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: Apple harassing journalists
By crystal clear on 4/26/2010 9:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but Giz exposed everything that was inside.....that invites big trouble (legally)for them.

RE: Apple harassing journalists
By tmouse on 4/27/2010 10:32:52 AM , Rating: 2
No it dosen't.

There are no specific forms of legal protection for trade secrets. In fact, there is no single standard by which to determine whether or not information is proprietary All of these laws require the information to be acquired illegally. Its not illegal to get information fram a inside source, its illegal for the source to sell it. It would also be illegal to hire someone to bug a meeting or break in to get the information. Unless they can prove Gizmodo had reason to believe the phone was in fact stolen properity they broke no laws. Even then the crime would be reciving stolen goods not revealing trade secrets, that would require Gizmodo to hire someone to steal the phone.

RE: Apple harassing journalists
By Solandri on 4/27/2010 3:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
Right. Seems to me the most Gizmodo is in trouble for is buying stolen property (the fact that they paid $5000 for a $300 phone says they knew it was special, and they knew Apple wanted it back). The police raid and seizure was so they could get the name of the guy who (illegally) sold the phone to them. Though I imagine Apple threw a hissy fit to get the police to crack down in a big way.

RE: Apple harassing journalists
By crystal clear on 4/27/2010 9:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
Read this-

</ The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) is a model law drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to better define rights and remedies of common law trade secret. According to thorough legal research, it has been adopted by 45 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Texas have not adopted the UTSA. Some of these states continue to apply common law to trade secrets, and some have adopted separate state statutes. In 2007, the UTSA was introduced in both the New York and New Jersey legislatures.


Misappropriation is the wrongful acquisition, disclosure or use of a trade sec ret, which is defined as

a) acquiring the secret through improper means or from another person knowing that they acquired the secret by improper means or
b) disclosing or using the secret without consent when the circumstances create a duty not to disclose or use it.
Under the Act these circumstances exist when the trade secret has been acquired:

improperly; or
under an obligation not to disclose or use it; or
from someone else who had an obligation not to disclose it; or
by accident or mistake (for example, through a misdirected email or facsimile transmission), if before using or disclosing the trade secret the person acquiring it learns that it is a trade secret. This is one of the reasons that many firms and individuals who deal regularly with trade secret information routinely include a notice in their emails and fax cover sheets advising of the confidential nature of the contents.
[edit] Remedies

The UTSA imposes civil rather than criminal liability for misappropriation of trade s ecrets and creates a private cause of action for the victim. Remedies for misappropriation of trade secrets under the Act are injunctions, damages, including "exemplary" (punitive) damages, and, in cases of bad faith or willful and malicious misappropriation, reasonable attorney's fees.


RE: Apple harassing journalists
By tmouse on 4/28/2010 8:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
Find out what defines a trade secret first. A device is not a trade secret, by definition a trade secret cannot be simply reversed engineered, so taking apart a phone and seeing what components are there is not a trade secret. Think about it if it were any public announcement would be revealing the trade secret. Also you cannot have temporary trade secrets. A products date of release and the general components contained in them can be confidential information but that does not make them trade secrets. Now if you bothered to read your own wiki you would see:

"Misappropriation is the wrongful acquisition, disclosure or use of a trade secret, which is defined as a) acquiring the secret through improper means or from another person knowing that they acquired the secret by improper means or b) disclosing or using the secret without consent when the circumstances create a duty not to disclose or use it. Under the Act these circumstances exist when the trade secret has been acquired:"

A) means the item was willfully and with knowledge acquired either directly or from someone who got it through inappropriate means (ie: it is stolen, There is NO evidence we have seen that show Gizmodo was told the device was stolen or that a prototype was stolen from Apple. The guy said he found it and said Apple disavowed any knowledge that it was real (he MAY be guilty but NOT Gizmodo) they did not even have evidence it was a real product until after they got it

B) in case you did not realize this IS a NDA

The USTA does NOT apply here with the information we have at hand.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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