

  26. These Apple fanboys on mac sites. They went from absolutely hating the look of the phone when it was believed to be a fake, to loving the new design once it was confirm to be a real prototype, to wanting Apple to sue the hell and shutdown Gizmodo. Where was all this hate towards Gizmodo before law got involved? I guess they must strongly support Apple on whatever they do.

  27. It isn’t good enough because Applecare doesn’t know about Prototypes. No for reasonable effort, If he looked at the gentleman’s FB account, why did he not contact him through there? I know that MOST people who actually have FB check it rather religiously. Not to mention he could have just mailed it back to Apple.

    But then, let’s defend a guy who knowingly sold something that wasn’t his “because the company didn’t want it back” *cough* for 5k to a journalist, who purchased it for that price knowing he wasn’t supposed to have it, and that it was certainly attained through nefarious means. This person then proceeded to goad Apple into responding, and yes, that is what it was. Gizmodo didn’t have to approach this this the way that they did, they could have easily returned the phone immediately after they realized that it was stolen.

    The real problem here is people thinking, “Oh so-and-so didn’t want this back, I’ll keep it”. This works fine when referring to objects owned by a human entity. Not so much so with an object owned by a corporate entity, as all parts of said entity won’t know about the object.

    Regardless, nothing is actually going to happen to the journalist anyways, they are just trying to scare him because he was retarded.

    If someone came up to me, trying to sell a prototype iPhone, I’d hold him down, and report him to the cops.

  28. I was on the bandwagon against Apple until I read a bit more about what happened. Gizmodo are a bunch of nimrods.

    Don’t write cutesy sarcastic letters when Apples lawyers contact you and then post it on your website trying to look cool. This is not the kind of thing a journalist does. It’s something that a blogger does.

    You should never brag about or even bother paying for something like this. As cool as they think it is Apple is a company and this affects everything from their shares to their employees. The iPhone property makes the company hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s serious business. Just dumb moves all around.

  29. So…not faith in a loving God whose Son died for sinners, I take it. Otherwise, if your faith was sincere, I should think you would be trying to live in emulation of Him, and not dumping caustic aspersions on people who disagree with your political opinions. Faith is supposed to change you; where is the evidence you have changed? I can find people who are willing to snap at me for disagreeing with them on a million blogs.

    I repeat my question: what DO you place your faith in?

  30. That seems like a much stronger case against the warrant.

    I guess the question becomes whether it excludes simple possession only, or if it includes the payment for such materials. I’m not sure if that’s a separate crime.

    At any rate, it’s obviously going to muck up the investigation.

    I still think it will return to inevitable discovery after they issue a subpoena.

  31. The great thing about philosophy is, if you get it right, no matter what the style of the day is it can be correct. In a given situation is it more important to consider the rights of the individual, or are you governmentally obligated to take care of your neighbor? Personally I go towards individual rights. But this Gizmodo guy paying money for the iPhone 4g prototype doesn’t make me think he was acting as a journalist. It is pretty ridiculous someone thought it necessary to seize all of his stuff. It’s not like it was a secret who he purchased it from, how he came about it, or what it was.

  32. Who cares what the hell the phone was worth to Giz or Apple…… they got the freaking thing BACK…… THE GREEDY LITTLE BASTARD HAS IT IN HIS HANDS!

    If apple wants to charge the guy with anything, its selling stolen goods, and they’ve need to prove that, which does not by any means call (regardless) for them to tear his house apart. If I were to steal something from someone, say a wallet with $500.00 worth of cash in it.. and they got it back but couldn’t prove that I had stolen in they wouldn’t have any right to go into my house either. Throw the journalist law in California on top of it and its clear as day that these guys are throwing their power around.

    I hope that they find out exactly what this guy did… and you know I hope they found out that they willing purchased stolen goods….. and then has a judge throw out ALL of that evidence due to their breaking this guys rights. To heck with Apple… if the guy had just destroyed it instead of giving it back to them they wouldn’t have any call or cause for a search either, way to treat people who were genuinely interested in your products.

