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  • Who Was the REAL Target of the Gizmodo Raid?


    As many questions as answers linger after the revelation of the police raid on Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's house on Friday night. Questions like: are bloggers really journalists? (I kind of hope so, personally), what did they want off Chen's hard drives? and why didn't they arrest him? The police took their time, having broken into Chen's house when he wasn't there, but he was told he could stay or go if he wanted to… though the inventory of the stuff they took includes "one box of business cards for suspect chen." So are they after him, or the guy he bought the iPhone from?

    The chief operating officer of Gawker Media, Gaby Darbyshire, asserts that California law protects journalists from being served search warrants. Specifically, section 1524(g) of California’s penal code - the so called "shield law" - says basically that a reporter doesn't have to give evidence in a legal trial. And Darbyshire also made sure that she pointed out that the ruling of the California Appeals Court in the case of O'Grady vs. Superior Court established that bloggers are journalists. (Yay.) Supposedly, however, the law doesn't protect journalists from searches related to a crime. And here's where the big question arises: was the whole "lost and found (and sold for five grand)" deal a crime?

    First Amendment expert Terry Francke says "nah." The executive director of Californians Aware, a rights group that advocates for journalists, told SF Weekly tech blogger Joe Eskenazi that the laws covering found property are civil codes, not penal ones… so Gawker may only be exposed to a lawsuit from Apple. And that may be punishment enough, but if so, then the police had no right to raid Chen's house, and so they may be able to settle out of court with Apple.

    There's just one wrinkle. If the "I found the phone in a bar" story was bogus, and Gawker knew it was bogus… in other words, if the phone was stolen, rather than found, then it's a whole different ball game. Remember, Apple contacted the police to complain about a theft, and the warrant was issued for property "used as the means of committing a felony" and/or "tends to show that a felony has been committed or that a particular person has committed a felony." Felony theft is when the value of the stolen thing is over some amount… I've read $450 and $950, but both numbers are smaller than the $5,000 Gawker paid for the phone and probably way smaller than what the phone was worth to Apple.

    If there's evidence on any of the four computers, two servers, iPhone, or Kingston thumbdrive taken from Chen that the iPhone was stolen, then Chen's not the guy who really needs to be worried (though "suspect chen" may be charged as an accessory)… it's the guy who supposedly sat next to Gray Powell at that bar.

    image via Dilbert
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Who Was the REAL Target of the Gizmodo Raid? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 55 Comments
    1. boges's Avatar
      boges -
      viral marketing...
    1. PWNsyst3m's Avatar
      PWNsyst3m -
      Wow apple......just wow
    1. DeclanFay's Avatar
      DeclanFay -
      lol they took " exsternal hd's "
    1. kraziebone's Avatar
      kraziebone -
      Apple's not physically doing the searches and arrests but it's more than just "filing a complaint" when you have a huge powerhouse company that has a lot of connections filing the complaint. This may be about trade secrets to Apple but according to Jason the iPhone wasn't stolen, it was lost. And he returned it, he just documented it first which isn't illegal. So it's not as easy as saying he exposed trade secrets because once it's been lost in a public place, it's no longer for Apple's eyes only. If it truely wasn't stolen then I don't see the problem. Even if it was stolen, if Jason truely didn't know, then I still don't see the liability issues. There is obviously a lot we don't know but based on what we do know, I can't see why he is getting so manhandled other than the fact that it's Apple
    1. santiagodraco's Avatar
      santiagodraco -
      How ******* often do they raid a house of someone thought to have bought a piece of "possibly" stolen merchandise? Not very ******* often. On top of that there's no reason to take ALL of his PCs.

      What is wrong with people?

      The only thing that would make this sensible is if they had clear evidence that this was planned from the start, in which case the Apple employee should have been fired long ago.

      Gotta love the world according to Jobs.
    1. cheveli's Avatar
      cheveli -
      People are assuming that only apple would get legal in matters like this. If I was a company, and I had alot riding on a new product, I would definetly get legal. The guys knew what they had, they should have known what would happened. If some of yours gets lost, let's say a wallet, and it doesn't get returned until they post all of ur personal info, credit card #s. Then they give it back, I'm pretty sure you would be pissed.

      The demand from us to know the latest and greates when it comes to the iPhone drives actions like this.

      For people that want to cut on Apple or Steve Jobs or whatever, grow up. Obvisiouly something about their products you like, if not you wouldn't be spending your time on these forums.
    1. Faxmonkey's Avatar
      Faxmonkey -
      Quote Originally Posted by pauldanielash View Post
      Remember, Apple contacted the police to complain about a theft, and the warrant was issued for property "used as the means of committing a felony" and/or "tends to show that a felony has been committed or that a particular person has committed a felony."
      When was this, exactly? I recall that Apple never reported the phone stolen, but when Gizmodo published their article and they were asked if they had "lost" a phone they said "No, it was stolen." In other words, they didn't go to the police until they got it back -- because they wanted to keep secret the fact that it was lost in the first place.
    1. cheveli's Avatar
      cheveli -
      They probably also did it just to make sure they got it back.
    1. brentbizzle's Avatar
      brentbizzle -
      People keep saying that this whole thing is good for Apple cause they'll sell more of the new iPhone model. Apple's problem is getting rid of the 3GS. If everyone keeps making a big deal about the new one, and more of it is revealed, it will be more likely people will wait for the new model instead of scooping up a 3GS.
    1. shadow25's Avatar
      shadow25 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thisisasticup View Post
      In related news, buying stolen goods will get you in trouble with the police.
      God damn.. That made me laugh..

