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April 26, 2010

Police seize computers from Gizmodo editor

Posted: 05:34 PM ET

The Gizmodo-iPhone saga continues.

Gizmodo, the technology blog that recently published details about Apple's next-generation iPhone after paying $5,000 to get its hands on the device, posted documents today showing that police raided one of its editor's homes.

A search warrant posted by Gizmodo says police on Friday seized computers, cameras, hard drives, business cards and computer servers from the home of Jason Chen, the site's editor who last week published details about Apple's unreleased smartphone.

The warrant, issued by a judge in California's San Mateo County, says police were able to raid Chen's home because they had reason to believe his computers were used to commit a felony. The warrant makes specific reference to the unreleased iPhone 4 and gives police the authority to look for e-mails and other documentation related to the gadget.

Gawker Media, which owns Gizmodo, published a statement saying the raid was unlawful because of journalistic protections. Chen works from home, so his house should be protected as newsrooms are, the statement says.

In an account posted on Gizmodo, Chen says he returned home from dinner to find police searching his house.

Chen, who apparently has not been arrested or charged with a crime, says his door was kicked down as part of the search.

For background, you can find Gizmodo's account of how the blog acquired the unreleased iPhone here.

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Filed under: Apple • iPhone


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Big Mike   April 26th, 2010 5:45 pm ET

That is total BS, how pathetic is Apple? Poor Jobs can't go down with a little self respect? This more than anything out there convinces me what a crapy company Apple is beneath all the shiney.


The W00Master   April 26th, 2010 5:51 pm ET

@Big Mike In California, any lost item that is found and not returned to the owner is deemed to be STOLEN and a FELONY.

Also, Apple did not call this in, else this would have been a CIVIL case. This is a CRIMINAL case meaning that the police did this on their OWN.


N R   April 26th, 2010 5:52 pm ET

How insane. The police are getting out of hand.
Apple obviously is paying the police.


Edison   April 26th, 2010 5:56 pm ET

This is not Apple this is the local District Attorney. A crime, from their point of view, has been committed and the D-A is pursuing it. Apple probably wishes the thing would go away, or perhaps not, but it isn't their 'call'.

Some years ago, Pepsi was offered the Coca-Cola recipe, for a price. They immediately called law enforcement. The former Coca-Cola employee was arrested and that was it. What they did not do was buy the recipe and then say to Coca-Cola,"Hey, we bought this recipe, is it yours ?" That would complicate things, just as it has for Gizmodo and Chen.

Gizmodo should have checked with a lawyer first. They had to have known this. They would have been told to contact authorities immediately. Instead, they did what they did and they're suffering for it.


BMP   April 26th, 2010 5:57 pm ET

Any thought to the idea that Mr. Chen did something stupid.

I find it amusing that he (or anyone) paid $5K for someone's lost (or stolen) product.

Yet, somehow, people are finding Apple to blame for this! Huh?


Lawstcause   April 26th, 2010 6:00 pm ET

@the W00Master – The police wouldn't have pursued this without a complaining witness and the only party that would have standing to be the complaining witness would have been Apple. Highly unlikely that anyone else initiated this.

Most police departments are not going to start an independent investigation this time of personal property crime (even if a felony) particularly when any DA's office will eventually plead this out to a misdemeaor if it gets that far.


Lawstcause   April 26th, 2010 6:07 pm ET

Just another note regarding whether this was initiated by the San Mateo County DA office on it's own. Apparently not, they were contacted by Apple to look into it. So there's your complaining witness.


Just Me   April 26th, 2010 6:15 pm ET

If the U.S. government found an electronic device owned by say a Russian, would the U.S. government return it or open it up and figure it out? So how is it any different? Get a life and accept it, what it comes down to is how big the dog is! The bigger the dog, the more power!!!


Peej   April 26th, 2010 6:15 pm ET

I don't blame Apple for doing that. I'm sure Gizmodo knew it was unlawful to buy the iPhone.


AcE   April 26th, 2010 6:24 pm ET

Sounds like Apple is throwing a fit. Typical of them. Hope Chen sues Apple for millions and wins. Total BS.


Noel   April 26th, 2010 6:25 pm ET

The problem isn't Apple gestapo tactics, or Gizmodo doing shady under the table deals... it's the fact that the Police in this country are totally on the payroll of Home Depot. How many more innocent doors have to be sacrificed in the name of serving these so-called warrants?


Hugh Jole   April 26th, 2010 6:34 pm ET

While I do believe Gizmodo was wrong in what they did as far as disassembling the device, and wrong for paying for stolen property – Jason Chen's house (office) should have been protected. I don't think Chen was acting alone though, and shouldn't face charges himself. His employers (Gawker the parent company) should be the ones held responsible if anyone should.

Apple shouldn't be bashed or trash talked here. If anyone spent millions of dollars developing a product and then had it displayed and dissected on an international stage for everyone and their mothers to see before they had a chance to make back any of those dollars, they would be ripping mad too and want the person who did it to be brought to justice.

I applaud the task force and DA also for doing their jobs, and protecting Apple here.


MB   April 26th, 2010 6:34 pm ET

The Apple employee who "lost" the phone claimed to Apple it was stolen. He is probably still playing that game because he doesn't want to get fired from Apple. Now, since it was stolen the DA is involved. I hope they find the apple employee is lying and send him to jail.


bec   April 26th, 2010 6:34 pm ET

Really?? Really?? The police are wasting time on this??? California is bankrupt!! Why don't the police spend time on catching actual criminals. Maybe if the Californian police would spent time on investigations that actually protect the public, then it wouldn't have taken them 20 years to find Jaycee Lee Dugard.


Hugh Jole   April 26th, 2010 6:34 pm ET

Noel...AWESOME comment btw. I actually laughed out loud.


Pooper   April 26th, 2010 6:35 pm ET

It is only a crime to retain a lost item if you do not take reasonable steps to locate the owner. Shortly after receiving the phone, the guy contacted apple and asked if it belonged to them, and promptly returned it to them. He did not retain the item past the time when he received notice of its true owner. There was no crime here, just uppity cry-baby Apple.


Brendan   April 26th, 2010 6:35 pm ET

Gizmodo didn't buy the device. They just paid for the opportunity to look at it. The guy who found the device called Apple to return it. The customer service rep the guy talked to didn't believe he had an actual dev iPhone and told him it was fake. So... no crime has been committed except by the raiding police. Their warrant was invalid. Chen is a journalist. You can't just serve a warrant on a journalist to gather information. Freedom of the press doesn't work that way. Apple = fascist


John   April 26th, 2010 6:37 pm ET

I'm no legal expert but I'm guessing the referenced law is not applicable if the items were used to facilitate a felony.


