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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 Aloonatic on 4/27/2010 2:14:35 AM , Rating: 2
It's called finder's keepers
Maybe when you're 10, in the play ground.

There's a offence called "theft by finding" where, basically, you have to make a reasonable attempt to return what you find to the owner, else if you keep it, you are a thief. If you find £10 on the street, you're not going to be prosecuted as the odds are, it would be impossible to find the original owner. If you find a sack full of cash, then you need to hand it in, as someone will be looking for it. Same goes for found lottery tickets, I think there was a case not that long ago where a couple found a ticket that had one a large prize and were prosecuted. If the item has been abandoned, then it's yours.

It would be hard to claim that the "finder" was not able to return a mobile phone to its original owner, or that the phone was "abandoned" by them. Just call the network operator and they will do the rest, or with an iPhone, just go to your nearest Apple shop thing (whatever they're called) and clearly someone was looking for this, so it wasn't "abandoned".

Not that any of that matters, as this case didn't happen in the UK, but I thought you might want so clarity on the UK laws, so that you don't fall foul of them and find yourself looking foolish in court, using "play-ground" defences.

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