Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:11 UTC, submitted by UglyKidBill
Legal Well, this is unexpected. The iPhone 4G saga just got a whole lot crazier - dare I say it, a whole lot more ridiculous. Have you ever reported anything like a phone or something similarly small stolen to the police? What was their reaction? Did you ever get the device back? Did they send an army of officers to get your device back? No? Odd. They raided Jason Chen's house, and took four computers and two servers. Update: And thus our true colours reveal. "The raid that San Mateo area cops conducted last week on the house of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen came at the behest of a special multi-agency task force that was commissioned to work with the computer industry to tackle high-tech crimes. And Apple Inc. sits on the task force's steering committee." Update II: According to TechCrunch, the investigation has been put on hold while the DA ponders Gizmodo's shield defence. Update III: Some legal insight from a constitutional law and first amendment expert and a law professor. The gist? The DA has said no one has been charged with anything here, making this just an investigation - however, this makes the search and seizing of material worse. "If the police are literally just gathering information, with no suspect targeted yet, then a subpoena against a journalist would have probably been smarter than a search warranted that resulted in the front door of Chen's home being bashed in."
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A crime is a crime
by Macrat on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:15 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

Doesn't matter how you sugar coat it.

Not a bright idea to buy property that belongs to someone else and then blog about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A crime is a crime
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:18 UTC in reply to "A crime is a crime"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Not a bright idea to buy property that belongs to someone else and then blog about it.


Had Gizmodo not bought the phone and blogged about it...

...would Apple have had the phone back this quickly?

Just playing devil's advocate here.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: A crime is a crime
by Tony Swash on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:32 UTC in reply to "RE: A crime is a crime"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Not a bright idea to buy property that belongs to someone else and then blog about it.


Had Gizmodo not bought the phone and blogged about it...

...would Apple have had the phone back this quickly?

Just playing devil's advocate here.
"

I think the point is that the real value of the phone is that it is a secret industrial prototype. If it had just disappeared then Apple would have been concerned but not much more - the blogging (ie revealing the stolen industrial secret) was the bit that pushed a nuisance event into something more serious. As much as I defend the freedom of the press I think I would draw the line at buying and then publishing stolen industrial secrets for gain. Its just not right.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A crime is a crime
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A crime is a crime"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I've always found the concept of the trade secret retarded - as if companies don't have enough means to shield themselves as it is. If a company wants to keep something a secret, then good luck to them - they don't need the law for that.

Right now, they can basically claim whatever they want a trade secret and be done with it - which is idiotic.

Reply Score: 13

RE[4]: A crime is a crime
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A crime is a crime"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I've always found the concept of the trade secret retarded - as if companies don't have enough means to shield themselves as it is. If a company wants to keep something a secret, then good luck to them - they don't need the law for that.


Indeed, and this particular case is exceptionally retarded. They should never have let the device off campus in the hands of anyone who wasn't on the Board, or at worst the lead designer (i.e. someone who gives a shit about the bottom line). Letting some schmuck take it bar-hopping was utter stupidity. NDA or not, accidents happen.

Right now, they can basically claim whatever they want a trade secret and be done with it - which is idiotic.


Idiotic or not, unfortunately it is the way of the business world. As we become more of a capitalist technocracy here in the States, we're going to see a lot more massive police action for petty incidents like this. I just wonder how many legitimate thefts, assaults and burglaries were occurring right down the block the night they executed that search warrant?

And I can't wait to hear about the brand new POST training facility or whatever it is Apple will so graciously donate the funds for next year...

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: A crime is a crime
by eighty4 on Wed 28th Apr 2010 00:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A crime is a crime"
eighty4 Member since:
2010-04-27

I believe the US is far more a Plutocracy than a Democracy. Our government is so addicted to the cashflow provided by mega-corps that they will pass any law necessary to appease them, less they move to another country and take their money with them. Combine the unconstitutional laws with the Fortune 500 buying out any promising startup before it can see the light of day and there is not much incentive or ability to innovate. Soon you end up like Warner Music filing suit to extract compensation for the "value" that isn't there. Unfortunately the majority are too blind and complacent to notice or care, just so long as they can check what everyone else is doing through Facebook 24-7 through their shiny 4G iPhone that they are willing to work increasingly long days, while inflation passes their salary increases, in order to purchase it. I think the ones who show outrage towards such practices as Apple has exhibited are by far the minority.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: A crime is a crime
by Karitku on Tue 27th Apr 2010 11:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A crime is a crime"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

I've always found the concept of the trade secret retarded - as if companies don't have enough means to shield themselves as it is. If a company wants to keep something a secret, then good luck to them - they don't need the law for that. Right now, they can basically claim whatever they want a trade secret and be done with it - which is idiotic.

Yes clearly it's stupid since no one gets hurt when chinese steal and reproduce something that company spend 2 bucks to research and design. Yeah clearly we don't need that tax money since we have heavy industry, wait we don't, oh well we still have IT support industry, wait we don't it was Abu in phone, oh well we still have coding industry, what some guys are coding stuff free, well we still have service industry, yes to serve poor people in food lines.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/197583-apple-s-research-and-develop...

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Maybe patents? Maybe copyright? Maybe a company that accepts responsability for keeping "company secrets" instead of assuming some arbitrary law can magically put the cat back in the bag.

If a secret is so important; keep it a secret. Don't rely on the government to do it for you.

(and seriously, let's not try and validate this with "eveel crazed chineses ninja monkey boogiemen". At least try to make it a greed sell with something like "companies want to keep there secrets" instead of a fear sell with "nebulous shadows are coming to steels our wares! Only the government can protect us!"

Reply Score: 2

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Exactly, keep it a secret...
The Chinese are not beholden to US laws anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: A crime is a crime
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 11:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A crime is a crime"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So, what do we have patents and copyrights for?

Trade secrets are covered enough by NDAs, which gives companies the legal handle to (rightfully so) seek compensation when an employee breaks said NDA. An NDA is particularly effective since it covers only the employer and employee, and doesn't extend towards journalists or other people who have had no part in signing said NDA.

Trade secrets are basically an NDA that extend to everyone, including you and I, even though we never signed any NDA or have ever agreed to not share any information. It gives companies yet another handle to blame their own failings (i.e., keeping stuff secret) on ordinary citizens who never had anything to do with the company in the first place.

Had we stuck to the concept of the NDA, then we would've never had to create countless dubious and shady legal provisions protecting "journalists", provisions which can be bent and broken depending on who has the most money (hint: it's not us).

It is a corporation-infused concept that has no bearing in a modern democracy. If you as a company are unable to keep the mouths of your employees shut, then that's YOUR failing, and your failing alone - not mine, not the media's.

Edited 2010-04-27 11:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: A crime is a crime
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: A crime is a crime"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I agree with you completely on this issue, but one thing you said stood out to me:

It is a corporation-infused concept that has no bearing in a modern democracy.


Sadly, a modern democracy is by definition corporate-owned. Look at every major democracy that exists today and tell me it isn't heavily influenced by the corporations within it. Call me silly, but I believe more and more we are moving towards a society typified by the cyberpunk genre of books and movies.

Soon we'll all be either corporate whores or rebels against the machine.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: A crime is a crime
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 28th Apr 2010 01:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A crime is a crime"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I think the point is that the real value of the phone is that it is a secret industrial prototype.


If they don't already, trade secret protections ought to have a "stupidity exemption." If you're stupid enough to take a secret prototype to a BAR (much less leave it there), then you don't deserve an ounce of sympathy.

If it had just disappeared then Apple would have been concerned but not much more - the blogging (ie revealing the stolen industrial secret) was the bit that pushed a nuisance event into something more serious.


Except for the reports that there WERE attempts to return the phone to Apple and Apple refused to accept it (probably because they didn't want to acknowledge its authenticity).

Apple is basically acting out the "that's not my Swedish-made penis enlarging pump" gag... well, except Austin Powers didn't turn around and claim theft afterwards.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: A crime is a crime
by toast88 on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:37 UTC in reply to "RE: A crime is a crime"
RE[3]: A crime is a crime
by BluenoseJake on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A crime is a crime"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Actually, he dealt with lost property, not stolen, idjit lost it in a bar. If I lose my phone in a bar, it is not stolen, I lost it.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[4]: A crime is a crime
by chris_l on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A crime is a crime"
RE[5]: A crime is a crime
by BluenoseJake on Tue 27th Apr 2010 09:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A crime is a crime"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

They called Apple directly, BEFORE they published the article, and made an attempt to return it. It may have been a half-assed attempt, but the attempt was made.

In a country with normal laws, say like Canada, this would be a non-issue.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: A crime is a crime
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 28th Apr 2010 02:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A crime is a crime"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Sorry loser

Awww, is someone getting a bit touchy?

The Maclots' cranky, defensive temper-tantrums over this will be truly epic. Can't wait!

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: A crime is a crime
by mrhasbean on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A crime is a crime"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Actually, he dealt with lost property, not stolen, idjit lost it in a bar. If I lose my phone in a bar, it is not stolen, I lost it.


Except that by law the minute it was taken without the express intent of returning it to it's owner or the authorities, it became stolen property. Anyone purchasing that property is receiving stolen goods. They're two pretty simple laws that were broken. I agree that if it was your or my phone it wouldn't be handled this way, but I can guarantee if it was a secret prototype of something by Microsoft or Sony or Palm or Nokia they would be pushing just as hard to get to the bottom of how it all happened.

None of us here know all the facts. For all we know there could be conflicting stories about how it came to be in the hands of the person who sold it to Gizmodo, or any number of other possibilities. The bottom line is that one person chose to put the story above the law, and that's just plain stupid.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: A crime is a crime
by Wondercool on Tue 27th Apr 2010 11:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A crime is a crime"
Wondercool Member since:
2005-07-08

But they returned the phone to Apple in the end? What did Apple lose?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: A crime is a crime
by funny_irony on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: A crime is a crime"
funny_irony Member since:
2007-03-07

Apple lose face ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: A crime is a crime
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 28th Apr 2010 02:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A crime is a crime"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I can guarantee if it was a secret prototype of something by Microsoft or Sony or Palm or Nokia they would be pushing just as hard to get to the bottom of how it all happened.


Funny, I don't recall Microsoft, Sony, Palm, or Nokia ever getting into this sort of situation in the first place. Probably because none of those companies are retarded enough to test their secret prototypes in a pub.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: A crime is a crime
by Macrat on Tue 27th Apr 2010 03:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A crime is a crime"
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27

Actually, he dealt with lost property, not stolen, idjit lost it in a bar. If I lose my phone in a bar, it is not stolen, I lost it.


You're also assuming the whole "found it on a bar stool" story was true.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: A crime is a crime
by sigzero on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE: A crime is a crime"
sigzero Member since:
2006-01-03

That really is a stupid argument. Just apply that reasoning to every other type of crime.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: A crime is a crime
by tyrione on Tue 27th Apr 2010 04:16 UTC in reply to "RE: A crime is a crime"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

"Not a bright idea to buy property that belongs to someone else and then blog about it.


Had Gizmodo not bought the phone and blogged about it...

...would Apple have had the phone back this quickly?

Just playing devil's advocate here.
"

Ignorance of the Law is not a defensible position in the United States of America.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A crime is a crime
by phoenix on Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:36 UTC in reply to "RE: A crime is a crime"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

"Not a bright idea to buy property that belongs to someone else and then blog about it.


Had Gizmodo not bought the phone and blogged about it...

...would Apple have had the phone back this quickly?

Just playing devil's advocate here.
"

Doesn't matter. In most US jurisdictions, knowingly buying stolen property is a crime. Regardless of the "intent" behind. And it doesn't get much more "knowingly" than blogging about it. ;)

As for the person who found it, they can be charged with selling stolen property, aka fencing.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

(bad joke, couldn't resist)

Reply Score: 2

RE: A crime is a crime
by rstat1 on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:19 UTC in reply to "A crime is a crime"
rstat1 Member since:
2009-12-12

I for one support what Chen did. Not because I hate apple, but because he actually made a good faith effort to return the device to Apple and they just ignored him.


Now I know they eventually got it back. So really this whole thing is pointless.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: A crime is a crime
by Gone fishing on Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:30 UTC in reply to "RE: A crime is a crime"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

My penny worth,

It is not steeling unless you intend to deprive the owner of their property. There is no evidence that Gizmodo either did or intended to do this.

Why did the police take servers PCs etc? this is all about IP

Reply Score: 4

RE: A crime is a crime
by Soulbender on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:33 UTC in reply to "A crime is a crime"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Really. So if my phone is stolen I can expect the police to give it their very best and bring in the big guns. Right?
Because a crime is a crime that means my stolen phone would be just as important as Apple's phone.

