The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart Bags on Apple Over Gizmodo Warrant

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The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart took a swing at Apple Wednesday night over the warrant the led to police confiscating computer equipment from Gizmodo’s Jason Chen. The computers were seized as part of an investigation related to a fourth generation iPhone prototype Gizmodo bought and then showed on the Internet.

“I know that it’s slightly agitating that a blog dedicated to technology published all that stuff about your new phone. And you didn’t order the police to bust down the doors, right?” Mr. Stewart said on his show. “I’d be pissed too, but you didn’t have to go all Minority Report on his ass. I mean, if you want to break down someone’s door, why don’t you start with AT&T, for god’s sake? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone.”

Mr. Stewart was referring to a search warrant that local law enforcement officials executed about a week ago at the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen in Santa Clara, California. Officials impounded computers, an iPhone, bank records and more as part of what appears to be a criminal investigation into Gizmodo’s purchase of a fourth generation iPhone prototype that an Apple engineer lost in a bar.

Gizmodo and its parent company, Gawker Media, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, claim that the warrant was invalid because California law protects journalists from search warrants.

There has also been concern over Apple’s involvement on the advisory board for the local police task force that investigates computer-related crimes. Participating on the advisory board, just as many other Silicon Valley tech companies do, doesn’t mean a company has the power to use the task force as their own little army to kick in doors and take computers — even a company as big as Apple.

Mr. Stewart’s commentary is available in Flash format at The Daily Show Web site.

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Comments

Khaled

ha ha, Camera 3 :p

Tiger

It’s commentary. From a comedian.
Funny thing is, comedians get all freaked out about people stealing their material.

Ain’t nothing like a double standard to start a Thursday.

Ben Young

You just wrote a news article about a comedian making a news report? John Stewart bags on a lot of stuff, that’s his material, why is this unique/different?

Maybe I’ll go write a news blog article about John Stewart doing a report on a fox news reporter doing a interview with a news article writer.

Brains

Wait.  John Stewart is a comedian?  That in itself is worth a laugh I suppose, but a funny man he is not.

Brian

lol. Mac fan boys get their feelings hurt easily.

It’s comedy. Get over it. You can thank your God for making it possible.

FrankB

Got any real news? this man is not a reporter….

daemon

Just a reminder that the raid was carried out by the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team that Apple is a member of the steering board.

The Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team typically handles things like identity theft and other “high tech crimes.”

For contrast, if you were to report a theft of personal property in Redwood City, CA you would be put through to the Property Crimes division of the Redwood City, CA police department, who would then investigate the crime, as opposed to say the super special team of 17 local, state, and federal agencies, with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office designated as the lead agency whose whole purpose is “To reduce the incidence of high technology crime through the apprehension of the professional organizers of large scale criminal activities.”

chris

I may miss the nuance here, but since when are bloggers considered journalists? If they are journalists, then why aren’t they held to the same standards? And since when can either commit a crime…yes, paying for fenced goods is a crime. I think the police went too far…simply because there was only one phone, and that was eventually given back to Apple before the raid. I understand the raid, however, if this dude paid money for fenced goods, what other fenced goods did he pay for? I also disagree that he is shielded by the laws protecting journalists, simply because he is not a journalist. Anyone can have a blog. Does that mean we are all journalists? No, it does not. And even if I am wrong on that point, does it mean that journalists should be exempt from following the laws because the blog about the experience? Absolutely not.

apple hater 1

i like the little low blow at the end - avaliable via flash… LOL

James Keen

This whole thing is stupid.  The fellow who found the phone in the first place called apple and tried to return the phone, apple said they were missing no phones, so he called the extention of the engineer who lost the phone..(it was in the proto type Iphone)..left a msg for him, no one caleld back.  The fellow waited almost two months before posting info online about the situation.  That was when Gizmodo got ahold of the guy and offered him 5k to “BORROW” the phone.  Go look at the review they did the editor for gizmodo even said in the review he didn’t take apart the whole phone because he was returning it to apple and didn’t want to break anything.  Let alone gizmodo also informned Apple twice that he had there prototype phone twice he was told that no such phone existed.  Apple had LOADS of time to get the phone back however they decided to try and be super stealth about LOSING there own damn product and now want to make an example out of gizmodo.  I hope the courts slap Apple hard.  This whole thing is over running with stupidity..

