#1 Gizmodo Computers Seized In Stolen iPhone Flap.04-27-2010, 11:57 AMApril 26, 2010 1:40 PM PDT
Police seize Gizmodo's computers in iPhone probe
by Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh
Police have seized computers and servers belonging to an editor of Gizmodo in an investigation that appears to stem from the gadget blog's purchase of a lost Apple iPhone prototype.
Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's office obtained a warrant on Friday and searched Jason Chen's Fremont, Calif., home later that evening, Gizmodo acknowledged on Monday.
In an article on Friday, CNET was the first to report on the criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the iPhone prototype and Gizmodo's acquisition of it, including that Apple had contacted local police. A San Mateo County judge signed the search warrant, which said a felony crime was being investigated, a few hours later.
"When I got home, I noticed the garage door was half-open," according to an account by Chen. "And when I tried to open it, officers came out and said they had a warrant to search my house and any vehicles on the property 'in my control.' They then made me place my hands behind my head and searched me to make sure I had no weapons or sharp objects on me."
Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press told CNET on Monday: "This is such an incredibly clear violation of state and federal law it takes my breath away. The only thing left for the authorities to do is return everything immediately and issue one of hell of an apology."
Dalglish said that the San Mateo County search warrant violated the federal Privacy Protection Act, which broadly immunizes news organizations from searches--unless, in some cases, the journalists themselves committed the crime. The 1980 federal law requires police to use subpoenas to obtain information instead of search warrants, she said.
Editors at Gizmodo, part of Gawker Media's blog network, last week said they paid $5,000 for what they believed to be a prototype of a future iPhone 4G. The story said the phone was accidentally left at a bar in Redwood City, Calif., last month by an Apple software engineer and found by someone who contacted Gizmodo, which had previously indicated that it was willing to pay significant sums for unreleased Apple products.
CNET has not been able to confirm whether the investigation is targeting Gizmodo, the source who reportedly found the iPhone in a bar, or both. Apple has acknowledged that the lost device is its property. Calls to law enforcement sources on Monday were not immediately returned.
04-27-2010, 12:35 PM
It wasn't stolen. I engineer took it to a bar and left it. Someone realizing that it wasn't a normal looking iPhone started asking around and Gizmodo heard about it and bought it for $5,000. Since the phone got returned and the whole event seems innocent enough, I suspect that this whole things is harrassment by the police on behalf of Apple.
Please don't shoot me
BSRGuest04-27-2010, 12:58 PM
BUYING, ACQUIRING, POSSESSING or CONCEALING
stolen property is a CRIME.
The crime of receiving stolen property occurs when a person buys or possesses property that has been stolen through theft, fraud, deceit, embezzlement, or taken by any other unlawful means by someone else.
The receiver of stolen property could be convicted if he or she knew the goods were stolen at the time of receipt and was intending to aid the thief. Here are some examples:
A person buys a luxury watch from a street vendor at a surprisingly low price
A person suddenly acquires an expensive TV, car and/or other high-priced items without having the financial means to do so
A person offers his or her garage for storing unlawfully acquired items
A person receives a copy of an unlawfully acquired private or unpublished document, transcript, deed, or other form of intellectual property
According to California Penal Code Section 496, conviction can apply to "Every person who buys or receives any property that has been stolen, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained..." or if a person "conceals, sells, withholds, or helps to conceal, sell, or withhold any property from the owner."
Depending on the value of the property in question and the discretion of the district attorney, this crime could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in California (also known as a "wobbler.")
Penalties for Receiving Stolen Property
A typical misdemeanor conviction, for property valued at under $400, is punishable by paying a fine and/or spending up to one year in county jail depending on how the judge classifies this punishment "in the interests of justice." The penalty for a misdemeanor conviction can also be increased if the defendant has any prior theft convictions.
A felony conviction for receiving stolen property or aiding a thief could result in being sent to state prison or county jail for up to 1 year. The prison term is based on the severity of the crime: the value of the stolen property and the defendant's prior criminal record.
Here is the penal code Link (new window)
a) Every person who buys or receives any property that has
been stolen or that has been obtained in any manner constituting
theft or extortion, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained,
or who conceals, sells, withholds, or aids in concealing, selling,
or withholding any property from the owner, knowing the property to
be so stolen or obtained, shall be punished by imprisonment in a
state prison, or in a county jail for not more than one year.
However, if the district attorney or the grand jury determines that
this action would be in the interests of justice, the district
attorney or the grand jury, as the case may be, may, if the value of
the property does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950),
specify in the accusatory pleading that the offense shall be a
misdemeanor, punishable only by imprisonment in a county jail not
exceeding one year.
04-27-2010, 01:00 PM
Please don't shoot me
BSRGuest04-27-2010, 01:05 PM
Dont get me wrong, Im no Apple Fanboy. But that was stupid of Gizmodo to do then give a step by step account of how they aquired the thing for money..
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