Reply Score: 2

Just a raid?
by poundsmack on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:29 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

To be honest I am surprised Steve Jobs didn't just send a hit man to the house. If you mess with apple, prepare to have your legs broke. Lawyers are for Microsoft, raids are for Intel, and 007 style tactics are for Apple. Apple: Think different

Edited 2010-04-26 23:30 UTC

Reply Score: 30

RE: Just a raid?
by Phloptical on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:37 UTC in reply to "Just a raid?"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

and 007 style tactics are for Apple. Apple: Think different


I believe the analogy you're looking for is "Gestapo".....just sayin'.

Reply Score: 16

RE[2]: Just a raid?
by toast88 on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Just a raid?"
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

I believe the analogy you're looking for is "Gestapo".....just sayin'.

Jeeez, not another person who dropped very early in history class. If you had any idea what the "Gestapo" really was you would not make any of these stupid, moronic Nazi comparisons which trivialize the cruelties of the Nazis and disparage their victims. Nazi comparisons are NOT appropriate within this context, not even remotely, so please refrain from doing that!

Adrian

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Just a raid?
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just a raid?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm genuinely curious: What comparison would you make? Myself, I'd choose CIA or KGB, except this is happening within the borders of the US where neither agency is (or was, in KGB's case) allowed to take action. NSA, perhaps, or Men in Black? "Thought Police" comes to mind too, though this isn't really thoughtcrime. Wait, I know; he mentioned a hit man, how about the Mafia?

Unfortunately, there is really no better comparison than Fascism, and the Fascist regime that stands out most prominently in our minds today is Nazi Germany.

Though I must say I'm sick of hearing the word "Gestapo" thrown around so much myself.

Edited 2010-04-27 00:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Just a raid?
by r_a_trip on Tue 27th Apr 2010 09:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just a raid?"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Though I must say I'm sick of hearing the word "Gestapo" thrown around so much myself.

Maybe StaSi is a worthy replacement?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just a raid?
by abcxyz on Tue 27th Apr 2010 01:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just a raid?"
abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

Nazi parallels are generally abused for political purposes and grossly off (like the one about Germany in 30's and need for Iraqi invasion+occupation). Nonetheless, it is good when citizens are sensitive to changes in society. Since you have done your due diligence in your history classes, you are well aware how did Nazis (or many other totalitarian systems) get to power.

Often in a democracy (perhaps more fragile, because of threats from believe or real... or shaken economy) and by legal democratic means, pretty much never by saying: We will torture people, we will run a huge scale genocide, we will have your children fight and die in a war and you left home cower for your lives... Their way to the atrocities went through several stages during which many though to themselves... this really is a good idea: We're building our nation, we're keeping our enemies at distance and there is law and order in my home town.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Just a raid?
by Phloptical on Tue 27th Apr 2010 22:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just a raid?"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

Actually, I received high marks in history....but thanks for asking.

Yes, I do know what the actual term "gestapo" meant, and stood for. I'm not a f'ing imbecile. And although no one was sent to "the ovens" I would dare say that this search and seizure bit is shady. The ends do not justify the means. This isn't a laptop from los alamos laboratories that was stolen, or a breach of a hack of the CIA servers......it's a f**king nothing prototype of a cell phone.

So, ok, maybe there shouldn't have been money exchanged (allegedly), and yes you can possibly deem it "stolen" (allegedly); but the judge agrees to a warrant that confiscates everything that even resembles a computer/cell phone so forensics agents can sift through it for months on end? All for an "investigation"? A bit harsh, don't you think?

Who was it that said fascism is when the corporations run the government? You really think our new world order of today is really that far off?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Just a raid?
by oinet on Tue 27th Apr 2010 17:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Just a raid?"
oinet Member since:
2010-03-23

"and 007 style tactics are for Apple. Apple: Think different


I believe the analogy you're looking for is "Gestapo".....just sayin'.
"

Gestapo is dead and buried, IRL Mr Bond is not....just reminding.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Just a raid?
by tyrione on Tue 27th Apr 2010 04:17 UTC in reply to "Just a raid?"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

To be honest I am surprised Steve Jobs didn't just send a hit man to the house. If you mess with apple, prepare to have your legs broke. Lawyers are for Microsoft, raids are for Intel, and 007 style tactics are for Apple. Apple: Think different


It's no surprise to me you've never worked for him and keep perpetuating these whiny diatribes of former bent old time Apple employees who portrayed the guy as some demon, when he's no where close to such a person.

Perhaps you should go work for the mafia and then come back and tell us how sweet the Docks owners were to you when you stole from them.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Just a raid?
by poundsmack on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Just a raid?"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

I am friends with a few ex apple employees. Have you worked for apple? Steve jobs is a brilliant man, with a great gift of vision for a successful future, and for that I praise him. That being said, If you have ever seen the movie Anti Trust I always pictured Gary Winston (head of NURV in the movie) as what I would imagine Steve Jobs is like behind closed doors.

No matter how benevolent you think these big CEO 's and visionaries are, they are a business and businesses are in business to make money and stay on top. It's a cut throat world, not a petting zoo...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just a raid?
by macUser on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just a raid?"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

I am friends with a few ex apple employees. Have you worked for apple? Steve jobs is a brilliant man, with a great gift of vision for a successful future, and for that I praise him. That being said, If you have ever seen the movie Anti Trust I always pictured Gary Winston (head of NURV in the movie) as what I would imagine Steve Jobs is like behind closed doors.

No matter how benevolent you think these big CEO 's and visionaries are, they are a business and businesses are in business to make money and stay on top. It's a cut throat world, not a petting zoo...


I would not want to be on the receiving end any "problem" that has gone all the way to Steve Jobs if I were an Apple employee... ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just a raid?
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just a raid?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That being said, If you have ever seen the movie Anti Trust I always pictured Gary Winston (head of NURV in the movie) as what I would imagine Steve Jobs is like behind closed doors.


That's interesting, I always pictured Antitrust as a stab at Microsoft. Given that it portrays a nerdy but successful (and ultimately evil) boss, theft of open source code, intimidation of OSS coders, and so on...but I can also see a lot of Apple in "NURV". It's funny that a movie written in the very beginning of Apple's rebirth would portray a corporation so much like the current Apple.

As for a more accurate portrayal of tech CEOs, Pirates of Silicon Valley is a fun film. A bit over the top, but I'm willing to bet they got very close to reality with their version of Steve Ballmer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Just a raid?
by poundsmack on Tue 27th Apr 2010 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just a raid?"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

Antitrust was in fact a shot at MS, they even say it in the movie (to an extent)
programmer kid: "doesn't Bill Gates have one of these?"
Gary: "Bill who? no his is primitive...."

...come to think of it, in the movie Gary does take a stab at Bill gates and calls his tech primitive..... Holy hell! they creater of this movie some how saw the future! it is Steve Jobs!

...watch, hollywood get raided and all copies of Antitrust get confiscated due to my posting this. (seriously though, should i flee the country?)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Just a raid?
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 28th Apr 2010 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Just a raid?"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

It's no surprise to me you've never worked for him and keep perpetuating these whiny diatribes of former bent old time Apple employees who portrayed the guy as some demon, when he's no where close to such a person.


Yes, yes, we all realize that you used to work for NeXT and we're all verrrrrry impressed.

Perhaps you should go work for the mafia and then come back and tell us how sweet the Docks owners were to you when you stole from them.


*Gasp* are you suggesting that poundsmack DIDN'T perform an exhaustive series of tests and statistical analyses before reaching his conclusion?

Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd almost think that his post was some kind of joke and not meant to be taken seriously!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by moondino
by moondino on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:29 UTC
moondino
Member since:
2010-03-27

This isn't very informative, but I can't really resist posting it.

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/534/29m55i9.png

Reply Score: 12

Kind of scary
by Zifre on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:32 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

It's kind of scary that the police can just break into your home and steal things without you knowing and without any valid reason. (How would seizing these computers help them get the device back to Apple?)

It would have made much more sense if the police just forced him to hand over the necessary information.

Reply Score: 12

RE: Kind of scary
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:27 UTC in reply to "Kind of scary"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

There was a "valid" reason: Intimidation. Corporate-bought intimidation from the one government entity that can 100% fuck your life over: The Fuzz. "What's this, Mr. Chen? Illegal pictures found on your hard drive? Well of course they're yours, it would be illegal for us to plant them. Why, you're looking at 30 years in PMITA prison, son! What's that? You'll cooperate fully now? We thought so."

It sounds like something out of a bad Michael Crichton movie, but it happens in the real world too. Work in law enforcement for a week and I guarantee you'll see something like this go down.

Reply Score: 12

v RE[2]: Kind of scary
by fanboi_fanboi on Tue 27th Apr 2010 13:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Kind of scary"
RE[3]: Kind of scary
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Kind of scary"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

What tinfoil hat? In case you haven't gathered from this and other posts by me, I work in law enforcement. I have for the past 11 years. I've seen this kind of harassment and intimidation before, more than once at my prior job.

I agree, a crime was committed, my point was not that the police shouldn't be involved. My point was that a company like Apple can get a search warrant, a SWAT callout and a near immediate response over a damn cell phone. Have someone steal your phone and try to get the police to do more than file a report. It's unfair, imbalanced, and unfortunately the way the world works today. Anyone can see that.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Kind of scary
by macUser on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Kind of scary"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

What tinfoil hat? In case you haven't gathered from this and other posts by me, I work in law enforcement. I have for the past 11 years. I've seen this kind of harassment and intimidation before, more than once at my prior job.

I agree, a crime was committed, my point was not that the police shouldn't be involved. My point was that a company like Apple can get a search warrant, a SWAT callout and a near immediate response over a damn cell phone. Have someone steal your phone and try to get the police to do more than file a report. It's unfair, imbalanced, and unfortunately the way the world works today. Anyone can see that.


What if I simply lost my USB keystick with classified government data on it (as seems to happen readily over in the UK). And Gizmodo bought it for $5000 and published all the contents. It is after all just a USB Keystick. They are a dime a dozen.

This was not simply a phone. That Gizmodo bought it for $5000 makes it abundantly clear that they knew it was not just any old phone...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Kind of scary
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Kind of scary"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

And since when is an unreleased iPhone classified government data? Since when is Apple the government or a government contractor? Try a better analogy please.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Kind of scary
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Kind of scary"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

And since when is an unreleased iPhone classified government data? Since when is Apple the government or a government contractor? Try a better analogy please.


I was about to say.

This is exactly what companies like Apple want you to believe - that they are as important as the government itself. Which, of course, is one of the most retarded notions you can have.

If Apple were to vanish right now, sure, it'd be problematic for a select number of people, but that's it. We'll survive, someone else will fill the void. Now imagine the government vanishing right now. It would lead to chaos, death, war, and god knows what else.

Claiming that an Apple employee losing a product prototype is akin to a military official losing highly sensitive defence data just shows how warped and stupid people have become.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Kind of scary
by StychoKiller on Wed 28th Apr 2010 02:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Kind of scary"
StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

[quote]Now imagine the government vanishing right now. It would lead to chaos, death, war, and god knows what else. [/quote]

OTOH, it could lead to an orgy of Freedom-loving people dancing in the streets (until the Lawyers try to grab control of the World again!)

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Kind of scary
by macUser on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Kind of scary"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

Just one example. Classified data is classified data. It is still just a USB stick, no? Again, how much is that phone actually worth. To suggest it is _just_ a phone is beyond disingenuous.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Kind of scary
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Kind of scary"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

And to suggest it warrants the same tactical response as a security breach impacting national security is just as disingenuous; shame on you!

Besides, the most amazing thing about the new iPhone is OS 4, which Jobs already spilled the beans about during the iPad launch. There's an hour long video about it on the Apple website if you'd care to get in on the secrets. The only thing new we got to see on Gizmodo was the physical design, which is subject to change anyway. At the end of the day it's still just a phone.

The fact remains, Apple has pull with the government that even other big companies can't touch, and they are using it for intimidation and harassment. The actual security breach was with their own employee and whoever found the phone, why aren't their massive efforts focused there? Why harass the journalist who broke the story? Because they can. It sends a clear message to other journalists and bloggers: Don't break Apple news that isn't officially sanctioned, or you'll be greatly inconvenienced.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Kind of scary
by bert64 on Wed 28th Apr 2010 10:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Kind of scary"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Classified government data being leaked would be a threat to national security and could potentially be classed as treason. It would be a direct attack against the government and you would expect that government to use their agents to deal with the issue.

Stealing a cellphone from apple (assuming it was even explicitly stolen, rather than simply found) is no different than stealing a cellphone from a guy on the street - a crime which occurs every day. It happens so often that the police don't have enough time or resources to deal with it.

I had my phone stolen a few months ago, it was an iphone 3g and i could see from my mail server logs that it was still active. The police weren't interested and just gave me a crime number, the telco weren't interested either and just disabled the simcard. The police could have recovered my phone quite easily by tracking its location via cell tower triangulation, and doing so might have solved other crimes too (the thieves might have other stolen items in their possession)... But they weren't interested because an individual has no influence in this corporate dictatorship.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Kind of scary
by StychoKiller on Wed 28th Apr 2010 03:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Kind of scary"
StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

I wanna know the phone number that Apple used to get this response from the Police in case some of MY property gets stolen -- or is this just a Silicon Valley phenomenon?

