Judge to Review Gizmodo iPhone Warrant Request Friday

The Judge overseeing the case where a search warrant was executed at Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s home will consider whether or not the details of the warrant should be made public in a hearing on May 14, according to CNET. The warrant was issued as part of an investigation related to an iPhone prototype Gizmodo purchased after it had been lost in a bar.

The details of the warrant have been kept sealed because District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe claimed information in the document contains the names of people involved in the case that, if revealed, could compromise the ongoing investigation. Typically, the affidavits for warrants in California become public after ten days.

Media organizations such as CNET, the Associated Press, Wired and Bloomberg are hoping to convince Judge Clifford Cretan this Friday to unseal the documents.

Mr. Chen’s home was searched and computers and other electronic devices were seized as part of a felony theft investigation. The tech blog site Gizmodo claims that Mr. Chen was protected from a search warrant under California’s laws designed to shield journalists from such actions.

If a journalist is suspected of a crime, however, the shield laws don’t apply, suggesting that law enforcement officers are looking at Mr. Chen and Gizmodo’s involvement in a criminal act.