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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. oo3's Avatar
      oo3 -
      "So much drama in the LBC..."
    1. Carlos's Avatar
      Carlos -
      Did they get the iPhone back?
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      too much drama for sure. i mean really a police raid? haha
    1. DarkOmen53's Avatar
      DarkOmen53 -
      Wow.... I think this month has been the most epic one so far this year. If you were in Chen's position would you think it would have been worth "buying" the phone?
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      **** steve jobs. As soon as my att contract is up, im ditching them and the iphone. That bad *** sprint phone looks cool.
    1. romeo_herman's Avatar
      romeo_herman -
      This news make iPhone 4G more popular, and they can sell more millions and millions......
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Has anyone noticed this photo was stolen from a comic post by tsatryan
      I think Chen should sue the police force, it has happened before, for the whole journalists-can't-be-raided-with-a-warrant thingy
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      i dont think apple purposefully did this to get more publicity. I know they can be strict but really purposefully get someone in trouble and make them pay all this and have police raid their house i mean common, if anything this just makes people hate apple even more haha
    1. TheOrioles33's Avatar
      TheOrioles33 -
      So with all this going on can we assume those leaked photos are real? Is this an elaborate scheme or conspiracy? I say we call in Mulder and Scully!
    1. jdyates's Avatar
      jdyates -
      Quote Originally Posted by DarkOmen53 View Post
      If you were in Chen's position would you think it would have been worth "buying" the phone?
      Hell yeah.
    1. kraziebone's Avatar
      kraziebone -
      Only Apple's shady legal team could push for a warrant on these grounds.
    1. z3r01's Avatar
      z3r01 -
    1. 4n4c0nd4's Avatar
      4n4c0nd4 -
      Anyone else find it ironic that they made sure to confiscate the Motorola Droid phone in that seizure?
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      lol. this is too funny.
    1. DZ2121's Avatar
      DZ2121 -
      love the law and order reference
    1. matthew1111's Avatar
      matthew1111 -
      ^^^Nice pic haha. Apple is like a big crybaby "Waaah he stole my new toy!" "Oooh I stole this guy's toy, now im going to sell it and call it revolutionary!"
    1. Micara57's Avatar
      Micara57 -
      I still think this has gotten WAYYY out of hand.
    1. shadow25's Avatar
      shadow25 -
      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.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by oo3 View Post
      "So much drama in the LBC..."
      Best first post ever!
    1. 2Jaze's Avatar
      2Jaze -
      Crazy stories always surface around product release time. Guess Apple's too cool for commercials anymore.