Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Sep 2011 21:47 UTC
Apple So, I kind of mocked this story yesterday, but today an interesting twist has emerged which puts the story in an entirely different light. This week, CNet reported a story about how Apple is working with the San Francisco Police Department to retrieve a lost iPhone 5 prototype. The police and Apple apparently traced the phone to someone's house, and showed up on his doorstep, threatening him and his family. The only problem - the SFPD has no record of any house search or of the case in general - raising the question whether Apple employees falsely impersonated the SFPD, which happens to be a serious crime in California. Update: While I was busy sleeping, the story changed a little bit, but it's still far too shady. After conferring with Apple, the SFPD now states four police officers were involved, and that only the two Apple employees entered Calderon's house. However, Calderon had no idea these two were private non-police people, since he claims they did not identify themselves as Apple employees. Had he known, he would not have let them search his house. So, update or no, Apple employees still impersonated police officers, and issued threats to intimidate Calderon into letting them search his house - without a warrant. I don't understand how people can just accept this sort of behaviour. Don't you have rights in the US? Update II: Perfect summary.
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not really a big deal
by mabhatter on Mon 5th Sep 2011 18:15 UTC
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There's another way this could go.... Apple could have contacted the DoJ directly and had the FBI crash down the doors with a proper search warrant, guns, and probably kill somebody. The family's "copper based" assets would have been seized as evidence of criminal industrial spying, never to be returned. As Apple would have pulled out all those stops for nothing, the Feds would find "something" to put somebody in jail for... just for wasting Apple and the Feds time.

So instead of doing all that.... Apple choose to have the police "escort" them while "requesting" they look for the phone... because retrieving the property was the goal, not arresting anybody. I'll venture when you compare stories that nobody from Apple's team ACTUALLY SAID they were police officers.. and no POLICE officers searched entered the home without a warrant. I haven't read any accounts to the contrary. Remember, Warrants only apply to CRIMINAL investigations... As Apple had not reported their device STOLEN the matter was not CRIMINAL but CIVIL and pretty much anything goes as this is just a dispute between private entities over a missing item.

The police did exactly what they are supposed to do... keep the peace. Sure Apple security employees "allowed their status to be misunderstood" but the courts have upheld that police can lie to citizens whenever they want, for whatever reason, many times. Police were there to make sure a physical altercation didn't occur, not to enforce any warrants.

I've used a similar situation to get my kid's bike back when kids stole it... the police isn't "investigating" they are there to witness the peaceful request being made... and of course the intimidation of "lying to police" doesn't hurt either as nobody wants police on their stoop.

In actuality this is how things should go down more often than not. Legitimately, filing a report of a "stolen" item before FORMALLY ASKING for it back is ABUSE of the legal system more that this was. What Apple did is how things should work, they presented evidence to the police, went with the police to "ask nicely", and then moved on.

There was a time when they were called PEACE OFFICERS and not police. Peace Officers are there to follow the law, not enforce the law... to keep fights from happening in the first place.

My opinion is that for Apple to have picked that house out using GPS and phone logs, and somebody just happened to be at the same bar as the phone? There's sticky fingers involved somewhere... maybe somebody's friend that went home or lived next door. Now that Apple has made plenty of noise, if the phone turns up somebody is going to jail for sure. As a prototype the phone is worth whatever dollar value Apple wants to attach... easily into "grand theft felony" range. Gizmondo gets caught with the phone this time and it's 10-15 in the slammer.

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