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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. bargsbeer's Avatar
      bargsbeer -
      Quote Originally Posted by shadow25 View Post
      Its not Apple pulling the strings now. Apple can't request a search warrant. All Apple can do is file a complaint, and cooperate with the DA on the case.

      Its not a plain everyday iPhone, we're talking TRADE SECRETS.

      Jason Chen was in possession of a STOLEN prototype iPhone and decided it would be a brilliant idea to plaster it all over the internet. I'd be willing to bet they seized the computers to see what Chen had done with the iPhone while it was in his possession and if he tried to contact the known owner (Gray Powell).

      The sheild law only applies when they want to know who the source is.
      Seriously Man?? Apple is the largest tax payer in Cupertino, One of the most powerful and influential technology companies on the planet. You don't think they have the ability to make things happen??

      Remember what happened to the guy in China that lost a prototype?
      he committed "Suicide"
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Are you seriously implying apple had someone killed
    1. itmustbejj's Avatar
      itmustbejj -
      Apple is not just in China for the cheap labor and the Mandarin chicken....
    1. bargsbeer's Avatar
      bargsbeer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      Are you seriously implying apple had someone killed
      No I'm not implying that. I'm simply saying a company like Apple knows what's going on in those factories and it's employees. You don't think Apple wasn't 100% aware of everything that happened to that guy?
    1. itmustbejj's Avatar
      itmustbejj -
      Quote Originally Posted by bargsbeer View Post
      No I'm not implying that. I'm simply saying a company like Apple knows what's going on in those factories and it's employees. You don't think Apple wasn't 100% aware of everything that happened to that guy?
      Likely just aware enough for plausible deniability. Apple's private security in China gets results, and that's what they are concerned about. Understanding the means to the ends just becomes a liability for Apple.

      Have you heard about the way Apple's private security carries themselves in China? They couldn't get away with what they do there in a lot of industrialized countries.
    1. bargsbeer's Avatar
      bargsbeer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      Are you seriously implying apple had someone killed
      Quote Originally Posted by itmustbejj View Post
      Likely just aware enough for plausible deniability. Apple's private security in China gets results, and that's what they are concerned about. Understanding the means to the ends just becomes a liability for Apple.

      Have you heard about the way Apple's private security carries themselves in China? They couldn't get away with what they do there in a lot of industrialized countries.
      Agreed,If Jason Chen was in China it would be a different story.
    1. dale1v's Avatar
      dale1v -
      Quote Originally Posted by bargsbeer View Post
      Agreed,If Jason Chen was in China it would be a different story.
      More like no story at all

      (>.>)

      (<.<)
    1. bargsbeer's Avatar
      bargsbeer -
      Quote Originally Posted by dale1v View Post
      More like no story at all

      (>.>)

      (<.<)
      HAHA! so true.
    1. RelentlessDan's Avatar
      RelentlessDan -
      Quote Originally Posted by 4n4c0nd4 View Post
      Anyone else find it ironic that they made sure to confiscate the Motorola Droid phone in that seizure?
      :L maybe it was infact google who sent for the raid!?
      and all they wanted was the 4g.

      maybe it wasnt the police

      maybe its bs! :P
    1. zozodouce's Avatar
      zozodouce -
      I dont see anything wrong with what apple did,if you had a billion $$$ corporation like they do.you would want to protect it.the only problem i see here is that we give too much info on the internet,he did not have to show his face on the video or tell people where and how he got the phone.just make a video,dont show your face or any details as to where it came from and apple would not be able to come after you or anyone,i hope we learned something from this stop putting too much info out there on the web.
    1. supreme-livin's Avatar
      supreme-livin -
      so much drama in the lbc

      is by far the best first post ever
    1. k.nitsua's Avatar
      k.nitsua -
      Quote Originally Posted by supreme-livin View Post
      so much drama in the lbc

      is by far the best first post ever
      ^agreed
    1. gafu's Avatar
      gafu -
      .....it's kinda hard being A double P L E
    1. wiiwet's Avatar
      wiiwet -
      i thought iphones have the GPS tracking, they don't use it?

      this is all BS by APPLE!!!!
    1. dale1v's Avatar
      dale1v -
      Quote Originally Posted by wiiwet View Post
      i thought iphones have the gps tracking, they don't use it?

      This is all bs by apple!!!!
      It doesn't work if the phone is OFF