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.