bugsy3333

On AT&T—“They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone.?
Jon deals in hyperbole and exaggeration, that’s his style.
But how about a well put together sentence, Jon?
Too many people get their news and opinion from late night TV and the Daily Show, or at least they have preconceived notions corroborated by comedians, perhaps making them feel part of a collective wit. Funny maybe; informative? Not.

Mike Scarborough

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I think that was one of the best moments in televised political satire ever.  Apple needs to spend a little more time managing public perception.  It’s called “public relations.”
On the other hand they could just keep doing what they are doing, and we will keep watching the Daily Show to see what Jon Stewart has to say about it.

laughingoutloud

Stewart is one of America’s most influential opinion makers, who can turn his young audience ? a key demographic ? against a politician, a celebrity or a product with a few well-honed barbs. The targets of the kind of treatment he gave Apple and Steve Jobs Wednesday night may never quite recover. Just ask John McCain, Jim Cramer, Glenn Beck or the hosts of the now defunct CNN Crossfire.

That is from cnn.com. Like it or not, its the truth.

Jon Stewart only echoed the opinion I already had. If Jason Chen is guilty of theft, then there are channels for that.

Is a blogger a journalist? It could appear so. Even if not, the law referenced by Gizmodo was to protect a source, and not to protect a journalist from a crime. Gizmodo does not feel they are guilty of a crime. It will be up to a court to decide probably.

Apple stands in the court of public opinion. The damage they can bring to themselves in handling this matter will be greater than any damage caused by video and pictures of their product.

UMfanatic

I may miss the nuance here, but since when are bloggers considered journalists? If they are journalists, then why aren?t they held to the same standards? And since when can either commit a crime?yes, paying for fenced goods is a crime. I think the police went too far?simply because there was only one phone, and that was eventually given back to Apple before the raid. I understand the raid, however, if this dude paid money for fenced goods, what other fenced goods did he pay for? I also disagree that he is shielded by the laws protecting journalists, simply because he is not a journalist. Anyone can have a blog. Does that mean we are all journalists? No, it does not. And even if I am wrong on that point, does it mean that journalists should be exempt from following the laws because the blog about the experience? Absolutely not.

Fenced items?  Lost items that are found are not fenced.  Stolen items are fenced.  But something that was lost by somebody cannot be classified as stolen.  This whole situation has been blown way out of proportion.  And California Law includes bloggers under the field of journalist.  And he is not just an avid blogger, he is an editor for a major tech blog.  And the shield law protects his first amendment right right to report news.  Plenty of journalists pay for news to be the first to report it.

Kevin Nettleship

a funny man he is not.

?

Just a wartning:  The owners of your User Name are planning a raid to get it back.  But, you don’t appear to be using it anyway.  (Maybe next time you watch Stewart you might want to check your politics at the door.)

bugsy3333

Stewart is one of America?s most influential opinion makers, who can turn his young audience ? a key demographic ? against a politician, a celebrity or a product with a few well-honed barbs.

And I think that is about as sad a commentary on today’s youth as I’ve ever heard.

Nemo

Apple is one of a number of prominent tech companies on a committee that provides input and assistance to the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT).  It is a sort of citizens’ committee, much like the citizens committee for many big city police forces, for high tech crimes that is composed prominent tech companies.  However, that committee has no control of REACT, which is a police organization.  While Apple can and probably did complain that it believes the prototype iPhone was stolen, it is in the sole discretion of the police, with the counsel of the DA when needed, to decide whether there is sufficient grounds to warrant investigation of crime.  Apple cannot direct the police to investigate any suspected crime.