Tom Miller   April 26th, 2010 6:37 pm ET

@wooMaster, isn't it true that Apple could call it in as a criminal "situation" and have the police take it from there? The may not have, but wanted to clarify that. Also, I think a felony requires the item to be worth over a certain amount, as this certainly seems to be. Certainly a bogus overreaction by the police/DA/whoever, unless they thought there was going to be the kind of removal-of-evidence we see rich people doing when they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Sort of reminds me of the days when IBM would run amok chasing someone down (or CDC, or any of those large-iron folks). Or even the days when Seymour Cray wanted those first assembler manuals back... :)


woot   April 26th, 2010 6:38 pm ET

I wish the police would find the guy who stole my phone and kick their door down and ransack their place. Good to know that there is this much time and effort being spent OVER A PHONE!


Fletch Whipp   April 26th, 2010 6:38 pm ET

I just about roared laughing reading this comment by Noel!

....The problem isn't Apple gestapo tactics, or Gizmodo doing shady under the table deals... it's the fact that the Police in this country are totally on the payroll of Home Depot. How many more innocent doors have to be sacrificed in the name of serving these so-called warrants?


matt   April 26th, 2010 6:39 pm ET

Apple is just protecting it's R&D stuff and is probably after the guy who found it in the bar.


Tyler   April 26th, 2010 6:41 pm ET

I am sure that $5,000 plus legal fees is a lot cheaper than the commercials and advertisment space it would take to get this kind of publicity.


Schalken   April 26th, 2010 6:41 pm ET

Now all the people who claimed this was an Apple stunt - the same people who, in claiming this, ignored 10 years of apple revealing NOTHING outside of press conferences - will have to eat their words. Dimwits!


Realist   April 26th, 2010 6:42 pm ET

What Gizmodo did was completely unacceptable and criminal. That phone was private property and Apple has every right to pursue it's return at all costs. That phone represents millions and millions of dollars of Apple's "intellectual rights." What is wrong with people who do not understand this!?!?


MikeAZ   April 26th, 2010 6:43 pm ET

People just hate Apple. That is what these comments are all about. I mean they have to suck right? 'Cause their stuff works really well, integrates well, is unGodly popular, and most people plug their iphones or ipods into their Microsoft-esque PC. But because they don't own an Apple computer, they are not Apple customers.

If I spent Millions of dollars to design something, or heck just millions of dollars to do something, and somebody stole that from me, I would be pretty upset too. Who cares if Apple complained, YOU WOULD TOO. So would Microsoft (if they actually made something worth stealing information for). As much as I have seen of the Windows 7, it would appear to me that Apple has some legitimate complaints about protecting its products. Seeing as Bill Gates loves to take their ideas anyway. This time Bill doesn't have to wait until the product hits the shelves to reverse engineer it and call it his own.


Rob   April 26th, 2010 6:43 pm ET

If $5,000 was paid for the device then this isn't a news story. Journalists do not pay for their stories. However those seeking trade or technology secrets of companies do pay for source material. This is called espionage. I am not an Apple lover for the sole reason that I believe they maintain a closed product line that requires one to go to mother Apple for all. This limits innovation and raises costs. That said I do support Apple is one our Country's leading innovators and export engines. If we are to allow anyone to appropriate our technology under the guise of journalistic freedom we would be shooting ourselves in the economic foot, so to speak.


Chris   April 26th, 2010 6:43 pm ET

"The San Mateo police declined to comment, referring calls to Steve Wagstaff from the local district attorney's office. He told FoxNews.com that his office wasn't investigating Gizmodo or Chen yet - though they would if evidence of a crime were brought to light." (From a fox news version). Since when is a search warrant issued without evidence of a crime? What was the probable cause? I love Apple's products, but this is too far.

They are just having someone else do the dirty work because Gizmodo would not name the source.

They put "Think Secret" out of business by bringing up lawsuits. This time they needed a bigger stick. Sorry Apple, your employee screwed up and you want to take it out on the rest of the world; Maybe we should NOT want to see your products... would that not solve the problem. Keep it up and that is what you will get. I am appalled.


Henry no   April 26th, 2010 6:44 pm ET

the person who found the phone tried to return it to Apple but they refused. (OK, now the phone is longer Apple's property)

after Gizmodo bought if from this person, Apple contacted them and they returned it.

if was after all of this that the house was raided by a batallion of police.

not to mention, see what happens if you lose your cellphone in a bar, see if you can get a battalion of police to work for you, after it is returned!


Lance   April 26th, 2010 6:44 pm ET

Anybody still doubting that the US is on its way to becoming a police state? Here's more proof.


Lauren   April 26th, 2010 6:45 pm ET

I read the first article about Gizmodo, and read the blog on what happened. They did nothing legally wrong. As they had said, they didn;t know whether it were the real deal or not, did no damage, and called the appropriate people only to not be taken seriously. The situation was resolved, or appeared to be, as the device was returned to Apple, it had been remotely bricked, the only 'leak' was that it exists and the outer physical appearance. Seriously, police action? For what crime?!


Geeks Will Fall!   April 26th, 2010 6:46 pm ET

This investigation has NOTHING to do with Apple directly. It's the justice system kicking into gear. It's the police department and local DA that are realizing that there is something very odd happing with geeks and their ethic-less geek culture. They have to enforce the law.

From what I understand it, Apple is not necassarily pushing this, but I'm sure they also have to proceed with what is RIGHT.

The overzealous geek(s) at Gawker/Gismodo/Engadget, whomever they are, are, that fugly Chen dude in the video holding up stolen/lost property, may have broken laws and acted or supported criminal activity.

In months, years, you'll see a dramatic change in these geek-gossip sites and these dumbies will regret holding up at that point, a dated device and getting into trouble with the law over it.

If anything, THIS is an OPPORTUNITY to show kids, young adults, older adults, that geekery such as attaining lost/stolen prototypes, ANYTHING that belongs to some one else and NOT making a real attempt at returning it, is completely wrong. What an opportunity to parent!

Because these geekazoids ran with lost hot property like little schoolyard children when they find something cool.

The staff at Geekmodo simply acted like overzealous immature people with no ethics or professionalism.