  33. 1. They’re probably making an example of him.

    2. Stolen property is stolen, no matter the value (I fully bet he the Gizmo guy didn’t just call apple and say he had one of their experimental products…)

    3. Using a police team they sponsor wasn’t smart.

    4. I realize his was a huge leak, but he should have given it back, without publishing acticules about it, knowing the company he was dealing with.

    /my two cents

  34. lolz Meadows

    I’m in Canada my government serves me nothing up here, they are too busy dissing each other to do anything usefull for the country.

    And the point of my post was that the treatment the guy got seems excessive to me for a phone regardless of monetary worth. Just seems the government and buisness care more about money and material objects than people. I’m not saying the guy should walk away scott free, but I just think a search warrant and confiscating most of his belongs is a bit at the far end of the stick, thats all.

    I mean someone hit my wife last year and wrote off the car, 15k book value down the drain, (insurance only paid half of book value) I didnt see a big raid into the guys house for alcohol and drugs nor would I want to.

  35. This should prove beyond a doubt that Apple is easy.

    MS doesn’t kick down doors or raid people for windows 7 screenshot leaks. Imagine the backlash if MS did a raid based on info leaks of protypes.

  36. u dont lose a car to gambling
    not being able to make your monthly payment doesnt mean your alcohol addiction stole your mom’s house

    if you gambled blackjack and your crack dealer down the street took your car, yeah, the court could arrest him for theft, except maybe in las vegas :eyespin:

  37. That distinction is irrelevant “if the offense to which the materials relate consists of the receipt, possession, communication, or withholding of such materials or the information contained therein.” This is DIRECTLY from the relevant California Journalist Shield law (quoted below). This means:

    1. Normally, they cannot search and seize “materials or tools” from Journalists at all. Period. If you want journalistic notes or materials, you have to subpoena them, you can’t just raid and seize them.

    2. They CAN search and seize from Journalists, if they have probable cause that the journalist himself has actually committed or is in the process of committing a crime (and you have cause to believe the materials might contain relevant information).

    3. However, the exemption explained above does NOT apply if the crime you are accusing them of committing is related to the possession or acquisition of said materials. In other words, you can’t say they stole your prototype and use a search warrant to raid their office and take their notes to try to find out how they got it.

    l[

  38. Thanks for the correction. What danny.e said is still not the real story but neither was what I said.

  39. you’re using “lose” in a different context with a different definition. But you know that and you’re tring to elicit responses like this. So why am I replying?

  40. Journalists don’t get any special protection. They get protection regarding the stories they write, for protecting anonymous sources.

    This is an investigation into purchasing stolen property, and finding who stole it. The person just happens to be a journalist.

    At the worst, this will be resolved with “OK, we’re issuing you a subpoena for this data which we already recovered from your computer, thanks for complying.”

    And it’s theft, period. CA law is very explicit in this regard.

    /[

  41. If they do any judge worth his robe will be pissed at them for doing so. Cases that don’t stick to the facts of the case but get in to ‘slippery slope’ territory for the strength of their argument are usually frowned upon. If there is a later case where a ‘micro-blogger’ (not someone employed as an online journalist) that is the time to deal with it.

  42. So if I was on the train or something, and someone from MI5 left a notebook or phone behind (worryingly, this does happen), should I be arrested if I actually take it and then get in touch with them or the police to return it?

    The law in the US is a little odd IMO. There is no way they could make that stick over here, as he wanted to give it back to Apple…

  43. I DONT UNDERSTAND. 3 YEARS AGO ALL YOU TECH NERDS WERE KISSING JOB’S ASS. THEY DIDNT GET WHERE THEY ARE WITHOUT YOU ALL BEING FANBOIS. YOU ALL JUMP AROUND DAILY. PICK A LOYALTY AND STICK WITH IT.

  44. To be clear, I’m not for a second questioning Chen’s journalistic credentials or status. I’m just pointing out that the definition of “blogger” has changed considerably over the last few years, and the law cannot be used (or mis-used) as a shield by anyone who has ever posted something on-line, and REACT’s lawyers are sure to bring that up at the inevitable lawsuit.

