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  • Gizmodo May File Suit Over iPhone Police Raid



    If you thought the drama was over once deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's office obtained a search warrant last weekend to raid the home of Gizmodo's Jason Chen, think again. It seems the fallout from iPhone-gate is spreading faster than ash from that volcano in Iceland.

    Today, legal representatives for Gizmodo - and by legal representatives, I mean a high-paid lawyers ready to sue the pants off somebody - are suggesting that Gizmodo may potentially file suit against the San Mateo County sheriff's office in response to the raid of Chen's home on Friday evening. Authorities, as we all know, continue investigating how the hijacked new iPhone model became the center of a very public media firestorm.

    Thomas R. Burke, an attorney specializing in media law at the offices of Davis Wright Tremaine, told CNET this morning that the search and seizure at Jason Chen's home did not reflect the "appropriate method" for authorities to embrace in this situation. In a nutshell, Burke used a whole lot of legalese to state what we've already heard from other critics of the raid - that the controversial search warrant "violated a journalist shield law designed to limit searches of newsrooms."

    San Mateo County prosecutors, however, have acknowledged that they were well aware of the aforementioned "shield law" before the raid was launched. In fact, authorities behind the search and seizure claim to have carefully weighed all options and thoroughly thought through the appropriateness and legality of the raid before it was undertaken.

    Something tells me this story is about to get a lot more interesting... and uglier.

    Image via scrapetv
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Gizmodo May File Suit Over iPhone Police Raid started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 41 Comments
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      I can't wait for the black eye Apple will get from all of this!
    1. redwolf's Avatar
      redwolf -
      iPhone nexgen...delay?

      but yes, Gizmodo FTW
    1. blkcadi's Avatar
      blkcadi -
      ......and rightly so in my opinion.
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      Seriously? Gizmodo purchased stolen property that they knew did not belong to the seller and advertised it as just that. You can't do that. I hope Gizmodo goes down from this whole thing.
    1. FiLLYBoii's Avatar
      FiLLYBoii -
      Roflllllllllllllllllllll

      @ Billchase2, Gizmodo actually purchased an iPhone thought to believe a fake to tinker around with and during that process it was known that they did purchase a prototype. The seller would be accused too if Gizmodo knew it was a iphone 4g, but they didn't. Finders Keepers (for a little bit & give back), seems acceptable doesn't it? I mean they could tear the whole enchilada down to ingredients but they didn't. And that apple summon-search (probably behind the table pay) caused stupid sheriffs to invade his place with him doing no harm to no body is so wrong. It was Apple & Grey's fault, not Gizmodos.
    1. DeclanFay's Avatar
      DeclanFay -
      i really hope they see this whole thing through to be honest .
    1. powa's Avatar
      powa -
      i support Gizmodo for this, i'm tired of Apple trying to sue everyone standing in their way, or standing NEAR their path.

      When You have a bit of luck, it's time not to go too far, because the ledge might be right ahead.
    1. imprOvise's Avatar
      imprOvise -
      Go gizmo, it's your birthday
    1. wookiee2cu's Avatar
      wookiee2cu -
      billchase2, both the person who found the phone and gizmodo contacted Apple to tell them they had the proto-type. The Apple reps they reached told them they were not missing a proto-type as higher ups did not inform Apple employees that they were in fact missing the proto-type. You can't blame the finder or gizmodo for this, they tried to return it to the rightful owner and were turned away. The whole thing is getting out of hand now. I'm just looking forward to July when I can get my hands on one (and be able to keep it), hopefully Apple will launch it immediately after the official announcement but I'm not going to hold my breath.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Based on what i read in the past article about how bloggers are journalists and what i saw on LikeTotalyAwesome (they said that Chen left a note in his house to the police informing them about the law that stops them from raiding him) he better sue
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      SUE!!!!!! Just be nice see someone else besides Apple suing everyone. Was the phone stolen or left behind? So many conflicting stories.
    1. johnr9412's Avatar
      johnr9412 -
      Go giz!!! Show apple who's boss!
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      How great would it be to have the audience at WWDC on June 7th all unbutton their shirts and reveal their Gizmodo t-shirts with a picture of the new iPhone right before steve anounces it.
    1. dq13's Avatar
      dq13 -
      even if it was "found" and not stolen, that does not give you the right of owner to the thing you found. I know this from personal experience... I found something at work and waited MONTHS for someone to call for it, no one did so I took it before it was thrown away. I llisted it on ebay and the original owner saw it and bought it to get my info and then, I got cops knoking on the door for dealing with stolen property...