And it's a mentality issue here. Geek culture is invading all levels of popular culture, we have movies that are made by geeks, comedies, music, video games, all of it has violence, stereotypes, racism, etc. etc. This is merely just an overflowing example of the kind of thinking geeks have.

I may be over reacting, but look closer.

At Gizmodo's website there is already posts and articles to make Apple look bad. Just look at how they are taking Woz's reactions to another iPad engineer's firings. They want to create public and geek community anger towards Apple which you can see in some of the posts here in this blog article comments.

Gizmeeko did wrong, period.

Apple is a very an important company to the USA and to it's world profile and economy. Chen and Gizgadgawker ain't going to sue anyone.


edwardo   April 26th, 2010 6:47 pm ET

Most of this misses the point: the press was raided in the thought that they had information (and in this case a device) that was not obtained through normal channels. It was known that they did not steal it, just bought it. It was also published that they said they didn't know it was stolen, would return it, and that Apple had agreed to this.

So I see 3 questions:
1) Do we really want to stop the press from reported things obtained through hidden or unusual means?
2) Is a published and internationally recognized blog any less 'press' than say a TV network?
3) Should the police raid someone who has agreed to return something they didn't know was stolen, especially if the owner has agreed to this?

Unless we answer yes to ALL of these then the police action was misguided at best.


Brewster   April 26th, 2010 6:48 pm ET

There is a tremendous amount of intellectual property in these products. Anyone who pays 5K for a phone knows what they are doing is not on the up-and-up. He should have reported it and the supplier and asked for an exclusive prior to release. Someone's actions could have cost the company millions, if not more. I hope they continue to go after people like this.


keith   April 26th, 2010 6:48 pm ET

WOW SCREW Apple, their guy looses a property and some guy finds it there is no law that saws you have to turn it in. It sucks that Gizmodo has been up front about everything and this is what happens! If the phone was that valuabel to Apple they never shoudl have let it leave their buildings. IT was lost plain and simple, then found by somone else. They bricked the phone before anyone coudl do anything with it so all they lost was some pictures of it. I hope this guy sues the police and wins!


mike   April 26th, 2010 6:52 pm ET

Want your door kick down....there's an app for that.


Gizmodos redaktørs hjem ransaget   April 26th, 2010 6:52 pm ET

[...] CNN har også en artikel om sagen. [...]


New iPhone - [TBF] - Teen Business Forum   April 26th, 2010 6:56 pm ET

[...] New iPhone The story just gets more interested: Police seize computers from Gizmodo editor – SciTechBlog – CNN.com Blogs __________________ Jack Connect with TeenBusinessForum on Twitter Connect with TeenBusinessForum [...]


anotarba   April 26th, 2010 6:57 pm ET

It's fine and dandy that people are sticking up for Apple for this incident but don't kid yourselves thinking that Apple doesn't do the exact thing to other companies. They know when to play the victim and when to play the aggressor... but what goes around comes around... Apple will one day be found for the crooks that they are... Think about all the money they are ripping the public off whenever someone buys one of their products that are definitely not worth the amount of money that they are charging... please an ipad for 700 dollars for the 64GB hd? i can get a 1 TB hard drive for under 200 now days give me a break....

Apple are just as much crooks as the gizmodo guys are for purchasing the phone... Gizmodo has always brought out the best from apple by giving them free advertisements, now if i was them i wouldn't even mention Apple at all.

Steve is a jerk, huff and puff now but i hope that Microsoft woops you a good one... i just wish that bill gates would put some funding to put the guy back in his place.


Dorkus Maximus   April 26th, 2010 6:57 pm ET

A lot of people here already seem to believe the Gizmodo story–the phone lost at a bar, the finder trying to return it to a disbelieving company. But that's Gizmodo's story. The police apparently found evidence to suggest that story doesn't wash. Judges don't give out warrants without probable cause.

Gizmodo is trying to hide behind the cause of journalism, but let the facts speak for themselves.

Apple haters also seem to think Steve Jobs is like Don Corleone, ordering the San Mateo police to shake down Apple enemies. This isn't the movies. It doesn't work that way in real life.


Geeks Are Goin' Down   April 26th, 2010 7:03 pm ET

Like Al Pacino in that scene with DeNiro in Heat...

"brotha... you are goin' down."

Just replace the "brotha" with "geeks".

The geek(s) who found it never made a full attempt at returning it. The bar would of been handed the device so when the owner of it called, they would of returned it.

I bet anything that the geek that called Apple saying they had an iPhone DID NOT MENTION it was special or a prototype. They could of gone directly to the Apple offices and said HERE! This is a PROTOTYPE! And Apple would of taken a closer look, who knows, you would of gotten a MacBook pro out of it or something. Idiots.

And NO geeks – Apple or Steve are not like Don Corleone, this is business and that prototype can endanger a company very important to this countries economy.

Again, geek mentality – trying to justify the wrong and demonize a company. Cowardly.


PlaneDude   April 26th, 2010 7:13 pm ET

@"Geeks Will Fall!"

Suffering from a bit of 'intellectual penis envy'?

Either way, thanks for giving me a laugh with your 'anti-geek' essay!

As for the phone, well, being employed in the military aerospace industry, it is their own stupid fault. Why? That device should NEVER have left their facility, and that is the end of the story. Apple can blame their employee for taking the device 'for a stroll', but in the end it is THEIR device as a corporation, and ultimately, the blame falls on them.

Any and all actions that occurred after the very moment that a 'secret' device left the door of their R&D facility, is a direct consequence of Apple allowing the device to leave the facility without adequate security and as thus the responsibility for all those following actions lies with Apple, and no-one else.


DVN   April 26th, 2010 7:13 pm ET

The whole guy leaving it in a bar thing was just a cover story, this phone was not left in a bar. Apple is one of the strictest around when it comes to protecting intellectual property, all new device testing is done in-house. This phone was smuggled out of Apples Foxconn ultra high security taiwan plant and smuggled into the united states, this is why the police are involved. It probably was not the first and/or the last and Apple wants to know who the mole is.


Scotty P.   April 26th, 2010 7:14 pm ET

that is such crap. Apple loses the phone, ask for it back, IT'S returned, and THEN they file a complaint. Nice you think anyone gonna do tat again??? I think not. Serve your warrant all you want. Sorry gee i don't seem to remember what i did with that new iPhone. Jail isn't so bad, and imagine all the free publicity i'm gonna get while i'm "doin' time."