Wake up America, the Police are almost completely out of Public control -- this case is just one more indication!

Reply Score: 1

v RE: Kind of scary
by tyrione on Tue 27th Apr 2010 04:18 UTC in reply to "Kind of scary"
RE[2]: Kind of scary
by Soulbender on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Kind of scary"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

As much as you bend over for Apple I think we now know who the goatse.cx guy was.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Kind of scary
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Kind of scary"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

As much as you bend over for Apple I think we now know who the goatse.cx guy was.


Indeed. As much as I enjoy OS X and my iPod, I've steadily come to despise Apple as a company more and more these days. I may soon move away from their products altogether, as I did with Sony after the rootkits and strong-arming of Lik-Sang. I can look the other way only so many times before I get disgusted with myself for it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Kind of scary
by sorpigal on Wed 28th Apr 2010 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Kind of scary"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I find it highly suspect that a 'lawful' search and seizure was required in a 'case' that had no secrets.

The guy already admitted--via publication--that he had the phone. The phone was already returned. Where exactly is the justification for raiding the private residence of an employee who, as part of his job, posted a review on his employer's web site of a device his employer acquired? This kind of behavior is a gross over-reaction at best and smells a lot more like official thuggery.

If there was a crime committed it was not committed at the reviewer's home. Furthermore, there is no evidence of any crime worse than receiving stolen goods, so unless there is reasonable suspicious that the guy is a fence or in some way involved in routinely trafficking stolen goods (hint: there isn't) then there is no reason to raid his house.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by UglyKidBill
by UglyKidBill on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:37 UTC
UglyKidBill
Member since:
2005-07-27

(...) and a week later, it was given back to Apple upon request.


Wait, what??!!

You mean the device had already been returned to Apple?? OMG! This is sickening!

Reply Score: 7

Jason, get your own lawyer!
by Eugenia on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:39 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

From what I know (from reading around), companies do support their employees with company lawyers. However, when things go south, these lawyers are ordered to protect the company as a whole, and not an individual employee (who then usually serves as "the fall guy").

So, my (non-legal, I'm no lawyer) advice to Jason Chen: *get your OWN lawyer*. I'm not saying that the above is what's going to happen in this situation (I can't foresee the future), but having talked to Jason online a few times in the distant past, I'm worried about him. He always seemed very nice and kind. I hope he gets off all this easily.

As for the case itself, I think it would have served Apple better to just sit down and shut up. Ok, so an employee lost, or had his iPhone 4G stolen. Then the news broke out. Any respectable company would just say "no comment" and go on with its business. Now, with all this hoopla, Apple is getting a bad wrap. Again, by reading online, 50% of the people seem to side with Apple, and 50% seen to side with Gizmodo. However, many of the 50% who side with Gizmodo did not have a bad idea about Apple before this. But now they do.

Edited 2010-04-26 23:46 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: Jason, get your own lawyer!
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:33 UTC in reply to "Jason, get your own lawyer!"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I agree, Chen should lawyer up FAST.

As for taking sides, I'm not going to do that in this case. I don't care for Apple dragging in the police purely for intimidation and revenge, and from the start I thought the guys at Gizmodo were utter morons for getting neck-deep in this mess.

Shame on Apple for choosing to be revenge-seeking pricks, shame on the cops involved for so transparently choosing to "serve and protect" a multi-billion-dollar corporation over the rights and freedoms of a citizen of their community, and shame on Gizmodo for choosing to break the law (by buying a known stolen/lost item) for 15 minutes of internet fame.

I'm thoroughly disgusted.

Reply Score: 7

StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

I'm left wondering just what Apple thinks they could get away with if this Guy lived in Canada, instead of Silicon Valley. Think they're up to creating an International Incident over something that is arguably their own d@mn fault?

Reply Score: 1

v RE: Jason, get your own lawyer!
by chris_l on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:23 UTC in reply to "Jason, get your own lawyer!"
RE: Jason, get your own lawyer!
by macUser on Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:20 UTC in reply to "Jason, get your own lawyer!"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

So.. You all realize this is a criminal investigation and not a civil one right?

YOU DO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE?

Reply Score: 3

Get used to it
by iskios on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:39 UTC
iskios
Member since:
2005-07-06

Get used to it, civil liberties and general freedoms are going out the window as the government is more and more controlled by corporations and the extremists and fear mongers convince people all this is for the greater good.

To be fair, however, the whole story does sound fishy. I tend to think the phone was stolen, not lost...

Reply Score: 9

RE: Get used to it
by Eugenia on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:47 UTC in reply to "Get used to it"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

You know what's funny? This whole story reminds me of M.I.A.'s brand new music video, "Born Free": http://vimeo.com/11219730

Reply Score: 0

DVD Jon
by ozonehole on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:17 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

This story reminds me of the saga of Jon Lech Johansen, better known to the world as http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/01/07/dvd_jon_is_free_official/"... - the 16-year-old hacker who wrote deCSS that allows Linux users to view DVDs on their computers. US authorities - showing that they are owned lock, stock and barrel by the MPAA - pressured the Norwegian government to prosecute Jon.

They had no case, and the charges were eventually dismissed. But they made their point - piss-off a big American corporation, and they'll come after you, even outside the USA.

Edited 2010-04-27 00:23 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE: DVD Jon
by lemur2 on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:00 UTC in reply to "DVD Jon"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

the 16-year-old hacker who wrote deCSS that allows Linux users to view DVDs on their computers


Not quite accurate, in a number of different ways.

(1) DeCSS is a Windows program.
(2) Linux doesn't use DeCSS to view DVDs, it uses libdvdcss, which works in a different way entirely.
(3) libdvdcss wasn't written by DVD Jon, it was written by VideoLAN.
(4) libdvdcss has never had a challenge in court.
(5) While DeCSS uses a cracked DVD player key to perform authentication, libdvdcss uses a generated list of possible player keys.
(6) libdvdcss was written and available well before any DMCA law
(7) while Linux users have a legitimate beef that the DVD consortium does not provide any official means for Linux users to watch DVDs, DeCSS does not have that same mitigating circumstance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libdvdcss

While one could argue that DeCSS is illegal because it uses a cracked DVD key, and therefore is in breach of Trade Secret law, that argument doesn't apply to libdvdcss. libdvdcss is not a copyright violation, it is not a breach of Trade Secret law, it uses only data that is published on the DVD itself, it's intent is only to allow users to view legally-purchased DVDs, and it pre-dates the DMCA.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: DVD Jon
by Zifre on Tue 27th Apr 2010 22:01 UTC in reply to "RE: DVD Jon"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Very interesting. I never realized the difference.

However, ozonehole's comment still applies. The US government still thinks it owns the world.

Reply Score: 2

Nosferatu?
by cmost on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:23 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

This is ridiculous! We're talking about a stupid iPhone, not a matter of national security. I don't buy or own any Apple products (because I don't think they're all that to begin with) but after this, I definitely never will.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Nosferatu?
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:39 UTC in reply to "Nosferatu?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, to go WAYYYY out on a limb here, it could conceivably be a matter of national security. That device may not have been FCC approved yet, and may have contained technology that could potentially aid a hostile foreign power should it fall into the wrong hands. This is the kind of reasoning that government agencies use in cases like this.

You're right though; it's just a stupid phone after all, and not really that much different from the previous model. The real driving force in intimidating Mr. Chen is Apple's money. It sickens me, even as I type this in Leopard using a Mac-style keyboard. At least I can assuage my guilt somewhat in that it's running on a Hackintosh.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nosferatu?
by tyrione on Tue 27th Apr 2010 04:19 UTC in reply to "Nosferatu?"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

This is ridiculous! We're talking about a stupid iPhone, not a matter of national security. I don't buy or own any Apple products (because I don't think they're all that to begin with) but after this, I definitely never will.


We're talking about a multi-billion dollar product that hasn't been released yet.

Think ahead once in a while.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nosferatu?
by r_a_trip on Tue 27th Apr 2010 10:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Nosferatu?"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

We're talking about a multi-billion dollar product that hasn't been released yet.

So? Apple can't release it anymore? No Apple fan will buy it, because pictures of a prototype were leaked? Get real.

Apple was sloppy with their prototype. It shouldn't have left the Apple facilities, period.

This is Apple using it's clout within the letter of the law to send a signal to reporters. Report what we don't want reported and we'll get Uncle Sam to rip you a new one. That all is within the letter of the law doesn't mean it's decent.

On the other hand, Gizmodo should have known better. You don't provoke a bigger predator and not get bitten.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Nosferatu?
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 28th Apr 2010 03:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Nosferatu?"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

We're talking about a multi-billion dollar product that hasn't been released yet.

Think ahead once in a while.


Is that going to be the new Apple motto? Doesn't have the same ring as "Think Different," but at least it's grammatically-correct.

But it's good advice... to the idiot who took his employer's "multi-billion dollar product that hasn't been released yet" to a bar.

Reply Score: 2

i dunno
by mckill on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:53 UTC
mckill
Member since:
2007-06-12

if someone took my keys at a bar and jumped into my car and kept it for a few weeks then sold it to someone, i would think the authorities would take action, let alone if idiot B blogged about how he bought this stolen car for a great deal.

imagine now if this car was a prototype and person B also send copies of the internals to a competitor or two.

for all we know the authorities are only after the original guy that sold it or are making sure Chen didn't provide any of the details to anyone else (espionage).

Reply Score: 5

RE: i dunno
by abcxyz on Tue 27th Apr 2010 01:47 UTC in reply to "i dunno"
abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

Why do we lock our cars? Why don't we enact a law that anyone getting close to a stolen vehicle gets shot dead. Sounds appropriate and makes lives of law abiding citizens easier, right? I am sorry, but they went a bit over the top harassing that poor chap over a phone stolen or not. This is not what police normally does when phones get stolen.

Highly valued prototype, industrial secret? Well, isn't that Apple's failure to guard it? Why should a taxpayer be substituting for their shortcomings to do their housekeeping properly?

After all, was someone freely roaming with it around the city? Has it been FCC approved or did they actually cross the bounds taking it out of the lab? What if it started knocking other wireless (or other) devices out, interfering with pacemakers? Didn't actually Apple break the law and get what they had coming?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: i dunno
by mckill on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:22 UTC in reply to "RE: i dunno"
mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

Why do we lock our cars? Why don't we enact a law that anyone getting close to a stolen vehicle gets shot dead. Sounds appropriate and makes lives of law abiding citizens easier, right? I am sorry, but they went a bit over the top harassing that poor chap over a phone stolen or not. This is not what police normally does when phones get stolen.

Highly valued prototype, industrial secret? Well, isn't that Apple's failure to guard it? Why should a taxpayer be substituting for their shortcomings to do their housekeeping properly?

After all, was someone freely roaming with it around the city? Has it been FCC approved or did they actually cross the bounds taking it out of the lab? What if it started knocking other wireless (or other) devices out, interfering with pacemakers? Didn't actually Apple break the law and get what they had coming?


this isn't some dude's phone, this is a prototype. it didnt' just get a few pictures snapped, the complete details of what's inside and specs got leaked allowing competitors to match or beat it spec wise.

this will also cause a lot of consumers to hold off on not buying a 3GS iPhone and wait for the new device affecting their revenue.

I predict as a result of this, the 4G will come out sooner than Apple wants to with lower stock available since it's already 'out there'.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: i dunno
by abcxyz on Tue 27th Apr 2010 03:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: i dunno"
abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

this isn't some dude's phone, this is a prototype.


You did not read that very carefully. I could not care less. If this is the case, it should not have been out of the lab. Why would a criminal law and its enforcement paid from everyone taxes should be preoccupied with their reckless (except for relying on police cleaning up the mess form them) behavior towards their own stuff? Hence my parallel with locking my own car. It would be easier for me not to, a key less to carry around. If I could only get the law changed (since I do not plan to steal vehicles nor to buy a stolen one) to have violators shot (or at least harassed big time), it could make my life easier.

Plus I can have really important business contacts on my phone... even important and very secret files (potentially earning me, my company, a lot of mullah). Now, think I tell the police they will finally start burglarizing the neighborhood?

And there is that question: was it for sure turned off and never to be turned on? Or was it FCC approved.

it didnt' just get a few pictures snapped, the complete details of what's inside and specs got leaked allowing competitors to match or beat it spec wise.


Ehm, at least last few years competitors have matched and surpassed the specs on pretty much any Apple HW well before it was released. Their strength and success really is not in being greater then anyone else.

Plus as far as I understand, the usually most praised part (the UI) was disabled before it could leaked.

this will also cause a lot of consumers to hold off on not buying a 3GS iPhone and wait for the new device affecting their revenue.