  45. APPLE IS 100% WITHIN THEIR RIGHTS. HE SHOULDNT HAVE DONE THAT. I THANK GOD EVERYDAY FOR MAKING JOB’S (I THANK STEVE FOR MAKING STEVE 🙂 THOSE BASTARDS HAVE NO BUSINESS TRYING TO STEAL HIS SECRETS. THANK STEVE! THE POLICE FINALLY DID WHAT HE PAID THEM TO DO. WE NEED MORE PUBLIC OFFICIALS WORKING TO PROTECT COMPANY SECRETS. I JUST WISH WE COULD CHOP OFF THEIR HANDS AND REALLY TEACH THEM A LESSON.

  46. But Chen isn’t just some Facebook user. He is a full-time journalistic employee of a recognized media outlet.

    There have been *[

  47. We all know apple would never beat up a journalist. This is the company thats so caring and friendly to it’s staff and press relations.

    It’s not like anyone working there has ever commit suicide. Oh, wait a sec…

  48. Pedantic misdirection aside: This is fairly well-established law in California. Besides, he wasn’t just a “blogger” working on his own living in his parent’s basement. He was a full-time employee of a media outlet. No judge in California is going to rule that he doesn’t qualify as a journalist.

    Anyone who says anything different doesn’t understand California law at all and is making things up.

  49. Given that everyone on Facebook is a micro-blogger, the applicability of those legal protections may become a key issue in this case…

  50. You say it wasn’t good enough to call Applecare, but you (thankfully) aren’t the arbiter of what is a “reasonable effort” under California law. Who should he have called? He called the best publicly available number he had where he could actually talk to a person who worked for Apple. According to multiple press reports, there are records that he called Applecare MORE THAN ONCE to report the find, both before and after he discovered the fact that it wasn’t a 3GS like it appeared initially.

    The phone was remote wiped first thing in the morning when the guy woke up. He couldn’t “get into” the phone and look up more details about the person who lost it. He had previously looked at the owner’s Facebook profile using the phone (while still at the bar and asking around for the guy who lost it). But that was late at night at a bar and he was probably drunk.

    The next morning the phone was remote wiped and locked when he woke up.

  51. I LOL’ed at that part of the “Report”

    Maybe he has embedded naked pictures of Steve Job’s Sister in the business cards!!!!!!! =O

  52. Homey got L glass?…not! If it don’t say Hasselblad, you just a poser.

  53. crapple itself is a felony. they could have handled this differently, but the pulled their iron fist in public. not kewl.

  54. The government didn’t order them to lose a phone and refuse to take it back.

    They do have the right to be secretive. They also have the right to be a bunch of dumbasses. They chose to exercise the latter.

  55. Well, this would not happen under UK law. The journalist concerned would probably be given a caution and/or a small fine. Being arrested and having PC’s and Servers taken sounds a little over the top if you ask me…

  56. It’s obvious that you lack the open-mindedness to believe that someone of faith can find great insight in the writings of a brilliant secular humanist like Rand. It shouldn’t surprise me, though, as pointing fingers and crying “hypocrite” is usually the last refuge of intellectual cowards.

  57. I think companies should be able to keep their secrets — revealing things about not-yet-released products can build quite the amount of harmful press — but a fine _for publishing_, not for finding the phone might have been more appropriate than a police raid.

  58. I think companies should be able to keep their secrets — revealing things about not-yet-released products can build quite the amount of harmful press — but a fine _for publishing_, not for finding the phone might have been more appropriate than a police raid.

  59. The group that raided his house is a “cooperation” between the police force and corporations. One of those corporations is Apple.

  60. Normal companies would worry about their image in a case like this, but Apple just doesn’t care. There’s really nothing they could do to stop people from purchasing their products in the next few years.

  61. Under California law, a blogger is considered a journalist, therefore his rights should be protected. Re-read the article and you will see the mentioning of precedent being set back in 2006.