As for the decision to prosecute a crime, that is within the sole discretion of the District Attorney (DA).  Apple has nothing to say about the DA’s decision to prosecute or not prosecute.  And though Apple and its employee would be the victims of the crime(s), crimes are offenses against the state, here the state of California, so neither Apple or its employee-engineer can stop a prosecution, if the DA decides to prosecute, and they must fully cooperate with both any investigation by the police and with any prosecution by the DA.

Dean Lewis

But something that was lost by somebody cannot be classified as stolen.

You need to read up on the law in California (which is not much different from law in most other states):

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PEN/3/1/13/5/s485

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Find something and do not make a reasonable effort to return it—which includes giving it to the owners of the place where it was found since the owner is likely to come back there to find it or to give it to the police—and you can be prosecuted, whether you know of this law or not.

Besides the law, it’s basic common sense. I knew it when I was 12 and found a purse and its contents strewed in a thicket in the middle of a field in Oklahoma. I left it alone and called the police who came out, picked it all up, and took it to the station and later located the elderly woman it was stolen from. But, hey, I suppose I could have gone through it, kept anything I liked since the law is finder’s keepers, right? And, being 12, I probably would have gotten away with it.

But finder’s keepers isn’t the law, and we’re not talking about 12 year olds here.

Darr247

Haha @ “Mr. Stewart?s commentary is available in Flash format at The Daily Show Web site.” which means the fanbois’s devices can’t display it - no wonder they don’t realize how many people get their take on the day’s news from the Daily Show.

Sterling

This article would’ve been a lot better as a personal commentary piece.  As is it seems really really irrelevant and a waste of time.  at least get a link to video or something if you are really just writing about john stewart jokes.

joebob3

lol. Mac fan boys get their feelings hurt easily.

yeah ! there is nothing wrong to be the Mac Fan boys ! windows suckers fan boys need to go somewhere ! not here !

LMAO !!!!!!

Darr247

But finder?s keepers isn?t the law, and we?re not talking about 12 year olds here.

Exactly… that’s why the finder tried to return it to apple, but when he called them they wouldn’t believe him so he couldn’t get past the people that answer the phones post-menu, and since they wiped it remotely as soon as the employee reported it missing, he had no way to contact them using an internal number.

Turn it in… yeah - right… As if the police are going to go out of their way to return a cell phone when there’s no info on it. If apple wants their stuff returned when lost, they should have that fact laser etched on the backs of prototypes along with the “xxGB” EEPROM capacity.

bender83j

This article is great.  I can’t get over how blinded you fan boys are.  What would you say if some guy from google got drunk at a bar and left his android device and sold it to gizmodo?  I have a feeling your opinion on the situation would be a little different.  I know “gods” like Jobs in your worlds are infallible but please recognize big corporate bullying when you see it.  “MOM!! TIMMY STOLE MY PROTOTYPE IPHONE!”  Go listen to your Coldplay albums and lift your shades please.

Dr.Mojo

When you (supposedly) find another person’s property, you’re obligated by law to return it to its rightful owner. If you instead attempt to fence (sell) the item, all parties concerned have a legal obligation to report such activities to authorities. If a transaction is successful, all parties concerned have committed multiple criminal counts with regard to stolen property (and in this case, a felony). Even if the item wasn’t sold, the same can be said with regard to gifted stolen property.

If money hadn’t exchanged hands we’d likely wouldn’t be delving so deep in these matters - Yet one has to conclude, Gizmodo’s actions to dissect the iPhone when was clearly NOT their property raises serious legal as well as ethical questions.

What is most concerning, Gizmodo documented the entire process - What on Earth was going through their minds…?!!

Q: What would your reaction be if someone found your personal property (i.e, smart phone, laptop, car keys, etc.), didn’t attempt to return it, fenced it (sold) it to another party while all your property and personal information was disseminated…? Wouldn’t you be angry? Seek retribution?