I predict as a result of this, the 4G will come out sooner than Apple wants to with lower stock available since it's already 'out there'.


Was there a release data on a post-it attached to the device? Everyone kindda figured it will come eventually and seeing a prototype gives no clue about next model availability. Everyone also knows that as long as it sells and company does not feel threatened by anyone else, it just won't release the successor... it's that simple. Speculations of early summer announcement have been around and there surely is no doubt in mind of the faithful (picture or not) this will be the bestest device of all times, just like any previous they had to have.

Plus my personal take... I've seen the pictures and compared to 3GS, it looked uglier to me. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: i dunno
by apoclypse on Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: i dunno"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

First of you are assuming a lot. You are assuming that the device actually was lost and not stolen form an Apple employee having himself a drink or using the john for a bit or even if this whole bar story is even true. I tend to think otherwise. Even if the phone was a lost it was the responsibility of the person to hand the device to the authorities or to the bartender of the place in question. No one has verified the veracity of the incident. However what we do know is that Gizmodo payed about $10,000 for the device and then proceeded to take it apart. Would you like someone to steal you car take it apart piece by piece and then give it back to you, possibly not put back the way they found it? I know I wouldn't. The police are most likely trying to investigate the original person who found the device and most likely took Chen's computer for evidence or emails concerning the sale f the property, which was obviously stolen. This is a serious crime, imo, and should deter other "journalists" from doing the same in the future. Apple is most likely trying to figure who they should press charges against.

Again this is overkill, but for anyone here to argue that Apple isn't well within their rights especially when other companies have done far worst with less, is really being facetious. However people see Apple and loose all sense of reason or recollection. They have a chip on their shoulders regarding Apple from some past implied wrong doing on Apple's part (in here it usually boils down to, "Apple won't give me their OS for free, wah!") want to decry everything they do and at the same time OSnews and everyone else gets their little page hits they are so fond of. Its like the Lion King in this bitch, the circle of life.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: i dunno
by fanboi_fanboi on Tue 27th Apr 2010 13:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: i dunno"
fanboi_fanboi Member since:
2010-04-21

//Again this is overkill, but for anyone here to argue that Apple isn't well within their rights especially when other companies have done far worst with less, is really being facetious.//

Um, no. They're not being facetious. They're being ignorant and idiotic.

Disclosure: I own absolutely zero apple products.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: i dunno
by abcxyz on Tue 27th Apr 2010 18:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: i dunno"
abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

First of you are assuming a lot.


Let's look at that later, shall we.

You are assuming that the device actually was lost and not stolen form an Apple employee having himself a drink or using the john for a bit or even if this whole bar story is even true. I tend to think otherwise.


So we have two assumptions on your part already:

a) In contrary to presumption of innocence normal in most civilized countries, you seem to assume the only story version we've been told is false. Based on? Your inner feeling that is usually right?

b) You also assume what I am assuming. Go back to my posts and point out where have I said that Gizmodo's actions were right and/or justifiable?

My sole point is. Publicly funded law enforcement is used for private goals of a single corporation (in this case) in a way that is grossly disproportionate to the usual police response should something similar happen to an individual or smaller business. I would also argue that the action way over the top taking into an account the crime that has been committed, lost or stolen regardless.

Even if the phone was a lost it was the responsibility of the person to hand the device to the authorities or to the bartender of the place in question. No one has verified the veracity of the incident. However what we do know is that Gizmodo payed about $10,000 for the device and then proceeded to take it apart. Would you like someone to steal you car take it apart piece by piece and then give it back to you, possibly not put back the way they found it? I know I wouldn't. The police are most likely trying to investigate the original person who found the device and most likely took Chen's computer for evidence or emails concerning the sale f the property, which was obviously stolen. This is a serious crime, imo, and should deter other "journalists" from doing the same in the future. Apple is most likely trying to figure who they should press charges against.


If the device was of a utmost importance to someone (e.g. Apple), the owner should have done a lot better job protecting it from loss/theft. That is the point of my car locking parallel. Since to my best knowledge I am in no way involved in car theft related crime, it would be a lot more convenient for me to have draconian laws and police force at my disposal to deal with violators swiftly, then bothering with locking and unlocking the vehicle several times every day. The reality of the world is, it's not perfect and in proportion to of how much value a thing is to me (someone), reasonable countermeasures needs to be put in place to prevent loosing it. I am just advocating against being lazy and rather shaping laws, using public services then showing some effort on my part. Try to come to your insurance company6 that the car you've left with keys in ignition is not where you've parked it and you want them to pay for it (or that you broke your leg on vacation when trying how big of a hammer you could hit yourself with).

Speaking of car prototypes. Dunno how much you're familiar with the field, but car makers bought huge chucks of land where they have there own tracks for testing their vehicles. When they drive regular streets, their new yet to be released vehicles are usually (except for PR department sanctioned leaks to tease the public) heavily masked, or even new technology in an older model body. In other words. If you it is important to you and you consider it your competitive edge, you do not hand it over to any employee to go have fun in the city.

Also If I understand this correctly, Chen was not even the person to get to it first, so shedding light on how did this happen, he would not be the first one to go to after questioning took place (or did it?) withing Apple.

Not to mention that you are again assuming that the device was (now obviously) stolen, while the official claim was lost and found. And you are also heavily assuming into what good uncle Apple is actually trying to achieve here.

Again this is overkill...


Really glad you can see that. So we are in agreement. I did not say he hasn't done wrong. I am saying the action is disproportionate and way out of the usual police action we'd get should it happen to anyone of us.

but for anyone here to argue that Apple isn't well within their rights especially when other companies have done far worst with less, is really being facetious.


Yes, it's the San Mate DA and Police that crossed the bounds and showed us, how law is served differently depending on who has been wronged. Have I anywhere suggested otherwise.

However people see Apple and loose all sense of reason or recollection. They have a chip on their shoulders regarding Apple from some past implied wrong doing on Apple's part (in here it usually boils down to, "Apple won't give me their OS for free, wah!") want to decry everything they do and at the same time OSnews and everyone else gets their little page hits they are so fond of. Its like the Lion King in this bitch, the circle of life.


That is to conclude your tour of your assumptions. And since I kindda know what I am thinking I can say you're clearly wrong on this one. I'd be equally upset about this if we were talking Microsoft, Sun/Oracle, Red Hat, SuSE, Mozilla Foundation, Ford, VW... or pretty much anyone else. I just don't believe this is how it's supposed to be handled. It's that simple.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: i dunno
by Bounty on Tue 27th Apr 2010 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: i dunno"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

"If the device was of a utmost importance to someone (e.g. Apple), the owner should have done a lot better job protecting it from loss/theft."

That argument is like trying to say it's ok to take a car if the driver accidentally left the keys in it while they went to to supermarket.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: i dunno
by abcxyz on Tue 27th Apr 2010 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: i dunno"
abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

That argument is like trying to say it's ok to take a car if the driver accidentally left the keys in it while they went to to supermarket.


No, I've never said James Chen did not do wrong. However, if I accidentally leave keys in the car, I should not be surprised and pose not only as a victim, but also as a complete idiot. That also implies I don't see why would I expect more then average effort from the law enforcement (esp. since I have not demonstrated stolen property being of a great value to me) and I am pretty sure my insurance company will send me away empty handed (usually there is a Reasonable precautions clause).

It's a tough world out there. Law enforcement should be after catching criminals and courts after treating them with appropriate punishment. But I just cannot help but feel someone is being an example out of for teasing the Goliath and that is wrong. Justice is depicted blind as it should not care who the victim and culprit are, but should attend to all of them with the same measure. When it is not the case, something is wrong with the justice system.

I know my comment is somewhat simplified, but is aimed at those who cry about this not being ordinary petty crime stolen phone, but billions of dollars worth of a leak. That is: a) overstated; and b) if I have that kind of money on anything, I *really* believe in keeping track of it if I am serious about my claims (which btw. I have not seen publicly made by Apple, but only it's law and order fan boys in their righteous wrath).

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: i dunno
by bert64 on Wed 28th Apr 2010 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: i dunno"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

If someone did take such a car, drive it round for a few days and then it was found.. The police would do very little about it, they might put police tape on it and tell the original owner to come and pick it up... They might even make the original owner pay parking fines because their car was parked illegally by the thieves.

Yes, this has happened to a friend of mine, he reported his car stolen and the police just gave him a number... Few days later the police call to say his car has been found and give him the street address where it is. When he gets there, he finds the car there but the wheels and stereo have been removed, and theres a parking ticket on the car. It takes him a couple of days to source some new wheels and the tools necessary to get them onto the car so he can move it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: i dunno
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 28th Apr 2010 03:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: i dunno"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Would you like someone to steal you car take it apart piece by piece and then give it back to you, possibly not put back the way they found it? I know I wouldn't.


There's this new strategy I've heard about for avoiding that very problem... it's called "don't leave your car unlocked, on a public street, with the keys in the ignition. And if it is stolen, don't refuse if someone offers its return."

I know it's unorthodox, but it's crazy enough that it just might work!

Apple is most likely trying to figure who they should press charges against.


That's simple: the rocket scientist who lost the phone in the first place (probably breaking one, or more, NDAs in the process).

other companies have done far worst with less


For example?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: i dunno
by bert64 on Wed 28th Apr 2010 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: i dunno"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

It was already known that a new iphone comes out every summer, it has happened for the last 3 years. Many people looking to buy an iphone in the run up to release day are likely to wait until the new version comes out - either to buy the new version, or to buy the previous one when it inevitably becomes cheaper.

Reply Score: 2

RE: i dunno
by Morty on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:46 UTC in reply to "i dunno"
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

if someone took my keys at a bar and jumped into my car and kept it for a few weeks then sold it to someone, i would think the authorities would take action, let alone if idiot B blogged about how he bought this stolen car for a great deal.

Well that analogy is not really what happened, is it?
It's more like: You are in a bar and loose your keys. Someone pics them up and checks out your car. It has a anti theft device and is remotely deactivated, so it does not work. The guy leaves several messages at your house, but gets no reply. And he don't want to hand the keys over to a random employee at a random Ford dealer. So he hands them over to a car enthusiast journalist, for a small fee, as he knows the car is news. All full aware that this news will reach you. Giving you yet again have someone to contact, who will return the keys if you bother to ask for them back.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: i dunno
by wocowboy on Tue 27th Apr 2010 09:04 UTC in reply to "RE: i dunno"
wocowboy Member since:
2006-06-01

Ah but here's where you are wrong. According to Gizmodo's own article, the guy who "found" the phone in the bar did not tell the bartender or owner of the bar that he had found said phone, he just took the phone home with him and kept it/played with it for a week or so until he sold it to Gizmodo. This is where the story falls apart and where the legal problems begin. When you find someone's keys on the floor of a bar you give them to the bartender or at the very least you tell him you found them so that when the owner notices he's lost them and asks the bartender if anyone has found any keys they can be returned. This is basic common sense, people! The fact that the "unknown person" did not do any of this turns the whole incident into theft and by that makes Gizmodo complicit in the theft when they bought the phone later on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: i dunno
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: i dunno"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You'e laving out the part where he contacted Apple... You know, THE ACTUAL OWNER.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: i dunno
by aesiamun on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: i dunno"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

After paying $5000 to dissect the product and post pictures and information about it online...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: i dunno
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: i dunno"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

After paying $5000 to dissect the product and post pictures and information about it online...


That is what GIZMODO did. The original finder, however, FIRST contacted Apple.

This isn't rocket science, people. Try to keep up.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: i dunno
by aesiamun on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: i dunno"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

My apologies Thom...no need to be a douche.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: i dunno
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: i dunno"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Uh, I didn't mean to sound as such, but I can see how you would think that ;) . Sorry.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: i dunno
by apoclypse on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: i dunno"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Do we even know what this alleged person said to Apple? It could have been something along the lines of "If you want your phone back I want $10,000." For which Apple says screw you and locks the phone instead. Not having received anything from Apple he then goes on to contact tech blogs interested in pics and actually got a sucker to buy the device. In-fact that seems about the gist of it to me. If he was really serious about returning it Apple he would have dropped it off at a police station or dropped it in a Fedex box and shipped it to Apple. Blackmailing Apple for the return of the device (as I'm inclined to think is what happened) does not constitute contacting Apple, imo. Its like someone (and this does happen)keeping your wallet or phone at ransom if you don;t pay them compensation. You as the person who lost said object are not obligated to do so and can report whoever contacted as a thief if your stuff is not returned to you.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: i dunno
by sorpigal on Wed 28th Apr 2010 12:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: i dunno"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

If I were Apple and I lost a top secret prototype and someone offered to sell it back to me for a measly $10k I would immediately buy it and then contact the police and give them the details they need to locate and arrest the guy I bought it from.

