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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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 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: i dunno
by mckill on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:22 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: i dunno
by Morty on Tue 27th Apr 2010 02:46 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: i dunno
by wocowboy on Tue 27th Apr 2010 09:04 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: i dunno
by Soulbender on Tue 27th Apr 2010 15:39 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: i dunno
by bert64 on Wed 28th Apr 2010 10:14 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 Parent Score: 2