Apple takes its leaks very seriously.
Just ask Gizmodo Editor Jason Chen. From the sound of it, authorities did everything but send a SWAT team flying in through Chen's living room windows as the consequences of Gizmodo's controversial acquisition of the new iPhone continue to amass.
According to court documents obtained and published online, a search and seizure warrant was issued for Chen's residence. As a result, Chen's pad was raided by California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team. Four of Chen's computers and two servers were taken into custody. In all, some two dozen pieces of electronic equipment - like hard drives, digital cameras, 4 laptops... etc. - were taken. Chen's own account of the ordeal reveals that police had "broken down" his front door. Upon returning, Chen was also searched by police himself - you know, just in case, Chen had another stolen - I mean "lost" - iPhone on his person.
Gaby Darbyshire, COO of Gawker Media LLC, says the search warrant was invalid under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code. Darbyshire is playing a language game with the law and suggesting that a reporter's "notes, outtakes, photographs, tapes or other data of whatever sort" cannot be subjected to a police search and seizure.
Chen, who was not home at the time of the authorities arrival, returned to his residence just as officials were cataloging the goods taken from Chen's residence. California law holds that a search warrant can be served between 7am and 10pm.
The real question now is whether Chen will be afforded the same legal protections reserved for journalists. Bloggers, after all, may be treated differently in the eyes of the law, which would then make the confiscation of Chen's computers and servers legal by search warrant. Chen, after all, works fulltime for Gawker Media, but he does so from home.
Who knew that coughing up $5000 for a lost iPhone at a local bar would lead to so much trouble?
It should be noted, however, that despite erroneous reports elsewhere, Chen was not arrested and taken to prison. In other words, Mr. Chen isn't in need of a "jailbreak."