The most important thing from Apple's perspective is that the secrets remain secret. $10k is a drop in the bucket for them and as nice as justice is it certainly won't help their bottom line, whereas not having pics of their prototype on the web certainly would.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: i dunno
by apoclypse on Wed 28th Apr 2010 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: i dunno"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

No you wouldn't. You would get your lawyer on the phone and make sure that the person on the other line understands that holding property that doesn't belong to them at ransom is theft and they could possibly get law enforcement involved and at the proposed value of the phone by the person trying to sell it to you its a serious crime. That's how you handle that situation and hope the person realizes this. Apple probably thought that no reputable news source would buy such a phone and that the person would have no choice but to return it eventually and Apple could just deny the snapshots of the phone on the internet.

What Gizmodo did was buy a hot phone, proceed to take it apart knowing full well who owned the phone and where it was from and paraded it in front of the world for a couple of days of Ad revenue but possibly a lifetime ban at Apple events. What they should of done is either not have bought the phone in the first place, or take it to Apple personally (they are only 30 minutes away) with a promise of limited exclusivity from Apple once the device was announced. Even if Apple didn't agree to those terms they should of handed it back to them anyway with a wink and a nod letting them know that they got something on them. Apple may have even been appreciative, perhaps instead of showcasing the NYTimes page as Steve is wont to do they could showcase Gizmodo every once in a while.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: i dunno
by sorpigal on Wed 28th Apr 2010 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: i dunno"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

tl;dr

Apple's #1 priority is containment. If they'd played ball they'd right now be suing the person who sold it back to them... but there wouldn't be any headlines and we wouldn't be talking about it or about what a horrible company they are. The bottom line for Apple is that not making headlines is more important than legal niceties.

Reply Score: 2

RE: i dunno
by Soulbender on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:39 UTC in reply to "i dunno"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

There's a difference between taking action and raiding someone's home and seizing their equipment. How come you never see this kind of police action when a regular citizen get their stuff stolen, let alone a phone?

Reply Score: 2

RE: i dunno
by bert64 on Wed 28th Apr 2010 10:14 UTC in reply to "i dunno"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

A car is an entirely different device, and not a valid analogy really because cars are regulated and tracked already.

If you left our phone in a bar and someone took it, the police would give you a crime number and forget about it.
If someone physically beat you up and stole your phone, the police would give you a crime number and forget about it.

You aren't a rich powerful corporation, therefore under a corporate dictatorship form of government you have no power and the police won't help you.

Reply Score: 2

Mr Chen is dumb, but wronged
by 3rdalbum on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:53 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

He's a bit dumb, or naive; he bought property that he knew was stolen (theft by finding) and took it apart before actually attempting to give it back to the rightful owner. Anyone should know that this is not legal, and it's certainly irresponsible journalism.

However, the search and seizing of equipment was illegal. A night search was not authorized and it's doubtful that the equipment seized really has anything to do with the theft or purchase of the iPhone. Especially the servers.

Reply Score: 2

Makes sense
by elanthis on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:59 UTC
elanthis
Member since:
2007-02-17

Take illegal pictures of stolen trade secrets, meet the wong end of the law. The dipshits posting about dystopian futures seem to think things are getting "worse," despite this having been the law for a very very long time and civil rights are steonger today than ever (and they're pretty new to begin with). The gizmodo folks were dumb and are learnig the hard way that the law is the law and breakin it just because you disagree with it doesn't keep you safe.

Is apple overreacting? Probably. Is trade secret theft illegal? Yup.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Makes sense
by crocodile on Tue 27th Apr 2010 07:46 UTC in reply to "Makes sense"
crocodile Member since:
2010-01-18

How do you know that is a "trade secret"?

I have not seen anything like that written on that iPhone. Apple could call any piece of equipment a "trade secret".

If it is a "trade secret", why Apple lets its employees to take a prototype iPhone to a bar for a beer?

If you let employees to take prototypes to a bar then it means that it is not a trade secret.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Makes sense
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Makes sense"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's obviously a product in development which is a trade secret.

There's no reason to assume that Apple gave anyone permission to take it off company grounds.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Makes sense
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Makes sense"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

There's no reason to assume that Apple gave anyone permission to take it off company grounds.


Last I read, Apple still had not fired or otherwise disciplined the employee who lost it. Given they recently fired an engineer for showing Steve Wozniak a 3G iPad for two minutes after being given explicit written permission to show said device...I'm inclined to believe the guy who lost the iPhone had been told to take it off campus, perhaps for testing. If that is the case, by law it had to be FCC approved, and therefore it is no longer a trade secret as it would now be in their database in detail.

On that note, has anyone bothered to check out its certification (or lack thereof)?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Makes sense
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Makes sense"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Last I read, Apple still had not fired or otherwise disciplined the employee who lost it.


So what is your point? Does this in any way negate the fact that this phone contained trade secrets? Was this a product purchased at an at&t store? No, it was a secret prototype that they were keeping from their competitors.

How Apple handles this internally is irrelevant. This was an internal prototype that Gizmodo purchased under dubious circumstances. If you're looking for a reason to hate Apple then look elsewhere and you can find plenty of reasons. In this case Gizmodo is the guilty party, they shouldn't have bought property that they knew belonged to Apple.

Apple had every right to contact the authorities. Gizmodo not only illegally purchased Apple property but also profited from it through increased ad revenue. They wanted a breaking story and were willing to step outside the law to get it. The shocking thing is how they made no attempt to cover their trail.

Hey guys look at this Apple prototype we purchased from some random guy for 5000 dollars! Neat-o! Here's my picture with it!!!

Oh but we shouldn't be arrested cuz they guy we bought it from says Apple doesn't care.

So freaking stupid, I just can't believe it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Makes sense
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 21:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Makes sense"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I've already stated more than once in this discussion that I hold Gizmodo equally at fault along with Apple. I never said I thought Gizmodo did the right thing. My comment was strictly regarding whether Apple is being consistent with their policies, and when they cease to be consistent they resort to intimidating anyone involved. It's disgusting.

Just so you are clear on my position: Gizmodo is in the wrong for buying the phone and if found criminally liable they should pay. Apple is in the wrong for using local police to intimidate Mr. Chen when he was merely breaking the story. The police and the judge were wrong for allowing Apple to seek a search warrant with no charges filed, instead of a subpoena which would be more logical (not to mention saving a lot of face with the public). Should criminal charges be filed, I would expect the outcome to be in Apple's favor given what little info we have to go by.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Makes sense
by apoclypse on Tue 27th Apr 2010 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Makes sense"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

I've already stated more than once in this discussion that I hold Gizmodo equally at fault along with Apple. I never said I thought Gizmodo did the right thing. My comment was strictly regarding whether Apple is being consistent with their policies, and when they cease to be consistent they resort to intimidating anyone involved. It's disgusting.

Just so you are clear on my position: Gizmodo is in the wrong for buying the phone and if found criminally liable they should pay. Apple is in the wrong for using local police to intimidate Mr. Chen when he was merely breaking the story. The police and the judge were wrong for allowing Apple to seek a search warrant with no charges filed, instead of a subpoena which would be more logical (not to mention saving a lot of face with the public). Should criminal charges be filed, I would expect the outcome to be in Apple's favor given what little info we have to go by.


Who is to say it wasn't he DA of the area who went overboard. Due to the number of tech companies in that area a DA can't be lax on issues like these or he will find himself not being the DA for long or any future prospects in government. With the deep pockets that these companies have any government official may be a bit overzealous to please. Doesn't necessarily mean that Apple told them to go hunt down Chen. I highly doubt hat Apple told the local police to make good on a sketchy warrant that even the judge who issued it wasn't sure about. The main point is that maybe shit like this don't fly in Silicon Valley. If it did these companies will move elsewhere and that can affect a lot of people and lot of money could then be channeled elsewhere. That's a lot of pressure for a DA and he may tend to get heavy handed if he though his job was in jeopardy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Makes sense
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Makes sense"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Good point, and I had considered that too, though I don't really know much about the legal climate of Silicon Valley. I do know that around here, this kind of thing happens very rarely, and it can make or break the DA's (and the local sheriff's) career depending on how the public perceives it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Makes sense
by chris_l on Tue 27th Apr 2010 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Makes sense"
chris_l Member since:
2010-02-14


How Apple handles this internally is irrelevant. This was an internal prototype that Gizmodo purchased under dubious circumstances. If you're looking for a reason to hate Apple then look elsewhere and you can find plenty of reasons. In this case Gizmodo is the guilty party, they shouldn't have bought property that they knew belonged to Apple.

Apple had every right to contact the authorities. Gizmodo not only illegally purchased Apple property but also profited from it through increased ad revenue. They wanted a breaking story and were willing to step outside the law to get it. The shocking thing is how they made no attempt to cover their trail.

Hey guys look at this Apple prototype we purchased from some random guy for 5000 dollars! Neat-o! Here's my picture with it!!!

Oh but we shouldn't be arrested cuz they guy we bought it from says Apple doesn't care.

So freaking stupid, I just can't believe it. [/q]


Exactly. This isn't about the guy who found the phone anymore.

This is now about Gizmodo knowingly violating local,state and quite possibly federal laws dealing with stolen property

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Makes sense
by crocodile on Tue 27th Apr 2010 22:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Makes sense"
crocodile Member since:
2010-01-18

"It's obviously a product in development which is a trade secret. "

Yeah right, a bar is really the obvious place for a product in development which is a trade secret!

It is Apple's mistake. Apple lost and now all this is about revenge. It does not matter anymore to Apple if Chen did wrong or right.

Reply Score: 1

Not surprised...
by apoclypse on Tue 27th Apr 2010 01:01 UTC
apoclypse
Member since:
2007-02-17

At the end of the day Gizmodo was wrong on this, and while the iPhone was returned you have to think that if they did this what other things have they payed for and not divulged yet. Is the person they got the phone from someone who does this regularly, if so is Gizmodo one of his regular customers? If the device was stolen as I'm inclined to think then Chen is an accomplice in this crime, even more so by paying for known stolen property.

Apple is going overboard but like I said before on this subject, Apple's main marketing tool is their secrecy. The hype that builds before their product is released is a huge staple of their marketing push. Its by design and has been so for years. Chen and Gizmodo basically just punched all the wind out of Apple's sails and to top it off they basically through it in Apple's face by actually taking the device apart.

This doesn't excuse Apple, but frankly if I were in their shoes and I had the means I would find anyway to retaliate against Gizmodo. Its childish, I know. Isn't their an editor over at Gizmodo who's job it is to make sure this doesn't happen.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not surprised...
by chris_l on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:35 UTC in reply to "Not surprised..."
chris_l Member since:
2010-02-14

At the end of the day Gizmodo was wrong on this, and while the iPhone was returned you have to think that if they did this what other things have they payed for and not divulged yet. Is the person they got the phone from someone who does this regularly, if so is Gizmodo one of his regular customers? If the device was stolen as I'm inclined to think then Chen is an accomplice in this crime, even more so by paying for known stolen property.

The sad thing about this is that Chen and those like him seem to be too stupid to ask the simple question
"Does what they're doing pass the Pawn Shop Test?"

If you don't know what that is, go a pawn shop and ask the owner how do they determine what to buy and what not to buy from someone who walks in from the street.

Reply Score: 1

The emperor has no clothes
by mbpark on Tue 27th Apr 2010 01:38 UTC
mbpark
Member since:
2005-11-17

The real issue here isn't that the iPhone HD/4G ended up in the hands of Gizmodo.

The issue is that Apple, with its vaunted corporate security that has been talked about and hyped up to be as good, if not better, than most governments, has been proven to not work as advertised.

This is an epic failure of Apple's security policies and procedures. Apple has major egg on their face because their next-generation product was found intact, dissected on a blog, and held up like a trophy after being found in a bar unattended. This is from the same company that made people use iPads in locked rooms tethered to something, and yet their prize product shows up in the wild, unattended, in pre-release form.

In all the years of Apple products being rumored and discovered by bloggers, this is the first time I remember that a tech blog got a hold of the physical hardware months before release.

This doesn't absolve Gizmodo. When dealing with companies that have billions of dollars in the bank that have been proven to have a major security hole, you really need to stay far away from them and don't blog about what you find. Showing up on a web page holding the device after you paid $5K to "examine" it is like jabbing a hornet's nest with a stick. You're going to get stung, and you're going to be dealing with many really angry people with lots of money to throw at doing so.

Apple is going to do whatever they can to save face, and that includes going after Gizmodo in any way, shape, or form possible.

Reply Score: 3

Funny
by fretinator on Tue 27th Apr 2010 01:53 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

There are people who just get all lathered up about anything new Apple does. They spend endless hours trying to guess what Apple will do next. Here they go on a total frenzy about this phone.

These are Apple's most hardcore fans. So what has Apple historically done to these folk? They issue gag orders, try to get them shut down. Here they even brought in the Feds. In other cases, they have caused journalists to be fired.

I'm just saying it seems like strange behavior. When a company does its utmost to destroy its most hardcore fans, why do those fans keep lining up? It seems like a co-dependent relationship. The more they hit me the more they must love me?