      you find something, you better leave it behind or take it to the police station, not to a magazine or anywhere else to try to find the owner... that's B.S. the founder just wanted money for it!
    1. ExileTEAM's Avatar
      ExileTEAM -
      well i studied law in senior year of high school, I remember there was a term for buying stolen property while knowing it was stolen, which in fact is a crime in any state. Even though people think that Gizmodo should file a counter law suit against apple I doubt that they are going to win.

      I said stolen property, so IDK if it was "STOLEN" or "FOUND". There is the difference that could set this case apart. What approach Gizmodo will take, IDK.
    1. Micara57's Avatar
      Micara57 -
      I can't wait for this to pan out.
    1. iest's Avatar
      iest -
      Quote Originally Posted by FiLLYBoii View Post
      Roflllllllllllllllllllll

      @ Billchase2, Gizmodo actually purchased an iPhone thought to believe a fake to tinker around with and during that process it was known that they did purchase a prototype. The seller would be accused too if Gizmodo knew it was a iphone 4g, but they didn't. Finders Keepers (for a little bit & give back), seems acceptable doesn't it? I mean they could tear the whole enchilada down to ingredients but they didn't. And that apple summon-search (probably behind the table pay) caused stupid sheriffs to invade his place with him doing no harm to no body is so wrong. It was Apple & Grey's fault, not Gizmodos.
      Purchased a fake to tinker with? Nobody would spend $5000 on a phone they thought was fake. Nobody.

      Gizmodo knew the iphone was property that didn't belong to the"college guy" who found it. They also knew they would get a ridiculous amount of coverage and a huge readership for the story.

      I mean, have you seen Gizmodo.com?
      "The iPhone 4G saga"

      They squeezed every drop they could out of this story - first the possibly fake blurry images, then the big breaking story, then a teardown, then the lost & found story, then apple asking for it back, then another teardown... and it doesn't stop!

      The editors at Giz new the epic story they would get out of the prototype iPhone.

      If this college guy lived in silicon valley, surely he could just pop round to Cupertino? Or even pop it in the mail?

      Or... as anyone else with morals would do - hand the phone in at the bar.

      Both the college guy and gizmodo deserve whatever they get.

      Hopefully, their asses get handed to them.
    1. staterunner180's Avatar
      staterunner180 -
      I highly doubt that Apple will release the new iPhone early. Because they way I see it is; Apple is already on a tight manufacturing schedule. Meaning that they will have the number of iPhones that they plan to release, WHEN they originally planned to release. I'm pretty they can't just tell the factories where they make the iPhone to bring their order of one million iPhones up a month just because a blogger posted some pictures of it. Yes, I understand that this will reduce hype for the iPhone (among non-avid readers of tech news that is ) but you have to consider everything.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      haha. I hope they do. serves apple right.
    1. reddawg's Avatar
      reddawg -
      How was the prototype stolen? It was clearly left behind in a bar. A patron found it and realized it might be the prototype to the 4G and contacted Gizmodo. Yes, he used the opportunity to make money on the discovery. Would I have done that? No, I would have turned it over to the police.

      I remember reading somewhere that the prototype iPhone 4G could not be accessed. It was either locked or had the "Restore to iTunes" on the screen. Gizmodo took pictures of the prototype and returned it to Apple.

      This is an overreaction by Apple and an over abusive response by the police and DA. They literally broke down Gizmodo's house door, confiscated his servers, computers, iPhone and iPad devices. Wow! Gizmodo is supposed to be protected by the California journalist shield law. Unless the patron really stole the prototype 4G and Gizmodo was aware of this, I am in Gizmodo’s corner.

      Bad Police, bad district attorney and bad Apple.