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The iPhone saga gets even more interesting...

It looks as though Gizmodo and Gawker Media has just landed themselves in hot water. Last week's scoop on the fourth generation iPhone brought the site massive page views and coverage on CNN, the Today Show, and even The View.

However, as we noted last last week, law enforcement in the Silicon Valley area are investigating the details surrounding how the iPhone was lost and Gizmodo's $5,000 transaction to retrieve said phone. Today, Gizmodo snuck in a tiny headline on its frontpage that shows that editor Jason Chen had a few visitors to his home on Friday night:

Last Friday night, California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team entered editor Jason Chen's home without him present, seizing four computers and two servers. They did so using a warrant by Judge of Superior Court of San Mateo. According to Gaby Darbyshire, COO of Gawker Media LLC, the search warrant to remove these computers was invalid under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code.

According to Chen's account of the events, the police bashed down his door while he was out. By the time he arrived at home, the police had already been there for a few hours and were well into cataloging his electronic possessions. In total, the task force seized 19 items from Chen's home including his MacBook, a ThinkPad laptop, MediaSmart server, a few external hard drives, two USB thumb drives, digital cameras, and an iPod.

The Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team is looking for email communications, call records, contact lists, text messages, and any other material relating to the sale of the iPhone 4G.

While the fourth generation iPhone saga has been detailed here on DailyTech in a few articles, you can see Gizmodo's coverage here. The full subpoena along with Gizmodo's response can be seen here.



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RE: Apple harassing journalists
By bwave on 4/26/2010 7:22:14 PM , Rating: 3
In the US (at least based on my experience in Maryland) you are required to turn item into law enforcement, then they hold the item for 30 days. After 30 days, they AUCTION the item off, and keep all proceeds for themselves. You don't get a finders fee or anything.

(had a friend watch a $750 peice of equipment fall off a work truck, nearly hitting his truck. He got out and put on his truck to get it out of the roadway, and drove it immediately to Sheriff's office, along with a description of the truck and the first 3 letters of the Maryland license plate. He left his name and address, when he called 2 weeks later to check if the guy had picked it up. (mostly for curiosity sake hoping the guy had) he was told that was not public information. He was told he was welcome to come bid on it during the next scheduled public auction should the guy have not claimed by then. Item sold for ~$400


RE: Apple harassing journalists
By Solandri on 4/27/2010 3:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
California law requires you to make an earnest attempt to find the rightful owner, or return it where you found it (in this case, the bar, presumably so the bar could try to return it to the owner). Failing that, you're supposed to turn it in to the police. If nobody files a lost item report to claim the phone, after a certain amount of time, it becomes yours and you can pick it up from the police. Then you can sell it to Gizmodo for $5000.

Since the phone wasn't turned in to the police, it didn't belong to the person who sold it and he had no right to sell it. The moment he sold it, it became stolen property (as in, he's claiming he owns it so he can sell it, when he doesn't really own it). Otherwise you could do silly things like claim you "found" a shiny new Mercedes which was "lost" in a parking lot, and when you couldn't find the owner you sold it to the friendly neighborhood chop shop.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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