  62. 1. well, if you tried to return it and the owner said he doesnt want it. Techenically it is yours. And you can do whatever you want with it, including sell it.

    2. well, I dont really care how you see this one. But, all U.S press says he’s blogger, and foreign press says he’s journalist. You figure that out.

    3. Either you followed the story, or you just love jobs too much.

    4. Since when does taking pictures of something you found in a bar against any law? From google earth you can watch over the entire world, and most likely there’s pictures in their data base. The police should raid them too.

  63. The guy probably called the support line. Not good enough. Apple isn’t going to tell the end-user support, “Be on the lookout for a stolen phone”.

    Plus, if it was given to an employee for testing, then he probably put his information in it, so he could have looked up his name to be a good Samaritan.

    This is Theft, and then he SOLD this phone to Gizmodo, when he realized what it actually was.

  64. Exactly. And for all those people who say that “he had the guy’s name on the phone”, remember… Apple remote-wiped the phone the very next morning. So, according to the guy who found the phone:

    1. You’re at a raucous bar all night. The guy next to you left and forgot his phone on the bar stool.

    2. You ask around if anyone still there lost the phone, or knew the guy who lost the phone. No one does.

    3. You know the guy’s name because you got into the Facebook app on the phone, but remember, this is late at night at a bar. You think you remember the name in the morning, but you probably don’t have the email address or phone number memorized.

    4. You wake up in the morning and the phone has been remote-wiped. It is now useless and you can’t get past the “connect to iTunes” screen. You no longer have any info on the owner other than your recollection of the person’s name and general description.

    5. You call Apple support and report the issue, using the only phone number you have at your disposal. They tell you, in effect, go away.

    6. You figure out that the phone is not what it appears, and might be a next-gen prototype.

    7. You sell it to the media.

    This is the story that has been reported so far by Gizmodo, and confirmed in a number of other publications. IF this is the story (and perhaps that is a big “if”) then the guy who sold the phone is in the clear under California law. He made a “reasonable effort” to contact the owner, using the information he had at hand. There is nothing in the law that says anything about “driving to Cupertino”, “hand delivering”, or anything of the sort. You just have to make a reasonable effort.

    Either way, Gizmodo is almost CERTAINLY in the clear. If this is the story the guy told them, then they had a reasonable expectation that they were NOT receiving stolen goods. Even if they may have suspected the story wasn’t true (and there has been NO evidence released thus far disproving any part of the story), they took the clearly exculpatory step of contacting the owner (who was now listening because Gizmodo has access to better contacts at Apple than random guy on the street would) and returning the device within a week or so. There’s also nothing in California law that says you have to drop all other business and return the device immediately.

    And besides, even if they find that Gizmodo knew the story was bunk and received stolen goods knowingly ANYWAY… The police STILL likely used an invalid warrant to search the journalist’s house. The journalist shield law is STRONG in California, and with good reason. Otherwise, if you are Corporation Bad Guy and you know a journalist has “the goods” on you and is preparing to publish, you could easily preempt their publication by accusing them of some property crime against you (like stealing a prototype, for example) and use your political pressure to make the police raid and take all of their equipment. This would have the effect of slowing down or quashing the publication of the story. Plus, you’d have access through discovery to all of their source materials, which might reveal the journalist’s sources (so you can fire them or take other actions against them).

    The journalist’s shield law in California (and others around the country) are designed to prevent just this type of abuse. If you need information or evidence on a journalist’s computer or in their notes, you need to subpoena the records. You can’t just Search Warrant Raid and take them. You can still search their house for other evidence (like a murder weapon) but taking computers and notes is clearly forbidden under the law.

  65. Keep in mind that “Apple” and “The Government of California” are actually two different entities (it’s a little known fact, I know).

  66. And the new evil company Apple has dethroned Microsoft. I never thought I would see this day come.

  67. 1. The guy who shouldn’t have it sold it, and the guy who bought it shouldn’t have acquired it, etc.