I don't know, I've just never understood it. Wait, I got to go, there's a knock at my door...

Reply Score: 5

RE: Funny
by Eugenia on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:06 UTC in reply to "Funny"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Well said. I could not decide between the iPhone 4G and the Nexus One my husband got for me as a gift months ago (and I refused to use it as my main phone because I didn't like its UI as much as the iPhone's). But now it seems certain that I won't be buying an iPhone 4G, and the Nexus One will just have to do, to replace my old and dying iPhone 2G.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: Funny
by Smeagol on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Funny"
RE[2]: Funny
by Timmmm on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Funny"
Timmmm Member since:
2006-07-25

That's pretty funny considering who your husband is!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Funny
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:48 UTC in reply to "Funny"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Well I love OS X, I think it's the best commercial OS available. Now, take a look at that word "available" and you'll see why I don't like Apple as a company. It's only officially available on their hardware. Of course they have some great hardware, but I can't afford it. Someone like me is left with two choices for running OS X: Buy used Macs, or build a Hackintosh. I've done both in the past, and currently have a very fast (for my needs), well-built machine that triple boots Leopard, Linux and Windows.

And as much as I love working in OS X, I'm getting ready to go with Linux Mint as my main OS, with Slackware and Haiku partitions just for fun. I am only holding on to Windows right now for old games and my son's archaic non-MSC MP3 player.

Now that most of what I do is cross-platform, I can soon leave OS X behind with few regrets. Sure, I'll miss the fluid, consistent interface, the cool little tricks and tools under the hood, easy iPod syncing, GarageBand...but I don't need any of that. I'd much prefer to have a computer unencumbered by overbearing corporate entities.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Funny
by DigitalAxis on Tue 27th Apr 2010 03:35 UTC in reply to "Funny"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

And by the same token, don't expect Gizmodo to be any less ga-ga over Apple's latest hype. They will forever be searching for that same wonderful taste of excitement they had when they realized that this... this was the secret iPhone! This magical technology... the colors man, the colors!

Seriously, though... to this layman the entire thing looks bizarre. Apple got their device back, but is still acting like they suspect the guy who works at Gizmodo has it. It's not like Gizmodo is hard to find, or that obscure in technical circles. Hey, we have it! Good, send it back to us NOW.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Funny
by fanboi_fanboi on Tue 27th Apr 2010 13:59 UTC in reply to "Funny"
fanboi_fanboi Member since:
2010-04-21

Either that or, aside from a few dozen random internet retards like us posting on an obscure website ... 99.9% of iPhone users couldn't give a rat's ass about this. They just like the phone, because it works.

The market has spoken. If Apple does something to piss of that 99.9%, the market will shift away from Apple.

Everyone here needs to take a few economics courses.

Reply Score: 1

You know it could be
by Tuishimi on Tue 27th Apr 2010 04:08 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...that they are investigating how the phone got outside of an Apple facility and ended up in a bar. Absconding with Gizmodo's computers could be part of the effort to determine who "lost" the phone.

Reply Score: 2

RE: You know it could be
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 18:21 UTC in reply to "You know it could be"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Excellent point, but as I've said previously they could have accomplished that with a friendly subpoena. I still firmly believe the search warrant was an unnecessary move designed to intimidate Mr. Chen. Unless he has something to hide, complying with a subpoena request for information on his computers would be far less invasive and he'd have his equipment back within a few days. With a search warrant, the computers will be classified as evidence and he will be lucky to get them back before they're obsolete.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: You know it could be
by Tuishimi on Tue 27th Apr 2010 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE: You know it could be"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah... our country does appear to be leaning toward a fascist philosophy where the corporate entities are pulling the strings of the government.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: You know it could be
by sorpigal on Wed 28th Apr 2010 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE: You know it could be"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

It's worse than that, really. For a guy like this his computers are his livelihood. The data on his computers, especially his servers, are also likely to be vitally important. Seizing someone's property is inconvenient, but in a case like this it might be financially ruinous if not returned within a few days.

Reply Score: 2

law covers who?
by darwinOS on Tue 27th Apr 2010 04:18 UTC
darwinOS
Member since:
2009-11-02

I'm really mad with gizmodo at all. First because they gave all the info about the Apple engineer who lost the iPhone, but they pixed Che's data.

If gizmodo wins this, people will ambush everyone who work in a well-known company to get/steal any thing/device thats looks interesting and blog about it. People are covered to open their sources, so people will still do it.

Reply Score: 3

Classic example of state oppression..
by pepper on Tue 27th Apr 2010 04:32 UTC
pepper
Member since:
2007-09-18

This is a classic example of a state oppressing its citicens.

What could possibly be the reason to invade this person's home and seize equippment? In Germany, this kind of thing is only allowed if the offense is sufficiently strong *and* if there is no other way to retrieve required evidence or some immediate danger to human life is at hand.

None of this is the case here. The chain of events is known to the police. Assuming that taking apart something that doesn't belong to you is a huge crime, what are the reasons for not simply arresting the offender and bringing him in for questioning?

Even if additional evidence from the computers is required to make a case and even if it must be suspected that the offender would delete this evidence if he had the chance, in Germany it would still be required to make the raid in presence of the person living in the house, to reduce social/psychological impact of this violation of privacy. It is also required to have one additional persons present as neutral witness.

Reply Score: 1

legal battle
by bnolsen on Tue 27th Apr 2010 05:00 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

Apparently the govt has no right to confiscate these items since the man is a journalist for gizmodo. The legal battle may likely be over whether or not bloggers are considered journalists or not.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/computers-seized-a...

Reply Score: 3

A crime is a crime
by Smeagol on Tue 27th Apr 2010 07:30 UTC
Smeagol
Member since:
2006-01-16

We happen to live in a society governed by law. It's application isn't discreationary. The DA decides what is pursued what is not.

Gizmodo is not above the law.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A crime is a crime
by Zifre on Tue 27th Apr 2010 11:31 UTC in reply to "A crime is a crime"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

We happen to live in a society governed by law. It's application isn't discreationary. The DA decides what is pursued what is not.

Actually it is discretionary. If someone stole my hypothetical phone that I built and programmed and blogged about it, the police would not go and break down their door. Only when you have a multi-billion dollar company will they do that.

Don't you think that individuals should be more important than corporations in the law?

Gizmodo is not above the law.

Yes, but apparently Apple is.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: A crime is a crime
by targetnovember on Tue 27th Apr 2010 12:14 UTC in reply to "RE: A crime is a crime"
targetnovember Member since:
2010-04-27

You can argue sometimes corporations should be more important. Assuming a crime has been committed, then if the DA doesn't do anything, the area becomes less valuable as a place for companies to do business. You lose your one phone, but thousands lose income as businesses decide to move projects away or not start new business in the area due to their property not being protected. Why is your phone more important than thousands of families survival???

How is Apple above the law?? That would imply Apple committed a crime and were not prosecuted. Are you arguing that Apple directly told the DA what to do, and that Apple IS the government? Isn't it more likely that politically, there is pressure to keep the area friendly to high tech R&D? Isn't this the same area that has Intel, Google, and other major tech companies?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A crime is a crime
by Zifre on Tue 27th Apr 2010 21:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A crime is a crime"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

You can argue sometimes corporations should be more important. Assuming a crime has been committed, then if the DA doesn't do anything, the area becomes less valuable as a place for companies to do business. You lose your one phone, but thousands lose income as businesses decide to move projects away or not start new business in the area due to their property not being protected. Why is your phone more important than thousands of families survival???

I understand your point, but I don't think your argument is true at all. Supposedly, Apple lost this phone. Someone picked it up. That would happen anywhere in the world. If someone had broken into Apple's buildings and stolen the phone, than this would be an entirely different matter.

Basically, it is obvious that the police should have been involved in this. But stealing computers just to "keep the area friendly to high tech R&D" is wrong, unless you can come up with a good reason as to why the police felt like they had to do that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A crime is a crime
by fanboi_fanboi on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE: A crime is a crime"
fanboi_fanboi Member since:
2010-04-21

Gizmodo is not above the law.

Yes, but apparently Apple is.


In this scenario, can you please explain again how Apple broke the law?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A crime is a crime
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A crime is a crime"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't think Zifre was saying Apple broke the law, rather that they have the power to use law enforcement for their own agendas. They in effect have created an upper class for themselves that can push law enforcement to do things for them that would not be done for the average citizen.

That position can easily be considered "above the law".

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: A crime is a crime
by Smeagol on Tue 27th Apr 2010 19:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A crime is a crime"
Smeagol Member since:
2006-01-16

I don't think Zifre was saying Apple broke the law, rather that they have the power to use law enforcement for their own agendas. <snip>


And your proof of this is....??? Ah, I see. You have none.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: A crime is a crime
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A crime is a crime"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

A bit childish to ask a question then immediately answer with a blind conclusion, is it not? Anyway...

If you mean proof of Zifre's meaning regarding Apple being "above the law", I have no proof of his frame of mind and never claimed to. I merely stated what I thought he meant.

If you mean proof of Apple having a lot of power, well besides it being common knowledge in this country that might makes right and money buys cops, no I don't have proof. I never claimed to either; it was merely an observation, so you can take your snarky attitude and shove it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A crime is a crime
by Zifre on Tue 27th Apr 2010 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A crime is a crime"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

In this scenario, can you please explain again how Apple broke the law?

Apple didn't break the law. In fact, I think they are the most innocent. What Gizmodo did was not right, but what the police did was much worse.

Apple simply used its money and power to make the police do what they wanted. This is completely understandable (although this just decreases my already near 0 probability of buying Apple products). Apple is a corporation, and therefore, evil. The police are really at fault here, because they are supposed to do the right thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: A crime is a crime
by fanboi_fanboi on Wed 28th Apr 2010 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A crime is a crime"
fanboi_fanboi Member since:
2010-04-21

//Apple is a corporation, and therefore, evil.//

Now that's a even-tempered philosophy to have.

I suppose anarchy is so much better ...

Reply Score: 1

Warning Across the Bows
by REM2000 on Tue 27th Apr 2010 08:00 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

I agree with what the others have said, that this is not just an iPhone but a prototype with company secrets, in the designs in both hardware and software. This is not steve jobs personal iphone but a company property.

Also i think this is a big warning shot across the bows to other bloggers and news sites, not to purchase stolen items and then publish it on their blogs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Warning Across the Bows
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 08:33 UTC in reply to "Warning Across the Bows"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

that this is not just an iPhone but a prototype with company secrets


And a company's secrets are more important than, say, my own secrets I might have stored on my phone? Why can a company have this extra layer of protection and command an extra army of police, but a mere citizen like I cannot?

How is that fair? How can anyone - an American especially - not see the inequality and class justice going on here?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Warning Across the Bows
by targetnovember on Tue 27th Apr 2010 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Warning Across the Bows"
targetnovember Member since:
2010-04-27

Can trade secrets economically improve thousands of people's lives through increased business, tax revenue, share prices, and jobs? Losing trade secrets can be bad for lots of people. Losing one person's data on a phone is bad for one person.

I think both cases, the law tries to provide equal protection. Stealing a person's data is as illegal as stealing a company's data. So the hard question comes from allocating finite resources, and politically, I think it's defensible to do what results in the largest benefit first. One person's computer getting hacked will likely not result in anything. A bank getting hacked and having millions of people's information stolen should.

You could argue a company's profits should be less important than an individual's data . . . but from the viewpoint of the government, it might not be. As long as identity theft and such is always something that happens to "someone else" and businesses cay say "we're losing $$$", I don't think there will be enough social pressure to change priorities.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Warning Across the Bows
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Warning Across the Bows"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Can trade secrets economically improve thousands of people's lives through increased business, tax revenue, share prices, and jobs? Losing trade secrets can be bad for lots of people. Losing one person's data on a phone is bad for one person.


At the risk of repeating myself...

Patents? Copyrights? Trademarks? NDAs? Those together (with money) offer more than enough protection and legal handles for companies.

Edited 2010-04-27 13:17 UTC

Reply Score: 1

targetnovember Member since:
2010-04-27

Then maybe I misunderstand your point. I thought you were asking why corporations get unequal preference from the government in investigating crimes, and I offered a company's larger impact on the community than one individual as a plausible reason why a government would choose that.

Patents are totally different from copyright . . . which is totally different from trademarks, and which are totally different from NDAs. Aren't individuals also offered the legal protections of copyright, patents, trademarks, and NDAs?? And aren't those all civil matters, while this was a criminal case?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Warning Across the Bows
by fanboi_fanboi on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Warning Across the Bows"
fanboi_fanboi Member since:
2010-04-21

Patents? Copyrights? Trademarks? NDAs? Those together (with money) offer more than enough protection and legal handles for companies.


Um, hello? How do you *enforce* those things? Could it be in the realm of possibility that you need to call in law enforcement to ... I don't know ... *ENFORCE LAWS*?

