Stolen iPhone 4 Prototype Investigation Wrapping Up

| News

Authorities are close to finishing their criminal investigation into an iPhone 4 prototype Gizmodo purchased ahead of the official product launch. As part of the investigation, police recently interviewed Apple CEO Steve Jobs, too, according to CNET.

Once police finish their investigation, which will likely be in the next few weeks, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s office will decide whether or not criminal charges should be filed in the incident.

The tech blog Gizmodo found itself in the spotlight earlier this year when it bought an iPhone 4 prototype that an Apple employee lost in a California bar. The blog posted photos and videos of what it said was the next generation iPhone. Gizmodo eventually returned the prototype, but not until after Apple’s legal department contacted the company demanding its return.

Gizmodo eventually found itself in the spotlight again when police executed a search warrant at the home of Jason Chen, one of the blog’s editors. Authorities confiscated computers, hard drives, iPhones and other items from his home as part of a criminal investigation.

Gizmodo and its parent company, Gawker Media, claimed the search warrant was invalid because “search warrants may not be validly issued to confiscate the property of a journalist” in California. The police, however, didn’t see the state’s journalistic shield law as an issue since they were investigating whether or not Mr. Chen had been involved in a crime.

Authorities later returned Mr. Chen’s property and Gawker Media agreed to cooperate in the criminal investigation.

Police aren’t saying exactly when they plan to finish their investigation and turn the case over to the District Attorney’s office.

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4 Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

“Stolen iPhone Prototype” is the new “Beleaguered Apple”. They’ll surely nail somebody, as preserving precious corporate secrets is all of our jobs as citizens of the great state of Carly-Fiorina (as our current Governator says). But until they do, maybe drop an “allegedly” in there out of respect for a couple kids who didn’t realize police forces are now a public private partnership.

jfbiii

Yeah, one of those goddamned corporations had the police arrest a woman locally for embezzlement last week. The nerve.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  Most of the laws that you are referring to were designed, not to protect Apple but existed long before Apple came into being, and protect the property of ordinary citizens and, yes, protect the property of corporations too.

Or, perhaps, we should alter the law in a manner that is patently unconstitutional so that only the property of natural persons and particularly the property of Bosco and his juridical entities is protected by law from theft?

noworryz

Gizmodo is untouchable due to the violation of the shield law but the DA could go after the kid who found the phone. The downside is that Jobs will absolutely have to testify and the reality distortion field just doesn’t work well under cross-examination. They’ll probably try to get the kid to plead guilty, instead.

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