    2. He’s not a journalist technically speaking, bloggers are not recognized as such.

    3. That’s debatable, one could say he was forced to return it.

    4. To check if you made photos/videos of its innards, wrote articles about it that had yet to be published, etc?

  68. It is interesting that Apple is on the steering committee of California’s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) which is the exact police task force that raided the home.

  69. I think hysteria as a motivation for writing novels is pretty unique. She’s like the Fox News of dyspotian novels.

  70. My schizo detector is going off a little bit here…one day you’re quoting the Bible as philosophical argument and the next day you’re endorsing Ayn Rand?

  71. lol, no kidding. I guess if you like reading outmoded philosophy masquerading as simplified fiction it’s great though! I wonder what he’ll recommend next, maybe some L Ron Hubbard?

  72. There are barely any “terrorists” to focus on, stop gulping down everything your government serves you.

  73. I think his intent was to point out…… the cop jocks have much better things to do. And YES…. by having them concentrate their investigative power on something as down right stupid as this means that more important and pressing matters are being neglected. Maybe not a rape or murder, sometimes those things just can’t be avoided (unless your Tom Cruise in Minority Report). But the number of cases that they have especially somewhere like California, believe me they had better things to do. But when Jobs says jump, they say “How High”… Money talks especially when its a state thats broke or near broke.

    Wake the hell up…….. and lets get our priorities straight America.

  74. and as such apple ascends to microsoft heights of @$$holery. Jobs and his company now just look like Microsoft wannabes with this thugish behavoir, this was after all only 10 percent police motivated, heck they can’t do jack to punish theives on wall street so they go after a honest journalist, unlikely. The political ramifications for this better be huge.

  75. “A person saw the iPhone, took it and then SOLD it to Gizmodo. Gizmodo and the seller knew it was stolen. ”

    You are the one saying something that did not happen. If you were up on this situation. The guy who found it called Apple support after finding it and they informed him it wasn’t the apple prototype. He tried to return it to its owner “Apple” and they told him it was not there phone. He then sold it to Gizmodo with the knowledge that he had informed who he thought was the owner and that they stated it was not there phone. It was not “Stolen” property. I can’t leave something my wallet in a bar, have someone return it to me only to tell them it isn’t mine and then call the police and say the person stole my wallet.

    The only thing that will hold up in court is where the guy who found it made (according to California law) a reasonable attempt to return the property. Could he have given it to someone at the bar sure. But I have returned wallets to bar tenders and been a little uneasy about if the owner would ever see his wallet again so I could understand why he chose to call Apple.

  76. Most technology blog/site worship Steve Job and Apple is their religion. I wonder when will that change?

    I bet never.

  77. 1. Its ‘abandoned property’ , the guy tried to return it to apple.

    2. This is a journalist we are talking about, his home is protected under the law. btw, jobs made all U.S. news to call him blogger…Open your eyes!

    3. The poor journalist returned the phone when asked to. (and he paid $5000 for it to start with. I guess this is the pay back from jobs?).

    4. Can anyone of you explain what a stolen phone have to do with coming into your home and take away all your computers, servers, iphone, ipad?

    Maybe If you recall how the poor chinese apple employee lost a prototype and commited suicide a few months ago you will understand how apple functions.

  78. Fail rant is fail. The fact that some police resource are being directed toward things like fraud and theft does not mean, by corollary, that rape and terrorism are being neglected.

  79. I’m not familiar with that aspect of the law but I’m sure that will be taken into account. No one has been charged with a crime yet.

    #11, really?

  80. Actually, as a prototype, it’s probably worth more to the business (and in materials) than $500.

  81. An engineering prototype is worth much, MUCH more than $500. Considering the circumstances, the $5000 paid by Gizmodo was a steal.

  82. Um. That’s some random low-paid Chinese guys. Look around. Lotta the news here is USA USA USA. USA people honestly don’t give a rat’s ass about the welfare of other nations or nationalities–just look at the immigration issues the USA has as a hot topic.

    People die in droves every minute of every day in lots of countries that the US doesn’t care about. Why do you think anyone in the US would really care about that Chinese guy? He had his 5 minutes of fame and people got suitable indignant and now they’ve moved on and don’t care anymore.

