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  • Police Investigate Gizmodo iPhone Story


    Police are trying to determine if Gizmodo violated California state law by buying an iPhone prototype from someone who said he found it in a bar, according to "a law enforcement official" quoted by CNET yesterday. The official also claims that Apple itself asked for the investigation, which, if true, would contradict persistent rumor that the somewhat unlikely story was just an Apple publicity stunt. An executive at Gizmodo's parent company says that police have not asked them any questions yet.

    Reportedly, Apple representatives contacted the Santa Clara County Police, and asked for an investigation of the events surrounding the disappearance of an iPhone prototype last month, and its subsequent appearance and teardown on Gizmodo last week. CNET's Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh spoke to a police representative, who says that the investigation may be conducted by a computer crime task force inside the Santa Clara County district attorney's office. While Apple's Cupertino headquarters is in Santa Clara County, the bar where the phone was allegedly lost and found is in Redwood City, the county seat of neighboring San Mateo County. According to California law, any person who finds lost property and "appropriates such property to his own use" is guilty of theft... or, If the value of the property is above $400, grand theft, which is a felony.

    The story has garnered a lot of comment since it was revealed on Monday. Gawker Media (the owners of Gizmodo) paid $5,000 for the prototype, which sources have said is considered stolen goods by Apple. There are a number of elements about the story - such as, for example, why the finder claims he took the phone home with him rather than giving it to the manager of the bar - that have prompted questions about whether the phone was really found or stolen. Some observers looked at the holes in the story (a man walks into a bar with a priceless prototype and leaves it on a bar stool? really?) and wondered if the whole thing was an elaborate stunt by Apple to build up pre-release buzz for the next generation iPhone, but the police investigation suggests that they weren't involved. Gawker's chief operating officer says police haven't been in contact with him about the phone.

    The Santa Clara County computer crime task force, called the "Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team" (REACT) was established in 1997 and pools the tech talents of a number of local jurisdictions. What's considered "Silicon Valley" lies mostly within the borders of Santa Clara County: the Santa Clara Valley -once the largest fruit producing and packing area on Earth - and the city of San Jose, and so the police have had to deal with a lot of high-profile intellectual property issues as well as thefts. Apple involved REACT in an investigation of one of its employees who sold over $100,000 worth of computers on eBay. REACT has more tech-savvy investigators than many local law enforcement agencies, commonly investigaring cybercrimes like denial-of-service attacks of online businesses in Silicon Valley.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Police Investigate Gizmodo iPhone Story started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. cory's Avatar
      cory -
      I highly doubt apple is just "testing the waters" for anything. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Steve Jobs was once quoted "we tell the consumer what they want" when asked if apple conducts focus groups for product research. Maybe there is some alternative motive from the guy who left it, maybe he got a cut of that $5,000, who knows. Maybe he's just an idiot after one beer. If you get paid that much money, loosing an iPhone may not be that big of a deal to him. Like I said, I don't know. All I do know is if it has dual cameras on it, sign me up! It's about time we get video calling on the iPhone!
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by stfudvs View Post
      so if I "lose" my iPhone apple doesn't care, in factthey do nothing to the person who "finds" it and activates it

      but when apple loses a phone somone up for grand Larson

      go **** yourselves apple
      You could do the same thing if you were able to track down who took your phone. Apple is suing for themselves, which you also have the right to do... I do think it sucks and feel Apple is just throwing around their weight as they seem to do nowadays, but thinking that Apple should do something for YOU when YOU lose your phone is just ridiculous.
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      BS, BS, BS, BS (Final answer is BS)......No way in hell was this ever a REAL type of iphone that landed in the hands of Gizmodo without the help of Apple.......No way in hell is this a REAL type of iphone. If it as REAL, how come noone can tell us what type of processor is in it. You mean u need it hooked up to itunes to tell us the answer, LMAO?......Publicity stunt or uderly BS. =-)

      And "if" this is the actual design and ALL that Apple has brought to the table. I'm going to say this will be the least selling iphone of all time.

      PS: When MY phone is stolen, how come noone will ban the IMEI from the network? I mean when someone steals my car, the ban it from being registered at the DMV.So why not do the same for my iphone. I mean i do OWN it, LoL.........Wait, once again BS. =-).....Oh yeah and u cant have video conferencing on a network that doesnt support it.
    1. Ticozx's Avatar
      Ticozx -
      I LOVE THE NEW STYLE!!! It's thinner and I hate the plastic crap back and no way was this a show from apple. The iPad did not leak, but, they are going to slip with their most precious baby, NO WAY!!! And lastly, if you do not like it, get a 3GS and upgrade to 4.0 when ever it comes out.

      I hope they throw the book at who ever stole the phone (or found it and did not turn it in when they found it instead of playing with it) and Gizmod is going to get screwed too, but then again, I'm sure they new that before they grabbed their balls and took their poison pill to commit siucide. Like they did not know that whoever got that stolen phone was going to receive the biggest leagal *** whopping from Apple the world has ever seen!!!
    1. csworrell's Avatar
      csworrell -
      EFFF Santa Clara Police. They made my life a living hell!
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thisisasticup View Post
      The PS confused all the BS's
      LMAO, yeah and the sucky part is....Other countries do ban the IMEI from the network IF its reported stolen. Just goes to show how retarded our country can be sometimes. =-)

      Grown men wage war; but it is our youth who must fight and die.
    1. Rescuer's Avatar
      Rescuer -
      The iPhone Leak Gets Ugly: Police Raid Gizmodo Editor’s House, Confiscate Computers

      Read more: The iPhone Leak Gets Ugly: Police Raid Gizmodo Editor’s House, Confiscate Computers


      The iPhone Leak Gets Ugly: Police Raid Gizmodo Editor’s House, Confiscate Computers
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Apple has became the "big bully" they used to scarf at. I hope Android finds a way to wipe their azz up somehow. Lost is lost, how about you suck it up apple. No way in hell I am buying another iphone from them. 3gs is my final iphone. I cannot contribute to this nonsense "apple standard" where they lose something and someone's life is ransacked.
    1. crazy4dss's Avatar
      crazy4dss -
      They raided his house this past friday and took several computers.
    1. iGarza's Avatar
      iGarza -
      ouch. GTA baby Mr. Lam is going down.
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Every time Steve Jobs get's a LITTLE bit of power he goes ape sh@t. This is why he was fired the FIRST time, he was becoming bad for the company. His delusional "above the law" style is gonna get shareholders back in trouble. Time to fire Jobs again.