I know I would.

Darr247

windows suckers fan boys need to go somewhere ! not here !


ooooOOOOOooo’s from the crowd. LOL

Only idiots repeatedly pay for a device and OS that then ties them to buying apps and content from the ‘company store’.

Try a free OS, fanbois.

bender83j

Sorry Dr.Mojo but your wrong.  Please tell me why “All parties concerned” have a legal obligation to report this.  Are you telling me if Apple didn’t report it then the police would be raiding them?  You are blind man.  I fell sorry for you.  Whats going on through there minds was the same thing that happens EVERYDAY which is reporters reporting on news.  You think reporters never buy stories or leads for that matter?  Sorry but you need an exorcist to get the Apple demond out of you because it comical how your likeness to a sub par product has blinded you so much.  Try looking at the rest of the worlds technology and you will find out how “innovative” apple really is.  Its fan boys like you that can get over the pretty bow they put on their products their for you think its so great.  I’m an IT Consultant by trade and sorry to burst your bubble but they ain’t that great.

Lee Dronick

Sure are getting a lot of new members here on MacObserver

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I?m going to go out on a limb here and say that I think that was one of the best moments in televised political satire ever.? Apple needs to spend a little more time managing public perception.? It?s called ?public relations.?
On the other hand they could just keep doing what they are doing, and we will keep watching the Daily Show to see what Jon Stewart has to say about it.

Whoah Mike. You are totally out of line here. Public relations is having Katy Cotton deny existence of a prototype phone or insist that Steve Jobs’ health is fine. Seriously Mike, where do you get such strange ideas? Have you never written a press release? Kids today!!!

</sarcasm>

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Sure are getting a lot of new members here on MacObserver

You get paid by the page view just like the rest of us here!

laughingoutloud

As I understand it, all parties involved tried to return it. It wasn’t until Apple reps (whether they knew what they were talking about or not) denied its existence repeatedly that stuff was published.

Fact: once Apple said the phone was theirs, Gizmodo immediately returned it.

Fact: money changed hands. If this hadn’t happened, it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal.

Speculation: the prototype was stolen. This is an interpretation and is to be decided by a court. If the interpretation is correct, there are many supplemental issues involved. If it is not, then everyone will go back to worrying about other things.

Observation: the reputations of Gizmodo and Apple are on trial in the court of public opinion. This is very important to both of them. How this situation is handled will influence people who buy apple products and view Gizmodo’s site (thus affecting their ad revenue). The person who posted this article is reporting that a person who heavily influences public opinion has chosen a side in this matter. I think that is relevent to Mac Observers.

Dean Lewis

Exactly? that?s why the finder tried to return it to apple, but when he called them they wouldn?t believe him so he couldn?t get past the people that answer the phones post-menu, and since they wiped it remotely as soon as the employee reported it missing, he had no way to contact them using an internal number.

He didn’t give it to the police or the bartender/bar owner. He didn’t call the bar to see if someone had been looking for it. Also, there are stories, pointed out in threads here, that Apple located the phone and went to the apartment of the “finder” to get it. As mentioned above, it’s up to the DA to determine if they can argue the finder did not do enough and can be prosecuted for theft. The fact the finder shopped it around, likely after Apple had already come to them (or their roommate, but the finder would have known Apple wanted it back) and then received money for it probably will be used in court against them.

At 12 I knew to call the police rather than keep anything from a muddy, ripped up purse. Surely an adult knows not to keep a several hundred dollar electronic device. And that’s beyond the law itself.

daemon

He didn?t give it to the police or the bartender/bar owner.

Yeah, so what?

He didn?t call the bar to see if someone had been looking for it.

You don’t know that. His roommate could own the bar for all you know.

Also, there are stories, pointed out in threads here, that Apple located the phone and went to the apartment of the ?finder? to get it.