Elle in WA   April 26th, 2010 7:15 pm ET

Come on, in order for Gizmodo to publish the story you know they had to fabricate a few details... I mean, if they didn't know (or suspect) it was the real thing, you think they would have paid $5,000 for it? Personally I'd like to know if any charges are being brought down on the guy who first obtained the phone??

Seriously people, think of it this way: You're sitting in a bar and the guy next to you has a sweet pair of sunglasses on. He sets them on the bar, then leaves. You pick up the sunglasses and see a little tag on them with the guy's name and a way to contact him (aka. Facebook App on the iPhone), yet you DON'T contact him. You DON'T leave them with the bartender for the guy to pick up later. You instead pocket them, and then later sell them. YOU STOLE THOSE GLASSES, then proceeded to sell said stolen property for a hefty sum. End of story. So I agree with the police here. The fact that the gizmo happened to be a secret Apple product really has nothing to do with the fact that it was blatant THEFT.


JohnnyInSNJ   April 26th, 2010 7:18 pm ET

At least we know the fate of the guy who lost the iPhone...Job's is having him whacked next week.

I really just lost all respect for Apple, and I'm having second thoughts about even touching this overhyped probably going to under perform 4G iPhuck.

I hope we find that Johnny Law overstepped his mark and gets his lower extremities sued off. As for Apple...well I had always wondered what it was that made hackers beat up Bill Gates so bad...at least now I see how it will probably start for Apple.


BC018384   April 26th, 2010 7:18 pm ET

"any lost item that is found and not returned to the owner is deemed to be STOLEN and a FELONY."

Are you slow woomaster? Guy loses a dog and I find it but it has no tags. Cops come up and arrest me because I stole the dog? And it's a felony? Brush up on your law before you speak in public.


Swoosh0217   April 26th, 2010 7:21 pm ET

What in the world Chen is thinking? Im sure he knows there would be consequences to what he did but didn't know that it was going to be a huge deal!

I know its part of journalism to get a hands on the new iPhone but do you really have to risk everything, pay 5k and go to jail? Common people its just a phone!

I think Apple is down playing this and Im sure they have a small part of whats going on.

I owned 4 generations of iPhone and I got sick and tired of it. Not because of the phone but what Apple is doing!

Im very happy with my Nexus one and 'm never looking back to owning and iPhone!


BB1970   April 26th, 2010 7:21 pm ET

Police Chief: "What did we find detectives?"

Detectives: "Well, about four terabytes of an Asian guy stuffing gadgets in his pants."

(you've got to be a Giz reader to get that)


Joe   April 26th, 2010 7:25 pm ET

Do any of you realize that this is all a big hoax? Apple is very good at creating a lot of drama around each major product release..


Coffee Haste » Blog Archive » Police raids Gizmodo editor   April 26th, 2010 7:28 pm ET

[...] Read article [...]


David G   April 26th, 2010 7:30 pm ET

Well, I was considering getting an IPhone when the rumored Verizon version comes out, but this is definitely off. I'll either stick with my Blackberry or get an Android phone. Apple is destined to return to the low, market share it's closed system, dictatorial tactics deserve.


JST   April 26th, 2010 7:33 pm ET

Thumbs down Apple!
You shouldn't bend the law and blame others for something you lost. I am getting a more and more a negative impression of Apple in the last year. So far I have been a customer, but lately I am getting tired. Apple is trying to put too much control into my life and other people's life. As a customer I have the right not to buy your products and if you keep doing things like this I will make use of it!
Enough said...


edwardo   April 26th, 2010 7:35 pm ET

Two more questions:

4) Gizmodo reported that they returned the unit to Apple. Is the warrant valid if it is reported that the 'stolen' device has been returned, thus cannot be there?

5) How can the warrant be valid if they don't also have enough to arrest the reported who reportedly had received the stolen property?


Apple's 4th-generation iPhone revealed - Page 3 - SatelliteGuys.US   April 26th, 2010 7:35 pm ET

[...] $5000 isn't enough money if you get your door kicked in by the police and they confiscate your computers and records. Police seize computers from Gizmodo editor – SciTechBlog – CNN.com Blogs [...]


Alejandro Londono   April 26th, 2010 7:36 pm ET

How can a fourth generation Phone be lost in a bar?
The only responsable is tha guy who took the phone out of apple's office and sold it, sorry lost it.
I thought new products were sensitive technology and were well guarded.


bbrjd   April 26th, 2010 7:36 pm ET

he knew he was in the wrong, too bad he was too stupid to realize it. Why pay 5000 bucks for something that does not belong to you? He is a moron and should pay the legal price for it. America is the single most letigous society on the planet.
when he gets out of the slammer, maybe his new career could be replacing doors damaged by the feds.


Jonathan   April 26th, 2010 7:39 pm ET

Chen disassembles iPhone.
Apple has police disassemble his Chen's house.

Just kidding. I don't think Apple is to blame here. Gizmodo bought the obviously iPhone (lost or stolend, doesnt matter) and instead of returning it, they destroy it for web traffic. He's not in trouble... yet


Cody (D.C.)   April 26th, 2010 7:41 pm ET

The shield law only applies to contempt proceedings. Meaning, it only protects journalists from being forced to testify or otherwise divulge their sources in court.

It has nothing to do with search warrants.


Mark C   April 26th, 2010 7:42 pm ET

*** Also, Apple did not call this in, else this would have been a CIVIL case. This is a CRIMINAL case meaning that the police did this on their OWN. ***

Uh, actually dimwit, citizens report CRIMES, resulting in CRIMINAL CASES all the time. A fact which is common knowledge to anyone above the age of, oh, 2. Except, apparently, you.


kelly major   April 26th, 2010 7:43 pm ET

the bottom line is that the phone was stolen. it was SOLD to Gizmodo for $5K, who is now guilty of receiving STOLEN property.
Kudos to Apple for standing up for their property, and any excuse from Gizmodo that they "tried" to give it back, is utter horse manure and totally underwhelming.

And those of you who so not want an Iphone, by all frickin means, DONT BUY ONE..

bunch of whiners most of you are...


Vienners   April 26th, 2010 7:45 pm ET

How some the feds are involved in this!!!! Steve Jobs can actually have feds attack any citizen he doesn't like? Can he really do that?

Are we in Iran or North Korea?


