Print 106 comment(s) - last by Suntan.. on Apr 30 at 2:05 PM

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: It's probably not about Apple...
By Roffles on 4/26/2010 8:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
Haha okay, you keep pretending it's "just" a phone and I'll keep pretending it's not a disguised secret prototype for the multi-billion dollar iPhone brand. You can also pretend all you want Gizmoto purchasing a stolen phone for $5,000 doesn't break a code of journalistic ethics. It reeks of everything that's wrong with journalism and the media.

Furthermore, people seem to be perfectly fine with the "i found it on the floor of a bar and i tried to return it without success" story.

A few things that draw suspicion:

1. California bay area residents *in general*, ESPECIALLY those 20-somethings who populate bars in Redwood city, know their phones. It wouldn't be a huge shock to learn that the person who "found" it at the bar quickly (very quickly) discovered he had a gold nugget in his possession.

2. The phone was bricked/disable the very next day, possibly even tracked by Apple. For all we know, Apple knew of the phone's whereabouts and let this happen. Their could be another side to this story entirely and this house raid is just a part of it.

RE: It's probably not about Apple...
By ICBM on 4/26/2010 10:21:58 PM , Rating: 1
Yes it is just a phone. If this was a first generation iphone prototype, then it would be a slightly bigger deal. Since every iphone release since then has been the same thing with tiny improvements makes it a relatively boring device.

People saying this is the problem with journalism I think don't really understand. Are these people saying it is better to just wait to report on press releases put forth by governments and people instead of digging in and trying to find things out for themselves.

Giz gave the device back, willing. They never claimed ownership. You could consider the money as paying to access the device. Journalist do this all the time with informants and buying information. This may be slighlty below some of your ethics, but alot of journalism is.

I stick by my original statement placing all the blame on Apple. If they let the device loose, then that is their bad. I understand Steve himself monitors the prototypes, so this egg is directly on his face.

By porkpie on 4/26/2010 10:56:13 PM , Rating: 1
"Giz gave the device back, willing."

Giving the phone back after publishing all its secrets is rather like giving the farmer back his daughter after you've already impregnated her.

By robinthakur on 4/27/2010 12:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
This may be slighlty below some of your ethics

Yes. Yes it is. Gizmodo knew what they were doing when they published this exposée on "just a phone" (LOL!) the stolen property they paid $5000 to "access" which billions of dollars and an entire worldwide industry rides on. If for no other reason than the gross invasion of privacy they carried out by naming the individual that 'lost' the prototype, they are the lowest of the low.

Where the concept of 'jouranlistic integrity' is concerned I don't think it really expected to apply to Consumer Electronic Sites...they aren't war reporters. Expect repercussions....

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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