Please take a break and eat some pannenkoeken, and repost.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Warning Across the Bows
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Warning Across the Bows"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Um, hello? How do you *enforce* those things? Could it be in the realm of possibility that you need to call in law enforcement to ... I don't know ... *ENFORCE LAWS*?

Please take a break and eat some pannenkoeken, and repost.


*sigh*

The discussion centred around the idea of trade secrets. I then explained that trade secrets are unnecessary, since we already have NDAs, patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

In other words, your comment makes no sense.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[6]: Warning Across the Bows
by fanboi_fanboi on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Warning Across the Bows"
RE[7]: Warning Across the Bows
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Warning Across the Bows"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Got it?


Quite clear you have no idea what this is about. At all.

The string of comments you replied to (namely, this one) is about whether or not trade secrets should exist. I explained that no, they do not, since there are already enough, far more effective and clearer means of achieving the same goal.

//I then explained that trade secrets are unnecessary, since we already have NDAs, patents, copyrights, and trademarks.//

Yay. And if those NDAs, patents, copyrights and trademarks are violated, law enforcement comes in to enforce the laws that were broken by violating those NDAs, patents, copyrights and trademarks.

Which is what happened here.


*sigh*

None of the above have happened here.

- If an NDA has been violated, then the police has NO business at Chen's house. An NDA is a contract between the employer and employee, and Chen is neither. If an NDA has been broken here, the police ought to go after the Apple employee. However, and here's the crux, breaking an NDA is breach of contract - which is a civil matter, not a criminal one.

- What patents have been violated here?

- What copyrights have been violated?

- What trademarks have been violated?

You really have no clue as to what's going on here, do you?

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: Warning Across the Bows
by Smeagol on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Warning Across the Bows"
RE[3]: Warning Across the Bows
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Warning Across the Bows"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So, let me ask you the question again.

Would law enforcement put as much effort into retrieving your phone as they are putting into this case? Are you really so naive as to believe that Apple's involvement with this particular task force does not play a major role in the vigour with which they pursue this matter?

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Warning Across the Bows
by Smeagol on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Warning Across the Bows"
Smeagol Member since:
2006-01-16

Law enforcement probably wouldn't care. Why?

1. I don't have a prototype phone worth millions of $$.
2. No one in the press cares that I lost my phone, thus no extra page-hits for my story.

Law enforcement has to choose their cases. Those with the largest $$$ attached and high-profile cases will always trump the average schmuck. It's just "how things work".

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Warning Across the Bows
by Zifre on Tue 27th Apr 2010 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Warning Across the Bows"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Law enforcement probably wouldn't care. Why?

1. I don't have a prototype phone worth millions of $$.
2. No one in the press cares that I lost my phone, thus no extra page-hits for my story.

Law enforcement has to choose their cases. Those with the largest $$$ attached and high-profile cases will always trump the average schmuck. It's just "how things work".

You are correct. But that's the problem. And you don't seem to care.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Warning Across the Bows
by sorpigal on Wed 28th Apr 2010 12:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Warning Across the Bows"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Those with the largest $$$ attached and high-profile cases will always trump the average schmuck. It's just "how things work".

And that is just plain wrong. Unjust at best.

Reply Score: 2

disagree
by spudley99 on Tue 27th Apr 2010 08:12 UTC
spudley99
Member since:
2009-03-25

I disagree with the sentiment of the article.

What has been stolen isn't a phone (as you say, it's already been returned). The [alleged] theft is of trade secrets, not physical property.

In short, it's a case of industrial sabotage, not small-time theft. That's why the police are getting heavy handed.

Reply Score: 2

RE: disagree
by StychoKiller on Wed 28th Apr 2010 02:34 UTC in reply to "disagree"
StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

@spudley:
[quote]In short, it's a case of industrial sabotage, not small-time theft. That's why the police are getting heavy handed.[/quote]

No, this is a case of a corporation with big 'nads getting the Silicon valley police to do their dirty work for them. Notice that the Guy was NOT charged with a crime, and that the search warrant had NO legible judge's signature? Methinks "there's something rotten in the state of Denmark!"

Reply Score: 1

Who'd the owner?
by bitwelder on Tue 27th Apr 2010 08:24 UTC
bitwelder
Member since:
2010-04-27

But... wasn't so that all the iPhones around the world actually belong to Apple, and the 'owner' has only a non-transferable license to use it?

/EULA sarcasm

Reply Score: 1

Comment by clhodapp
by clhodapp on Tue 27th Apr 2010 09:12 UTC
clhodapp
Member since:
2009-12-04

When a company leaves their secrets laying around, they aren't really secrets anymore. They can't expect the general public (especially journalists) to help them cover their blunders up. How else could things be structured? We all know about the new iPhone now and some of us have probably told people that we know. Should we be searched under suspicion of disseminating Apple's trade secrets? There is no way to enforce a boundary on knowledge once it escapes the group of people that have actually agreed to keep it secret (without creating a dedicated group of secret police for the purpose). I have to say that I agree with Thom when he says that the only thing that Chen did wrong was to open the casing (it's definitely wrong to risk damage to other peoples' property, though I do think that this is more of a civil matter than a criminal one, since any damage to the unit caused by the case-opening could be fixed with money). As for Gawker paying for the scoop, I don't really have a problem with it as long as it doesn't somehow compromise the accuracy of the story (though it is a potentially expensive road for news outlets to go down). I strongly disagree with the idea that they were "buying stolen goods". It's more like they were buying the privilege to hold the prototype until its rightful owner reclaimed it (which he willingly let happen). That said, there could be more going on here than we know about, so it's probably good that an investigation is going on. It's just too bad that the police can't seem to understand that things would go smoother if they would address (and possibly act differently based upon) reasonable concerns with their actions from regular citizens. They demand absolute control of all aspects of the situation and won't take any suggestions from any one else (I think this is a result of the way that police are trained here in the U.S., as every officer I meet seems to act this way.).

Edited 2010-04-27 09:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by clhodapp
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by clhodapp"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I strongly disagree with the idea that they were "buying stolen goods". It's more like they were buying the privilege to hold the prototype until its rightful owner reclaimed it (which he willingly let happen).


Oh they didn't know that it came from Apple? They had no idea as to where it should be returned?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by clhodapp
by clhodapp on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by clhodapp"
clhodapp Member since:
2009-12-04

They obviously knew that it came from Apple (even Gizmodo admits that it was absolutely clear once they opened the case... and it was incontrovertible once Apple contacted them). If they can be believed, their source made significant effort to notify Apple about the device and they both called and emailed Gray Powell (whom their source said was the owner of the phone) asking about returning the phone shortly after they posted the story to their web site. I would say that this qualifies as a reasonable effort to return it. It's not like the person who finds your lost stuff has to bend over backwards to get it back to you. They just have to make a reasonable effort. My only concern is that it doesn't seem like it should have taken them the week that they claim it did to determine concretely that the phone came from Apple. Since they would have wanted to publish such a hot story as quickly as possible, what would have caused them to hold onto it for so long?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by clhodapp
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by clhodapp"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

They knew it was a company prototype.

Did they try returning it to the company? No.

Stating that you tried contacting some employee is a poor defense when you paid $5000 for a prototype that you knew the company would want back.

This was just incredibly stupid of them to do. They're 30 minutes away from Apple and they buy an internal prototype for $5000 from some random guy and then publicly blog about it. Just freaking stupid.

The DA will also be able to show that they profited from the purchase through increased ad revenue. Profit through the purchase of stolen goods. He's going to need a good attorney.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by clhodapp
by clhodapp on Tue 27th Apr 2010 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by clhodapp"
clhodapp Member since:
2009-12-04

Well... They didn't just try to contact him. They have an abridged phone transcript on their website in which Powell acknowledges their email and states that Apple as a company is aware of the situation. Also at what point did we establish this prototype as "stolen"? Everyone seems to be assuming that, but it certainly seems to have been lost. I don't see what the problem is if lost goods change hands so long as the new party is willing to relinquish them to the actual owner upon request. That is really the core issue here though: if it was in some way stolen and they are privy to this fact, Gawker and/or some of its employees are guilty of a fairly serious crime. If not, then they are only guilty of a minor civil infraction in taking the phone apart. Mixing in emotions related to the fact that Gawker won through Apple's mistake (as many seem to be doing) just muddles the real issue: people shouldn't be legally punished just for being slimy gits (to use a British term that I have always enjoyed). If they were, Apple themselves would have been out of business several years ago.

Edited 2010-04-27 18:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by clhodapp
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by clhodapp"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

They have an abridged phone transcript on their website in which Powell acknowledges their email and states that Apple as a company is aware of the situation.


And that is supposed to be a defense? A confirmation from the person selling it? That is supposed to exonerate the purchaser? The guy selling it swore to me that the company doesn't care about their missing prototype? No need to confirm this with the company?


Also at what point did we establish this prototype as "stolen"? Everyone seems to be assuming that, but it certainly seems to have been lost.


Given the fact that it is a prototype shows that it is company property. Both the seller and purchaser are guilty of exchanging stolen property. When it comes to stolen property charges knowledge is a major factor. It was clear in this case that they knew that it was a prototype from inside the company which is why they paid $5000 for it.

Edited 2010-04-27 20:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by clhodapp
by clhodapp on Tue 27th Apr 2010 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by clhodapp"
clhodapp Member since:
2009-12-04

The possibility that Powell himself is the seller did not occur to me. That is an intriguing possibility (edit) but without more evidence, I don't think that it is even remotely reasonable to come to that conclusion.

Edited 2010-04-27 20:27 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Woah.
by m1cro on Tue 27th Apr 2010 09:30 UTC
m1cro
Member since:
2006-12-22

Crazy.

Edited 2010-04-27 09:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

comment moderation
by _xmv on Tue 27th Apr 2010 09:40 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

Too bad I can't mod every of thoms post as insightful, apparently, i can moderate a user just once ;)

I find it disturbing that some people may genuinely disagree with him in this topic (yeah, i know 50% are apple trolls)

Reply Score: 2

RE: comment moderation
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:09 UTC in reply to "comment moderation"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

(yeah, i know 50% are apple trolls)


Welcome to OSNews, I see you've met the family ;)

To be honest I'm often in direct disagreement with Thom, but on this issue I'm right there with him. The whole situation is retarded.

Reply Score: 2

private swat
by l3v1 on Tue 27th Apr 2010 09:51 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

So, a select number of companies have their own little government-backed swat teams now to protect their assets and interest, or so it seems. This has just put an evil smile on my face ;) Great job people, I mean I don't like what this story points at, and I'd guess many of you don't like it either, still, we have to give credit to this bunch o'chaps, they know how to make their way around ;)

Reply Score: 2

What were they looking for?
by FunkyELF on Tue 27th Apr 2010 12:47 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

That is ridiculous... do they think they're going to uncover secret plans to happen upon another secret product that some drunk Apple employee left at a bar?

They are just inconveniencing him for the point of inconveniencing him. That is garbage and the dirtbag judge never should have issued a warrant.

As for disassembling it, I don't see a crime. I equate that to a car enthusiast opening a hood. At least he didn't put it in a blender.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What were they looking for?
by tyrione on Tue 27th Apr 2010 21:03 UTC in reply to "What were they looking for?"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

That is ridiculous... do they think they're going to uncover secret plans to happen upon another secret product that some drunk Apple employee left at a bar?

They are just inconveniencing him for the point of inconveniencing him. That is garbage and the dirtbag judge never should have issued a warrant.

As for disassembling it, I don't see a crime. I equate that to a car enthusiast opening a hood. At least he didn't put it in a blender.


There is no crime to disassemble one's own commercially available phone. You'll void your warranty but that's it.

Seizing all communication devices should not be shocking to any reasonable person. They are trying to determine the one to many communications involved during this time period.

Nothing in their warrant authorizes them to then go after him for any ``other perceived" questionable transactions.

Reply Score: 2

It's called "theft by receiving"
by mlankton on Tue 27th Apr 2010 13:36 UTC
mlankton
Member since:
2009-06-11

If you are found in possession of stolen property you may be charged with the offense of theft by receiving (also known as receiving stolen property). The classification of this charge, misdemeanor or felony, is made by the prosecution. Under California law, receiving stolen property / theft by receiving carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail or prison and fines.

Ref: CA Theft by Receiving Laws - California Penal Code Section 496

Reply Score: 2

Come on, wake up
by twitterfire on Tue 27th Apr 2010 14:59 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Things like this only happen in US, "the land of freedom", "the country of liberty", the most democratic country in the world, the country which is the first to condamn others for human rights infringements.

US used to be a "free country", but its voting citizens gave up their rights a long time ago.

There are US PATRIOT Act, ACTA, DMCA and lots and lots of laws - passed to protect people from "terrorists, pirates and child molesters" (I don't know all of them since I don't live in US), are only meant to take the freedom from citizens and give all the power to politicians, interest groups, corporations.