Mark C   April 26th, 2010 7:45 pm ET

*** The shield law only applies to contempt proceedings... It has nothing to do with search warrants. ****

Actually, Perry Mason, it most certainly does. Google shield law overturns warrant for example.


aRt   April 26th, 2010 7:45 pm ET

The question is is it even legal to do a search without first serving the search warrant to the defendant? From what the article is saying Jason Chen wasn't even at the house when they did the search.

Also, I wonder would they have did the same thing if it was the house of some rich white guy as oppose to the house of a geeky asian guy. Oh well, police will use any excuse to push the little people around for the smallest of crimes looks liek big crimes to show that they are "doing something", while the big guys gets away with murder and the big cases become cold cases.


Bbur   April 26th, 2010 7:47 pm ET

If something is stolen, it should have been returned to the owner. Simple concept. If you found a money bag with $500,000, would you not return it? The bills would all be indexed, and you would go to jail for not returning the money. Stealing is stealing. Someone stole the phone knowing it was not theirs, and Gizmo bought stolen property AND HE KNEW IT. Come on people.... get real. Stop defending the dude. Howwww about someone let us break into your house, steal your stuff, and then sell it to whoever. According to the logic some have used, this would not be a big deal.


George   April 26th, 2010 7:48 pm ET

Apple should sue the policy for this action. Going from positive free press down to a negative end by the actions of the police. Now the iPhone will be remembers for this pathetic ending.


Mark C   April 26th, 2010 7:49 pm ET

Some of you idiots seriously need to get off Steve Job's knob.


George Field   April 26th, 2010 7:49 pm ET

No more Apple for me EVER. Enough is enough. They are selling a phone – stop bulling people around. No more Apple – keep the lawyers and the Prima Donna’s away.


Michael   April 26th, 2010 7:51 pm ET

What everyone seems to forget is that Gizmodo returned the iPhone 4 to Apple. Not that they tried to give it back, but that they did.


newsfreek   April 26th, 2010 7:54 pm ET

At least we know FOR SURE that the new iPhone truly is the new iPhone. Excellent job Apple for confirming that.


Mark C   April 26th, 2010 7:54 pm ET

*** Do any of you realize that this is all a big hoax? Apple is very good at creating a lot of drama around each major product release.. ***

Do you realize that you are a cretin?


jjr   April 26th, 2010 7:55 pm ET

If I'm not mistaken, doesn't Apple have to agree to press charges here? Or can't they at least call and advise the DA's office they do not wish the case to be persued? I'm pretty sure Apple tried to play it down, and then Steve Jobs sat around thinking about it, got mad, and then decided to call and get this process started. Knocking the door down Rainbow Six style seems excessive.


Matt   April 26th, 2010 7:56 pm ET

What a waste of time and public resources (Our tax dollars at work). Whats the worst thing that can happen. Some guy sells it on E-Bay and makes some money. Run Forest...Run...


dane k   April 26th, 2010 7:56 pm ET

well this pretty much confirms the phone was indeed the real deal next version.


Bozman   April 26th, 2010 7:57 pm ET

Apple should worry more about keeping it's eggs in the basket instead of pulling this nonsense. What company especially Apple lets their employees roam around with prototypes.. I mean what do you expect? I wish the cops would raid someone's house after my phone is "stolen". Welcome to Socialism


Jim   April 26th, 2010 7:58 pm ET

Pigs on parade. Acting like the Gestapo. Zig Heil!


anna clark   April 26th, 2010 8:02 pm ET

If you find my car keys at the bar and find the car in the parking lot, you don't own my car. And if the bartender finds my car keys, he certainly can't sell my car to Bob the Bar Fly for $5000.


barfly2   April 26th, 2010 8:02 pm ET

Come on, man! No way that they acquired the phone that way. Seriously? I mean this dude goes out for a night of drinking on his birthday all by himself. He gets loaded and gets up to leave. Then he sets the phone (or the phone falls out of his pocket) onto his barstool and then he leaves. Some random good citizen sees the phone and then asks this other guy if it is his. He says no. Random good citizen says then it must be your friends phone, so take it and give it back. Man takes phone and then calls Apple. Apple blows him off and then he decides to sell it for $5k.

Not buying it at all.

First, how many people go out on their birthday all alone. Secondly, if you had no intentions of stealing it, you would of left it with the bartender and not sold it for $5k.


SoS   April 26th, 2010 8:02 pm ET

I love how most of the people here who say people are missing the point are in fact missing it themselves.

Here is a fact. Jason Chen nor his website would pay $5000 for anything other than the real deal. They knew what they were buying when they paid for it. Now the question is, did they know ahead of time or perhaps did they know after "the finder" let them examine it. In either case, they KNEW this belonged to Apple and it is officially stolen property.

It does not matter that Chen was up front about it. What he and his employer did are both unethical, and depending on how California law is written, illegal. A criminal with a heart of gold is still a criminal and should be held accountable ina court of law.

In reference to an earlier poster's comment, maybe if more parents would actually teach their children societal values we wouldn't be reading articles like this in the first place.


Tsg   April 26th, 2010 8:05 pm ET

This just confirms....I'll NEVER buy anything Apple. You know this was a staged event. Now they're just covering their tracks. Come on...you really think they're going to let a phone like that out in public with someone who's going to a BAR?

If this has truely been done by the D.A. rather than from an Apple complaint, then the law enforcement agency needs to be investigated. $11Billion deficit, and they're looking for a freakin phone that was returned?


Ricky   April 26th, 2010 8:05 pm ET

Wow this is getting out of hand.


Matt   April 26th, 2010 8:09 pm ET

Tsg, I like your comment.


Apple is lame   April 26th, 2010 8:10 pm ET

Down with the pigs!


el   April 26th, 2010 8:11 pm ET

So, I'm assuming Apple thinks the story of one of its employees accidentally leaving a prototype at a bar, which was then scooped up by this fellah is bogus.

Do they think they've got a mole, leaking information to Gizmodo?


AcE   April 26th, 2010 8:11 pm ET

You got are forgetting that the PHONE WAS RETURNED. Bunch of Apple retards in here.


Virgil   April 26th, 2010 8:13 pm ET

Freedom of the press DOES NOT!! allow a journalist the freedom of paying for either property and/or propriotary information released or unreleased to the public. Freedom of the press DOES NOT!! protect a journalism from committing crimes to fill the pages of their papers or websites. Chen committed a crime because he paid for stolen information. ITS CALLED RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY!!! AMEN for the police kicking down the door and taking all that they can take. Alot more journalists have hidden behind Freedom of the Press for too damn long and its about time they get whats coming to them..