      Surprisingly, people find it hard to believe that!

      Normally, I'd say something along the lines of "Thanks Caption Obvious, how would we survive without you!" but the ignorance of people posting here called for a hero like you.

      Quote Originally Posted by kraziebone View Post
      Apple's not physically doing the searches and arrests but it's more than just "filing a complaint" when you have a huge powerhouse company that has a lot of connections filing the complaint. This may be about trade secrets to Apple but according to Jason the iPhone wasn't stolen, it was lost. And he returned it, he just documented it first which isn't illegal. So it's not as easy as saying he exposed trade secrets because once it's been lost in a public place, it's no longer for Apple's eyes only. If it truely wasn't stolen then I don't see the problem. Even if it was stolen, if Jason truely didn't know, then I still don't see the liability issues. There is obviously a lot we don't know but based on what we do know, I can't see why he is getting so manhandled other than the fact that it's Apple
      Wow.. Let me guess, buying a stolen car is OK with you?

      Jason KNEW it was stolen the moment he saw it. Pretty damn simple, he explains it in all his blog. The "finder" didn't report it to the police, didn't attempt to contact Gray Powell even though he SAW his facebook page, didn't alert the bar staff. What did he do? Placed a half-*** call to AppleCare. Anyone with HALF of a brain will know that AppleCare employees don't know **** about prototypes, and they are very hesitate to release personal information for ANYONE! California Laws have a process for "lost" stuff, and it involves turning it into the police. Read the macrumors thread, they go in depth about the process.

      Documenting a stolen prototype is legal? Possessing the STOLEN prototype is a Felony (He knew how the guy got it, knew the value, or else why pay the guy $5k?)

      Jason DID expose trade secrets! Don't ever start manufacturing cell phones if you think Trade Secrets cannot leave Company Walls. IIRC, Gray Powell is a baseband developer for the iPhone, so it would only make sense that he would be FIELD-TESTING the iPhone.

      I hope Apple sues Gizmodo into Oblivion. Isn't there any honest people left in this world? Leaks are cool and all, but normally, leaks =/= stolen devices.
    1. Riviera's Avatar
      Riviera -
      Quote Originally Posted by cheveli View Post
      People are assuming that only apple would get legal in matters like this. If I was a company, and I had alot riding on a new product, I would definetly get legal. The guys knew what they had, they should have known what would happened. If some of yours gets lost, let's say a wallet, and it doesn't get returned until they post all of ur personal info, credit card #s. Then they give it back, I'm pretty sure you would be pissed.

      The demand from us to know the latest and greates when it comes to the iPhone drives actions like this.
      Damn straight!!. If that happened to me, I'd find the SOB and F#%k him up good.

      Quote Originally Posted by cheveli View Post
      For people that want to cut on Apple or Steve Jobs or whatever, grow up. Obvisiouly something about their products you like, if not you wouldn't be spending your time on these forums.
      They're just a bunch of hypocrites. LOL.
    1. k.nitsua's Avatar
      k.nitsua -
      Crap, I knew I shouldn't have left my phone at the bar that night...

      *moments later, police raid K.Nitsua's house*
    1. ModJoe's Avatar
      ModJoe -
      I do not know what to make of the story... sounds incredibly.
    1. Kroo's Avatar
      Kroo -
      Well all those drug dealers can sleep easy knowing "real" hardened criminals are feeling the full brunt of the law, and that no illegal prototypes will hit the streets and corrupt your youth. Thank god for police states!!!

      Also interesting that Apple has a presence on the steering committee of the police task force that raided the home of Gizmodo's Jason Chen.!!!!!!!!! Someone using public resources to make a point to all those who might find themselves with Apple prototypes in the future? The Gestapo lives.
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      I'm gonna be soooo happy when they finally reveal it and get all this over with!!
    1. hunter2003's Avatar
      hunter2003 -
      The big felony is we all now know what is going to happen at the Apple Conference in June "sarcasm".

      As stated Apples problem now is getting rid of the 3GS, I know I was considering another one, but now will definately wait for the 4G to arrive.
    1. tremerone's Avatar
      tremerone -
      .....am I screwed because I looked at images he posted?!
      ............I feel kinda dirty....but in a naughty kinda way....
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      I hope those of you wishing the worst on Mr. Chen don't have jaikroken phones with cracked apps.

      Also, just because you like a product doesn't mean you love a company's ethics. I think the iPhone is awesome, however i'm not a big fan of Apple's posturing, especially as of late.

      I can clearly see why Apple took these measures, but hoping for Apple to "win" seems kinda stupid to me. They made a GREAT product (after jailbreak) and will sell millions. I'm sure they don't need some of you waving your pom poms cheering and **** lol
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      Let's just say he was able to get something off of this phone that was secretive(not in the releases to Devs). And we all know how secretive Apple is. How do the police know what they have found without an Apple employee looking at his hard drives. Why else take the harddrives. Kind of creepy to think big companies have this kind of power with police. As far as I know Apple products don't equate to U.S. Security risks.
    1. reyg25atx's Avatar
      reyg25atx -
      I still think this is all a publicity stunt! Ya right, I hope this will finally shut up the conspiracy theorist! What Chen had was iPhone prototype not a publicity stunt by Apple. Chen, don't drop the soap.