No, that’s not what the stories said. Stop spreading misinformation, Apple sent a group of people to the finder’s home after Gizmodo ran the story, but before REACT ransacked Jason Chen’s home. The people who claimed to represent Apple tried to get the roommate of the man who found the iPhone to let them in to search his home. Ofcourse the man refused, as would anyone.

just a thought

Steve Jobs ego isn’t helping Apple win any style points.
Nor is it helping graphic professionals who are stuck hoping that Adobe’s buggy CS software will somehow start getting the support that it should have on the Mac.

Sheese this iPhone nightmare and the Adobe Flash debacle are summing up to Make April 2010 a real “consumers lose ground” banner month.

This world is forgetting how to play nice in so many ways I’m afraid that the entire concept is in danger of being forgotten.

laughingoutloud

Steve Jobs ego isn?t helping Apple win any style points.
Nor is it helping graphic professionals who are stuck hoping that Adobe?s buggy CS software will somehow start getting the support that it should have on the Mac.

Sheese this iPhone nightmare and the Adobe Flash debacle are summing up to Make April 2010 a real ?consumers lose ground? banner month.

This world is forgetting how to play nice in so many ways I?m afraid that the entire concept is in danger of being forgotten.

I completely agree. In the 80’s while the Macintosh was “better”, Apple lost their hold on the PC market. Now, it looks like there are many reasons to go toward platforms like Android even though I think the iPhone and iPad are wonderful. Thats how Microsoft stepped up and why companies like Dell exist. You can do so much more in trade for some additional headaches. I personally like my freedom and liberty.

Dr.Mojo

iPhone prototype finder regrets “mistake”

SFGate April 29 2010 at 02:41 PM

The crew at Wired.com have uncovered the finder of Apple’s iPhone prototype.

Brian Hogan, a 21-year-old resident of Redwood City, said through his lawyer that when he accepted $5,000 from Gizmodo for the phone, he thought he was providing Gizmodo exclusive access to review it.

“He regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone,” said attorney Jeffrey Bornstein in a statement. “Even though he did obtain some compensation from Gizmodo, Brian thought that it was so that they could review the phone.”

The unmasking of Hogan is just the latest twist in a case that has gripped the technology world. Gizmodo posted a stunning piece on the lost prototype after buying the phone for $5,000 from Hogan, who found it in a Redwood City bar.

Hogan has been interviewed by police but has not been charged. Under California law, a person who finds an object that has information about its owner must make reasonable and just efforts to return the phone before appropriating it for themselves.

A friend of Hogan made attempts to return the phone to Apple but to no avail. Hogan, however, apparently made no attempt to return the phone to the bar or contact Apple or authorities directly. He apparently did find the name of the iPhone’s owner, Apple engineer Gray Powell, through Powell’s Facebook app on the phone. But then Apple remotely killed the phone, Bornstein said.

Wired found Hogan after investigating clues on social networking sites, which allowed them to confirm his identity with a source.

Police have been investigating the case and are looking at possibly charging Hogan with theft and Gizmodo for receipt of stolen property. Investigators served a search warrant on Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s Fremont home on Friday but prosecutors have not filed a complaint in the case.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/techchron/detail?entry_id=62491&tsp=1#ixzz0mWzseQ4G

daemon

Huh, things aren’t looking good for Hogan. If he didn’t atleast call Apple himself or check in with the bar afterwards….

zewazir

A friend of Hogan made attempts to return the phone to Apple but to no avail.

So much for all the claims about the finder making extended attempts to return it before selling it to Gizmodo. Wonder who the undisclosed friend is? My sister had an imaginary friend for a while….

As for Gizmodo paying to “review” the product - riiiiiight. Anybody who buys that story needs to watch out for New York Bridge salesmen. The dude knew what he was doing, and, unless he’s cognitively deficient, knew full well why Gizmodo would pay 5Gs for the thing.

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