Philly Mike   April 26th, 2010 8:16 pm ET

I love to read Giz and think this is awesome. You just can't buy publicity like this. Or maybe you can......hmmm.


Grayle   April 26th, 2010 8:17 pm ET

So let me get this right.. these geniuses talked about buying what they knew was stolen merchandise, in their article talked about how they called Apple and confirmed it was missing, so they proceeded to dismantle it, do whatever with it, and never return it???? brilliant...yes, press rights should totally allow you to steal whatever you want, flaunt it, and get away with it..lol what's really wrong with this country, stupid people, and then the ones that get angry at the company that just wanted their property back... Lets steal something unique of yours, put pics of it all over the internet saying where it is, and then tell you, you can't have it back, and see how you feel.


Joe W   April 26th, 2010 8:18 pm ET

yes the phone was returned but only after apples legal department contacted them which really does lessen the impact of them returning it.


Mark McKee   April 26th, 2010 8:18 pm ET

All you need is a judge who likes "wear" Apple technology, and a DA of the same faith, and they will visit the non-believers with furious vengeance, and protect der Fuhrer & the Cupertino fatherland.


YeahWhatever   April 26th, 2010 8:20 pm ET

See that! Don’t mess with Apple! We have two wars going on and a Nation on the verge of a finical collapse. Yet they can still make a call & get the storm troops to smash down your door. I fear we will never see the poor Chen again. By now he’s just chard remains like Owen Lors & Aunt Beru in starwars! I hope he had time to Photoshop up some pics of Obama before they grab his computer. What he should have done was smashed the phone & post that video on the Internet! Now that would have been cool! Anyway hey Apple bite me!!!


Robin Bray   April 26th, 2010 8:23 pm ET

This is what the Bush era did to your rights. Happy Now?


Lee Anne   April 26th, 2010 8:24 pm ET

"If the U.S. government found an electronic device owned by say a Russian, would the U.S. government return it or open it up and figure it out?"

Actually, when our British friends lost an Apollo splashdown test capsule in the 1960s and a Soviet fishing boat found it, it was thoroughly examined before being returned. When the US found a sunken Soviet sub and tried to raise it (it broke in two), we studied what we could recover, then returned the bodies to the Soviets. Both sides play the game.


Fellow Designer   April 26th, 2010 8:26 pm ET

In my opinion, it's very likely that Apple did have something to do with this bust, and call it what you want, but I agree. I actually saw the video last week and thought, "Dude, that's so jacked." As a designer myself, I can't tell you how much goes into designing something cutting edge, unique and different. I spend so much of my time doing this, and when I have people copy my design or reveal it prematurely, it makes me furious! All for what, hits on your website? I'm not a lawyer, but this should be some type of intellectual property law or something. I'm an Apple enthusiast too and was curious about the next generation. However, Apple makes their money by marketing suspense and excitement as much as the product itself. I'm sure it's probably written in their business plan somewhere. So what right does this dude have to spoil that? If he was smart, he would have sold it back to Apple with an unpublished blog....I'm sure Steve Jobs could afford to pay more than $5k.


darinc   April 26th, 2010 8:26 pm ET

Why is it, that anytime the police come down on anybody who has obviously broken the law, people start spouting off about them being "Fascist Bully Boys". I'm with Apple on this. They spend millions of dollars making sure the public gets a product that is slick, works great and revolutionizes an industry that was producing a bunch of poorly made crap that doesn't work like it is suppose to. Gizmodo was wrong. They broke the law, they knew that. Doesn't matter what you think. If protecting Apples intellectual property makes you run back to Windows, and all that other crap, then good riddance.


JoFRo   April 26th, 2010 8:28 pm ET

So sorry Mr. Chen. You should not do illegal acts. Your people knew it was stolen. I do not feel sorry for you. This is American justice if you don't like it let me show you the way out.


dave   April 26th, 2010 8:30 pm ET

this whole business is shady, how often do you see a prototype phone, "left" in bar, sold for 5,000 to Gizmodo, they figure out its a G4 iphone, give it back to Apple, meanwhile Apple making front page news. My question is HOW THE !@#$ DID THAT PROTOTYPE LEAVE THE R&D BUILDING. they give it to a guy who got drunk and forgot his phone. if u had a mutli-million dollar phone would you be more careful about it?


Frank Rizzo   April 26th, 2010 8:31 pm ET

Who cares, with all the crap going in the World, here were talking an Iphone man what heck is wrong with this country??


Wizzy   April 26th, 2010 8:31 pm ET

Ok, so if I drop a $100 bill with my name and my address on it saying if found please return to the rightful owner at the following address... and if they keep it I can sue them. This is a ridiculous law.

So I guess we're also going to be enforcing that crazy law, what in Texas, where its illegal to walk your pink elephant down the street!!!


Thomas   April 26th, 2010 8:34 pm ET

"Chen works from home, so his house should be protected as newsrooms are"
A. You work for a blog not a newspaper or news station.
B. You bought "stolen" property and released trade secrets. The law does not protect newsrooms from being raided by the authorities in this instance.

Any lost item when found, if not returned, is considered stolen.


Matt   April 26th, 2010 8:35 pm ET

I suggest everyone not to buy an i-Phone now, wait till the new one comes out in 3 months. I'll wait!


Buddha   April 26th, 2010 8:39 pm ET

R U people smoking crack? This is Apples call, no possible way the home is search or any criminal case happens without direct action by Jobs. This is sick, we dont live in a free country when corps tell us what we can and cannot do. STOP BUYING APPLE they are evil and buddha is watching. San Mateo County DA should be thrown in jail for taking the money. All you apple kissers can kiss my a$$


tristanavedon   April 26th, 2010 8:42 pm ET

I'm with apple on this one too.

I mean really, if a "journalist" (actually a blogger, not a journalist) is going to brag about receiving stolen property and then act appalled when the local DA gets zealous about it...you know...that's the price one pays. Legitimate journalists are harassed by law enforcement in this country all the time too, you know.

