Police Gets Involved in iPhone Prototype Leak

Officers break editor’s door open, seize computers

  A cropped picture of two police officers
The leak of a next-generation iPhone gained international attention when tech-site Gizmodo posted images of the device in question, along with the story of how they came into its possession. The Gawker Media-owned website reportedly paid 5,000 to get its hands on the prototype unit, but later claimed it didn’t know it had been stolen, at the time of the acquisition. Now, Gizmodo may have gotten more than it bargained for, as the police is now keeping close watch of one of its top brass editors, Jason Chen.

The tech-site itself reveals that, “Last Friday night, California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team entered editor Jason Chen's home without him present, seizing four computers and two servers. They did so using a warrant by Judge of Superior Court of San Mateo. According to Gaby Darbyshire, COO of Gawker Media LLC, the search warrant to remove these computers was invalid under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code.” It provides a scan of the documentation, as well as Jason Chen’s account of the events.

Chen describes the occurrence with an easy-going attitude, saying he had just gotten back from dinner with his wife on Friday night, when he noticed the garage door was half open. “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 even searched him for weapons or sharp objects as he stood with his hands behind his head, Chen relates. “The officers had a computer and they were cataloging all the items they took from my home. They told me they were here for a ‘few hours already,’ and had to break the front door open because I wasn’t hope to open the door. They said I could subsequently get reimbursed for that,” Chen continues to describe the events of Friday night.

The journalist was assured that he wasn’t under arrest or being detained. When asked to show a warrant, the police complied, Chen reveals. “Then they made me stand outside, with my wife, for another 30 or so minutes while they finished doing their sweep of the house for computers and taking and logging what they needed. When they were done, they loaded it all into a truck and left,” Chen says. Full story available here.

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By    27 Apr 2010, 07:55 GMT