After the success of the experiment in the US, EU citizens are under attack, too. It will depend of them if they will give up their rights or not. But after they saw what happened in US to freedom, democracy and civil rights, they will have no excuse if they fail to protect their rights.

Welcome to the new world order. And no, "new world order" it's not just an obscure conspiracy theory, elaborated by a few exalted people and madmen like THEY want us to believe, it's a fact.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Come on, wake up
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:05 UTC in reply to "Come on, wake up"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Things like this only happen in US


Ummm...what? Been to China lately, or hell, the UK for that matter? It happens everywhere in the world every day of the week, what makes this an issue is that it's not supposed to happen here in the US. Therefore when it does, it's newsworthy.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Come on, wake up
by StychoKiller on Wed 28th Apr 2010 02:40 UTC in reply to "Come on, wake up"
StychoKiller Member since:
2005-09-20

The price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance!

Reply Score: 1

was there a theft?
by TechGeek on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:20 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I would argue that there was no theft. If the person who found the phone called Apple, and they blew him off, then there can be no theft charge. I can't later claim theft if you try to return a lost item to me and initially I refuse it. After that he is free to do what ever he wants with it.

As for the raid, I pity anyone ever raiding my house. They would be there all day carrying stuff out. I would be crying too.

Reply Score: 2

It isn't simply a phone
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:06 UTC in reply to "was there a theft?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's a company prototype and they knew who it belonged to.

It isn't just a random phone and they knew that which is why they paid $5000 for it. There's plenty of room here to charge them with a felony.

Reply Score: 3

RE: It isn't simply a phone
by sorpigal on Wed 28th Apr 2010 12:16 UTC in reply to "It isn't simply a phone"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

What the OP was saying is this:

- I find an item laying on the sidewalk with an owner's name and address on it.
- I contact said owner and he says "Oh that, I don't want it"
- I have just been given the item by the owner! Now I own it.
- I sell the device to someone
- The original owner learns of this and demands the item back.
- The someone who bought it gives the item back.
- The original owner contacts the police and tells them that said someone has purchased stolen property.
- The police raid his house and remove his television, armchair and a pair of shoes.

If the guy who 'found' it did in fact attempt to return it to Apple and if he was blown off, as the OP said, then the only crime committed here is by Apple for fraudulently reporting a crime to the police, and by the police for unlawful seizure (since, you know, the allegedly stolen property was certainly not in his house).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It isn't simply a phone
by boldingd on Thu 29th Apr 2010 22:43 UTC in reply to "RE: It isn't simply a phone"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I think the charges that are driving the police response are more along the lines of corporate espionage, not theft. It's also not out-of-the-question at this point that the charges against Chen will be dismissed or drastically reduced -- or even that a counter-suit against Apple may proceed. This would hardly be the first time that the police have seized half of someone's earthly possessions and charged them with international terrorism, only to accept a guilty plea to jaywalking before trial, or dismissing the charges completely. It's actually fairly common, it's happened to me (right down to being threatened with terrorism -- fun story! ;) ).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: It isn't simply a phone
by crocodile on Fri 30th Apr 2010 09:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It isn't simply a phone"
crocodile Member since:
2010-01-18

"I think the charges that are driving the police response are more along the lines of corporate espionage,"

Does "corporate espionage" has anything to do with a phone lost in a bar which Apple didn't bother to track it and recover it? I do not think so.

I am astonished that Apple has not made any effort to immediately (within minutes or 2-3 hours not days) track the lost iPhone prototype and gets its GPS coordinates (using Verizon or AT&T) and send someone to immediately get it. Instead "someone" went to the bar to ask if there was reported a lost iPhone! This looks like Apple has not done almost any effort to protect, track, and recover its "prototype".

Reply Score: 1

Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

"If the police are literally just gathering information, with no suspect targeted yet, then a subpoena against a journalist would have probably been smarter than a search warranted that resulted in the front door of Chen's home being bashed in."

All they (journalists) do is shut their trap and claim the right to not reveal sources, etc. They are rarely cooperative.

Reply Score: 2

DA neglegence?
by bnolsen on Tue 27th Apr 2010 16:26 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

Getting a warrant and breaking down the door hopefully ends up being a bad mistake made by the DA. A subpena should have been made instead of what happened. Apparently the DA had been contacted the beforehand by gizmodo legal telling them to go the subpena route and *not* the warrant route.

At this point smack down on the DA should happen.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

that show information on a top secret project.

But the guy I paid $5000 to explained that the government wouldn't take his call so no theft has occurred.

I'll be breaking down the documents later in a blog post with my picture on it. With this kind of coverage I'll be able to make back that $5000 and then some.

Oh and I'll pay top dollar for government documents. Just make sure you have a story about trying to contact the government so I can't be prosecuted for purchasing stolen property. K thanks.

Edited 2010-04-27 17:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You really, really, want to equate top-secret defence information, on which countless lives may depend, to a prototype of something as fleeting as a cell phone?

Just... Wow. That's just... Sad.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

My example shows how silly his defense is.

Internal prototypes can be worth millions to a company. It's not just a random phone left at a bar.

The sad equation here is that people like you want to turn this into a case of poor wittle blogger when this guy knew that he was paying $5000 for a prototype that Apple would want back.

Then he broke it down and put his face on the blog. A total freaking idiot move that shouldn't be defended by anyone.

Reply Score: 2

abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

Internal prototypes can be worth millions to a company. It's not just a random phone left at a bar.


I'd really love you to show us thicker ones, how exactly is that so, esp. in this particular case, your personal believes aside, please. Also a more precise number then millions would help my understanding.

Someone tried to steal my car once. Failed to disturbed by a car alarm but broke the lock and damaged the door nonetheless. Police filed it as misdemeanor, after all the actual damage was just broken lock, well bellow the felony limit, right? I did not have to come up with stories of millions, the car itself would be enough, but I knew they have more important things to go after, plus I still had my car so it really was only about fixing it. Yet now I feel somewhat cheated as they can apparently throw themselves fully into a case.

Reply Score: 1

Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_goods (Yeah, it's Wikipedia, get over it.)

If the original person who "found" the phone contacted Apple and tried to return the phone w/o blackmail, and you have proof of that, I'd like to see it. Did he make a police report? Same question for Chen. If not, it's probably a felony and search warrants are defendable. I know I wouldn't pay $5,000 for a phone just to give it back to it's owner.

Also, we probably don't have all of the evidence, so everyone should chill. We should still be in the engage brain phase people.

http://gizmodo.com/5520438/how-apple-lost-the-next-iphone?skyline=t... soooooooo The guy who took posession of the phone, clearly tried to operate the phone, take pictures, check facebook etc. aka drive the car. I know if I 'found' a company car, lets say a city vehicle, and the first couple of people I called at the city put in a work order. I wouldn't sell the car. I'd talk to cops first, or a lawyer. Gizmodo buying a known 'missing' fleet vehicle so they could dissect it, then give it back would be a felony right? They didn't pay 5,000 to return an iphone, they paid 5,000 to dissect it.

Reply Score: 2

clhodapp Member since:
2009-12-04

I have a similar attitude to you in that I don't think we can come to any absolute conclusions yet, and I can't but help thinking that that $5,000 number is awfully ironic, but I do think that your last argument has a gap in it. Or more accurately, I answer your stated query with an "I don't think so...", since you seem to take for granted that that should be a felony. Since the damage of the deconstruction (apart from information dissemination, which is ultimately not an issue once the phone is out in public) can be undone with money, I think it's a civil matter.

Reply Score: 1

Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

I have a similar attitude to you in that I don't think we can come to any absolute conclusions yet, and I can't but help thinking that that $5,000 number is awfully ironic, but I do think that your last argument has a gap in it. Or more accurately, I answer your stated query with an "I don't think so...", since you seem to take for granted that that should be a felony. Since the damage of the deconstruction (apart from information dissemination, which is ultimately not an issue once the phone is out in public) can be undone with money, I think it's a civil matter.


Well I'd argue the damage at least 5,000. We'd have to work based on the value of the information at the time the act was commited I think. Gizmodo set the street value at 5 grand. Ironic.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Bounty
by Bounty on Tue 27th Apr 2010 18:23 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

I will say I find this confusing http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=33671

" Provided, however, That a government officer or employee may not search for or seize such materials under the provisions of this paragraph if the offense to which the materials relate consists of the receipt, possession, communication, or withholding of such materials or the information contained therein…"

Is that intended to enable journalists to buy stolen info so they can report on it? I'm sure I'm missing something here.

Reply Score: 2

comment by kedwards
by kedwards on Tue 27th Apr 2010 19:05 UTC
kedwards
Member since:
2009-04-25

Why is this being conducted as a criminal case? No proptery was stolen, just lost and later returned. I don't really see what the Police is trying to accomplish by siezing Jason's computers, all the evidence is on the web. The only thing I can think of is that they are trying to pin something else on this guy.

After reading all the information, Apple has enough evidence(all of which are on Gizmodo's own website) to try Gizmodo in civil court. Gizmodo harmed Apple by telling Apple's competitors what they are working on, nothing more nothing less.

Reply Score: 1

RE: comment by kedwards
by macUser on Tue 27th Apr 2010 19:13 UTC in reply to "comment by kedwards"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

Why is this being conducted as a criminal case? No proptery was stolen, just lost and later returned. I don't really see what the Police is trying to accomplish by siezing Jason's computers, all the evidence is on the web. The only thing I can think of is that they are trying to pin something else on this guy.

After reading all the information, Apple has enough evidence(all of which are on Gizmodo's own website) to try Gizmodo in civil court. Gizmodo harmed Apple by telling Apple's competitors what they are working on, nothing more nothing less.


Under California law, taking a lost item without taking proper steps to return it is theft. Items over a certain value need to be turned into the police if the owner can't be contacted.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: comment by kedwards
by nt_jerkface on Tue 27th Apr 2010 20:49 UTC in reply to "RE: comment by kedwards"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Especially when the purchaser knows who the owner is. Gizmodo knew the phone was not privately purchased and in fact an internal prototype from a nearby company. That's why they purchased it and it's a felony since the value of the phone is over $1000. Felony warrants for possession often result in a house raid, especially for computer related crimes.

Reply Score: 2

What REALLY happened...
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 28th Apr 2010 01:49 UTC
BallmerKnowsBest
Member since:
2008-06-02

This is all so obvious, Apple deliberately set Gizmodo up by getting someone to sell the phone to them. Why? Think about it! Gizmodo is basically nothing more than an outside marketing department for the iDevices, except for all of that unsightly coverage of products made by other companies.

But Apple can't buy Gizmodo outright, going into full-blown "Ministry of Truth" mode would probably put serious strain on the RDF. Now, though, they can sue Gizmodo until they have no money left, so Apple will end up with control of Gizmodo as part of the settlement.

....

What? It's just as plausible as the claims that "OMG MICOR$1~ (LOLLOLOLOL) is secretly funding Psystar to attack the GPL!"

Reply Score: 2

Dilbert's take on this...
by StychoKiller on Wed 28th Apr 2010 03:05 UTC
StychoKiller
Member since:
2005-09-20
What did they expect?
by robertojdohnert on Wed 28th Apr 2010 10:08 UTC
robertojdohnert
Member since:
2005-07-12

To be Apple to be happy? For Apple to give everyone at Gizmodo free new iPhones. buy a hot phone, then blog about it. Doesnt seem really smart in my book. Sorry Jason Chen and Gizmodo, you get no sympathy from me for what happened. I just have two words for ya, lawyer up.

Reply Score: 1

parrotjoe
Member since:
2005-07-06

In this long thread, I've found Morgan's comments to be especially both consistent and illuminating, a lot of it due to his law enforcement background (street smarts). I do think though that this is not something new. If Henry Ford had a new auto prototype stolen, the cops would have been all over it, just as with Apple today. Likewise, if I, at the same time, was working on something new in my garage in the slums and it was stolen, the cops would give it a number and forget about it. It is true, in our age of instant communication, the implications are even bigger than ever. But, this has pretty much always been the scenario.

Apple cannot lose in this situation. They have done nothing wrong and can go after the "wrongdoers". And, they've had another huge round of publicity for the iPhone. They do not have to save face or anything of that sort - this is publicity money cannot buy.

I know many will think I'm simply being pc here, but I would ask that people stop using the term "retarded" for stupid actions by persons or companies. People who suffer from mental retardation are not stupid. And, if you have a loved one or friend who is mentally retarded (I'm not even using the pc term "mentally challenged"), you too would wince every time you see that term used for some type of stupidity. I know no offense was intended. Thank you.

Reply Score: 1

Appholes
by flynn on Thu 29th Apr 2010 15:40 UTC
flynn
Member since:
2009-03-19

Jon Stewart did a segment on this last night titles 'Appholes'. Pretty funny stuff.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-28-2010/appholes

Reply Score: 1