I agree with darinc, if this story makes you run off and decide to use a clunky, poorly designed, and horribly outdated system like Windows...so be it. Be careful what you ask for. I mean come on, if you're gonna boycott Apple, there are plenty of good Linux variants out there to choose from. What kind of geeks ARE you? LOL

This post was written from a 2 year old 20" iMac, running Snow Leopard...which doesnt crash, doesn't have driver issues, won't bog me down with malware and viruses, and take that Bill Gates...always works.


firedog   April 26th, 2010 8:44 pm ET

Apple is now the most powerful companys in the world. Remember lession#1 corporate america makes all the rules. We are just peasants no different than in the middle ages.


BIll   April 26th, 2010 8:44 pm ET

What ever happned to finder keepers losers weepers!? When is it felony to find something?


jeff   April 26th, 2010 8:46 pm ET

...OK...I am scared of Apple.


Clayton   April 26th, 2010 8:46 pm ET

I bet it was fun to kick down that front door though....


Bill   April 26th, 2010 8:48 pm ET

trista – My iMac is a great paperweight! However, it does a good job of running Windows XP on VMWARE. :)


Mon24seti   April 26th, 2010 8:49 pm ET

Have the prints already been sold to china?
If so why not wait till there version hits the stores?


Bill   April 26th, 2010 8:53 pm ET

The phone is probably made in China!


Mon24seti   April 26th, 2010 8:53 pm ET

Their version


Jeeeobboozoo   April 26th, 2010 8:53 pm ET

You know, if you want to lose respect for Apple, talk about App Store restrictions and that sort of thing.

When a website admits to paying $5000 for illegally appropriated tech, expect them to be investigated. Gizmodo bought stolen property. They broke the law and blogged about it. They're getting what they deserve.


Fred   April 26th, 2010 8:56 pm ET

So, why didn't Gizmoto just give it back to Apple. After all, once the news is out it really doesn't have any further value to them. Seems pretty stupid. It is apple's lawful property even if they "paid" for it.


Jim   April 26th, 2010 8:58 pm ET

All of we Amiga users in the '80s warned everyone how horrible Microsoft and Apple are and nobody listened. It would be nice if someone could still build a real computer these days.


1234   April 26th, 2010 9:00 pm ET

Some of you are just haters. There is no other way to put it. How can you hate on Apple when they have not done anything wrong? Something of theirs was stolen and the DA is trying to find some justice for them; whether they are looking for it or not. Don't bring your bias views in here just to express your dislike for Apple. Most of you are ill-informed and just plain ignorant...


diesel   April 26th, 2010 9:01 pm ET

AAHHHHH Apple is going to take over the world! You people are ridiculous. Chen has what's coming to him. It is so like our society to blame the police and blame Apple when really the person to blame is the one who leaked the information. None of us really know what is going on right now so quit acting like you do.


12345   April 26th, 2010 9:03 pm ET

Who cares?...It's a flippin phone! One with a crap battery to boot!


JSADEXEC   April 26th, 2010 9:09 pm ET

Dont do the crime, if you cant do the time!!!! Being a journalist DOESN'T give you CARD BLANCHE when it comes to breaking the law. PERIOD. This isnt an APPLE / PC / WINDOWS thing. This is plain and simply, theft. Ignorance of the law doesnt give the person the excuse to break it.


just pixels   April 26th, 2010 9:11 pm ET

Apple wanted this "investigation" to discourage journalists from digging out their secrets. I own several Apple products including MacBooks. But they are the last I will buy from a company that wants to convert its employee's carelessness into a felony for those who write about it.


12345   April 26th, 2010 9:11 pm ET

carte blanche...Didn't an employee leave the phone at a bar?


Dylan   April 26th, 2010 9:12 pm ET

Has Gray Powell been fired yet? I wonder if Microsoft sent him a fruitcake.


JSADEXEC   April 26th, 2010 9:14 pm ET

Sure he did, buying something that knowingly belongs to someone else is theft!


Anth   April 26th, 2010 9:14 pm ET

this is bull .. it's obvious .. apple is bad business


JSADEXEC   April 26th, 2010 9:16 pm ET

NO! Stealing is BAD BUSINESS!


Marshal Dan   April 26th, 2010 9:18 pm ET

First I would like to say, Has anyone heard of Industrial Espionage?Does or should anyone commiting a felony get a free pass? Since when does a "journalist" pay $5000 dollars, just to get an item to return it to its rightful owner. But in between take the item completely apart, catalogue all its internal parts, post them all over the NET and think he can just say "I'm protected because I'm a journalist". Get a brain people. Just because this happened to a large corp, does not make it right.


JSADEXEC   April 26th, 2010 9:19 pm ET

Well said, Marshal


Tim   April 26th, 2010 9:19 pm ET

So if I find an iPod on the ground, I cannot keep it? I have to leave it there or try to find its rightful owner? If not, I have to call Apple and ask them if they would like me to return it to them?
Is that the law?
And what if I call them and they think I am joking about finding a prototype, which is what is being claimed?


cackus   April 26th, 2010 9:20 pm ET

Between the DMCA and the new(but hidden from the public!) ACTA treaty the true innovators are being persecuted out of existence. If it wasn't for "hackers" we would never have:
The PC (he Jobs weren't you a hacker once?)
Cell phones :Packet"digital" radio was created by HAM radio guys in the "useless" spectrum that the big TV and radio people ignored.
The DMCA has been used to :

Prevent people from re-filling ink cartridges!
Stop devices for the BLIND and deaf from being sold.
Destroy decades of FAIR USE laws.
Attack our Library system.

Now we have yet more abuse of the fourth amendment.


Chris   April 26th, 2010 9:20 pm ET

Blogger fail. Sure appears this guy purchased something he knew was not right. The phone was obviously not where it was supposed to be, and he new full well what was going on. I do not feel sorry one bit. Trying make a name for yourself like this is foolish. Bottom line is the guy knew he bought a hot phone and published data related to that phone on the web which really makes him an idiot. So we all know his name, but it cost him at a minimum 5 grand, if not more in the future. Bash apple if you want but they have the right to protect their property. Had he simply found the phone it would be a bit different but the guy paid for it , that's just wrong.


Eric   April 26th, 2010 9:26 pm ET

Shame on Apple!


obormot   April 26th, 2010 9:27 pm ET

Apple should admit that they screwed up, and shut up. They are so greedy. Right now Cupertino school district is running out of money, asking parents to donate so their children's teachers won't be laid off. Is Apple helping? Hell no! If Apple is so rich why don't they donate 0.001% of their profits to save public school in their own neighborhood?


