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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 porkpie on 4/26/2010 10:11:57 PM , Rating: 3
" its reported that Apple sites on the steering committee for high tech crime."

So? Are you seriously claiming this is proof of anything? God forbid you ever serve on a jury.

"most of which features have already been in competing phones for the past year, barely qualifies as a trade secret breach"

I don't know what your brain uses in place of logic, but if you kept the receipt, I suggest getting a refund. The "secret" part here is what Apple chose to put in or leave out of the latest iPhone. What their competitors are doing is irrelevant in this case.

You're also confusing a trade secret with patentable IP. In this case, the trade secrets are based more around marketing decisions for feature inclusion, "look and feel", etc -- rather than any new technology.


RE: Apple harassing journalists
By Bateluer on 4/26/2010 11:21:27 PM , Rating: 4
Ease up on the personal attacks, the discussion is about the conduct of the police, Apple, and Gizmodo.

What Apple chose to put into the new iPhone, that could be discerned from the pictures only, as the device was bricked remotely, are all features and aspects already present in their competitor's products. None of which would be patentable under cases of prior use. High res screen, forward facing camera, etc. These are not trade secrets, these are becoming standard features on a modern, high end smart phone.

Unfortunately, the only time I was called for jury duty, I was serving the US military out of state and was unable to fulfill the obligation.


RE: Apple harassing journalists
By robinthakur on 4/27/2010 12:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but to be honest here the big reveal of any Apple product is which features are included in the *Apple* product, and how that is assisted by the software, the usability etc. What competitors may or may not have tried before is pretty irrelevent. The average iPhone buyer does not care that HTC/Nokia have had forward facing cameras for years or that the HTC Touch HD has a higher resolution screen, they want what's in the Apple product due to the usability and attention to detail of the interface. Sad but true. This is what keeps the internet buzzing for months on end leading up to a product launch. Some would argue that Gizmodo have done an excellent job at promoting Apple but I would dispute this, because now what is Steve jobs going to present? Where's the buzz? Finding out what the final case will look like? This will probably cost Apple sales because many aspects of the iPhone are marketed as if no other competition exists.

The point is that this was a prototype, the decent thing for Gizmodo to do would have been to give it straight back to Apple and think of the industry which pays their bills. They are in a symbiotic relationship with companies like Apple, they write about the tech that Apple produces, why bite the hand that feeds you? Smacks of arrogance to me...oh and i'm sure the police wouldn't have needed much more reason to Raid Chen's home than read Gizmodo where its all plainly stated that they paid $5000 to obtain goods which did not belong to them of dunbious provenance. How could they not investigate?


RE: Apple harassing journalists
By tmouse on 4/27/2010 10:19:17 AM , Rating: 5
There is no crime for anyone who is not under a NDA to tell any "trade secrets" they come across, as long as they themselves were not actively involved in the stealing of the trade secrets. They can say they purchased something that was purported to be a prototype that was not acknowledged by Apple as actually being one at that time. SO the guy goes to them and says I have a apple prototype phone, they ask if to his knowledge it is stolen, he says no he found it and called Apple (presumably looking for a reward) and no one got back to him. They buy it to get access to it to see if it a true prototype or bull (they take a risk it is a phony but they will still get more than their money back on a speculating story). The police will have to prove they had knowledge it was stolen beyond a reasonable doubt. If you bug a room and get trade secrets it illegal. If you find a stack of papers in a public bathroom it's not illegal unless you use the information for stock manipulation, extortion or your under a NDA for that secret. I still do not buy the idea that anyone would go out and get drunk enough to forget a highly valuable prototype when they work for a company as litigiously anal as Apple. Apple will also be part of this probe, they will have to document the exact time they were notified of its loss as well as all of their steps to retrieve this device (they better have logs of ALL of the places this guy went and proof the contacted them and asked for a lost phone). If their implying it was "lifted" from the guy they better have filed a police report the next day (he HAD to have noticed it was missing by the next morning if not the same night)


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