    I don’t mean to be too crass but yeah, unless you’re “somebody” and a famous US person, no one will care. Even if this Gizmodo guy ends up getting tortured and killed by Apple goons, NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Sure, people will be angry and one or two people might go to jail, but it’d be business as usual.

    Maybe I’m a tad too cynical but honestly, if you’re not rich or famous, your life means nothing as a catalyst for changing the status quo.

  83. wow pretty sad when people start going to jail over a phone, I mean even if it is stolen property, its still under $500 in value?? Isnt that just a slap on the wrist or a small fine?

    Good use of police forces………….meanwhile someone down the road is getting raped, but who cares, and those hackers and terrorist, who cares, this guy has information about a next gen iphone, he must be public enemy no.1……..human society reaches another new low.

  84. Not true at all, there are many sites where the appropriate law is posted. The key is whether this is considered ‘abandoned property’ or not. From what I recall if the owner is contacted and says ‘no thanks’ it’s abandoned property, at i[

  85. The guy tried to call Apple and return it, and they told him he doesn’t have an Apple prototype. The AppleCare people told him that he probably has a ‘Chinese knockoff’. If you call someone to return something, and they say ‘no thats not mine’ then its not considered stealing. Was he supposed to call Jobs himself?

  86. Yeah, until Apple gets pissed off and sends its own little task force against you.

    We cannot win.

  87. First, if you find a wallet you should absolutely return it to the owner. No excuse, a wallet is going to have more than enough information to contact the person. If you take something from the wallet it is stealing.

    Second, that isn’t what happened in this situation. A person saw the iPhone, took it and then SOLD it to Gizmodo. Gizmodo and the seller knew it was stolen. That’s most certainly against the law.

    Now if it demands the attention it is getting from law enforcement… no. But Apple is throwing their weight around.

  88. I look forward to witnessing your unflappable stoicism the first time you accidentally walk away from that new L lens of yours and it gets taken-not-stolen by a keeping finder, homey.

  89. so if I lose my house and car to gambling, then it’s theft for the bank to take it?
    what about country muscians that lose their dogs and girlfriends? Is it really theft when someone else comes along and takes them?

  90. poor guy.

    I hope other companies don’t get the cops to raid Scott if he ever gives a bad review or announces stuff a bit early!

  91. Especially given Gizmodo is such a pro-Apple site. I wonder how their stance/opinion of Apple and Steve Jobs would change over a lawsuit/arrest of one of their Apple journalists on the matter?

  92. finds keepers, losers weepers.

    it’s not stolen if you find it laying around.
    if i leave my wallet at the airport and you pick it up.. you didnt steal it. you took it..

  93. Maybe not some “journalist” will take a deeper look in to the death of the Chinese guy who conveniently committed suicide AFTER being “interrogated” or beat up by “securtiy guards” from Foxconn in regards to the lost prototype phone.

    Getting beat up and tossed off the roof of a building would definately discourage further prototypes from being “misplaced.”

    I don’t understand how no one else seems to want to connect a couple of dots in such close proximity. Maybe seeing a fellow journalist in jail will spur someone in to action.

  94. I’ve heard that the California law only applies to journalists protecting an anonymous source and that it doesn’t protect them when charged with buying stolen property.
    IANAL

  95. Apple’s cloak of secrecy came back to bite them in the ass on this one. When the person who originally had the phone called customer service he was told that it’s a Chinese knockoff but Apple knew about the loss within a day when they remotely bricked the phone. I’m not saying they should have told first-level CSRs all the details but they could have put out a bulletin about this topic in general (‘person calling about unknown phone’) with instructions to forward the call to some higher up, get contact information, or something else other than the usual ‘it’s not a real iPhone, don’t worry’ script.

  96. Good! I’m tired of journalists pretending like they have protection under the law! Next up, hopefully Apple will hit Gizmodo with a “hot news” lawsuit, somehow!

  97. /[<"California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team apparently seized.........a box of business cards."<]/ Oh man, he's going down now!