Will S   April 26th, 2010 9:27 pm ET

Lawsuit.


peteyboy   April 26th, 2010 9:37 pm ET

Jobs will be checking out soon anyways!


Eric   April 26th, 2010 9:39 pm ET

Don't have an iPhone, don't want an iPhone. And as for all the weenies who stand in line all night to get the latest whiz-bang gadget only to have the price drop $100 a month later, cry me river. I'm no fan of Apple, but when the first iPhone came out and all those weenies got mad over the price drop, Apple shouldn't have given them squat.


BIGMIKE   April 26th, 2010 9:41 pm ET

I call this KARMA! Gizmodo wanted to stick it to Apple, by showing off their prized baby. Morally this was not a smart thing to do, they knew of the importance to Apple, but did it anyways. If Gizmodo had contacted Apple, (& they know how to) & explained what they had come across, Apple may have thrown them a bone & given them the first legitimate opportunity to expose the new phone. Instead, out came the "greedy stick". They showed off a top secret device, & may have cost Apple millions in the process. Now enter KARMA. If you get enjoyment out of screwing people, prepare to get screwed!


12345   April 26th, 2010 9:42 pm ET

Petty Theft at best!


Stephen   April 26th, 2010 9:45 pm ET

I can't believe the people who find Apple to blame in all this.

Apple invests millions into product development, they deserve to have their products protected. A lost item, does not give somebody the right to keep it. The guy paid $5000.00 to another guy for an item that did not belong to him. How is this not a crime?

If any of you left your phone in a bar, does whomever finds it get to keep it?

This isn't school yard finders-keepers.

These bloggers profited off of information they had no right to publish. Now looks like authorities want to talk to them.

I'm tired of ethics falling away in this country, the property wasn't theirs. Period. Weather or not Apple has millions of dollars means nothing.

We need to get back to right and wrong.


12345   April 26th, 2010 9:46 pm ET

I think everyone is missing the point here...They both make out like bandits with the free advertising. This will eventually blow over and no one will care but until this happened I had never heard of Gizmodo.


Stephen   April 26th, 2010 9:50 pm ET

Not missing the point at all.

We can't have morals and laws willy nilly.

Theft is theft.

People need to put themselves into the situation and think how crime would effect them at home or on the job.

not so funny then.


PPH   April 26th, 2010 9:53 pm ET

Get the facts straight. He got a product that Apple denied existed. The guy that found the iPhone was ignored by Apple when trying to contact and return the product. (Thus Apple denying it is theirs) Nothing wrong with what Gizmodo did in trying to purchase and validate if this was a fake or real product. Plus the point of the story is that Police did not have the right to search and obtain materials from a newsroom/ journalist.


Greg   April 26th, 2010 9:54 pm ET

@TheW00 – Felony theft depends on the monetary value of what you stole.


Anthony   April 26th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

This is soooo crazy! Everyone should take a look at the California Shield Law. Go to section 1070 subsection A. Thats got to protect him, doesn't it!? As for Apple, more like Jobs, grow up! Its your own fault that the prototype iPhone was reviled in the first place! You should choose more wisely who you allow to go around town field testing your products. Just suck it up, admit that its the next iPhone and start on the 2011 iPhone and do a better job keeping it a secret! Also, if you fired the kid that lost the prototype iPhone that even shows lesser of you...Mr. Jobs.


Ryan Maguire   April 26th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

@Thomas – Blogging, for some, IS A JOB. Just because they don't have fancy $15,000 cameras or a 25,000 sq ft headquarters does not mean their job is worth any less.


Gill Bates   April 26th, 2010 9:58 pm ET

I honestly think this entire episode, even this part is an attempt to garner publicity for this product. Why pay good money to advertise something when you can get it done for free? You pay a little to a geek website to act like they happened upon this thing. This story was carried by news organizations all over the world. How much was that worth to Apple? A ton, take my word for it. This is just phase 2 of the advertising campaign. Nobody will do any jail time, mark my words.


12345   April 26th, 2010 9:59 pm ET

Gill...Words marked and I agree!


Mat   April 26th, 2010 10:09 pm ET

iPhuck Steve Jobs!!!

Police dont go around kicking in people's doors for $5000. If they did, every car ever stollen would be returned within days. This is Apple pulling the strings of the local DA, period end of story. They are probably trying to sweat Chen for the seller so that they can get to the leak. ( I agree with DVN that this phone was probably smuggled out of an Apple location).

In the end I hope Chen and Gizmodo sue the A$$ off of the police, the DA and Apple.


Scully   April 26th, 2010 10:15 pm ET

From previous articles:
1) the device was not stolen;
2) it was returned to the rightful owner;
3) Gizmodo did not possess the device long enough to reverse engineer anything;
4) Gizmodo had no non-disclosure agreement with Apple.

Further to 3, Gizmodo is at least knowledgeable enough to know that reverse engineering in some instances may be a crime.

The short term optics are that there has at a minimum been a First Amendment rights violation. This could have been handled better.


Eric   April 26th, 2010 10:15 pm ET

Apple? The police department needs to be sued. Not to mention, whether it was on accident or not, Apple released the phone in public on their own. I know in the Army,even if someone actually steals something from you (which is not the case here), if it is discovered that you left the item unlocked / unsecured (lost?) then you are just as guilty. I think any law enforcement action that clearly puts the rights of the corporation over the rights of the individuals has to be examined closely. These type of things rarely happened but are common now comming off the take all you can get your hands on "capitalism" introduced by the Bush regime.


Mr Burleigh   April 26th, 2010 10:16 pm ET

I just started getting to the point were Apple is (was) winning me back, but this is just crazy. What is Steve Jobs thinking??????


Steve   April 26th, 2010 10:18 pm ET

Mat: it is not the $5,000 that gizmodo paid to get the phone. It is the millions of dollars of lost sales that is the big concern


MB   April 26th, 2010 10:19 pm ET

There are people getting kidnapped, car jacked and murdered and the police don't do anything and here is a case where Apple loses a phone on its own and a guy's door gets kicked down... Steve Jobs – GIVE ME A BREAK!


GuestCreep   April 26th, 2010 10:20 pm ET

If Mr. Chen did in fact purchase a stolen prototype, I hope he loses his shirt in the deal. He knew very well that the new iPhone was stolen. Read his blog, he admits to having examined numerous fakes over the years. He had an obvious interest in publishing the pics before anyone else. Now he's crying about what is or isn't legal? Who cares. Own up to your deeds, little cry baby!


envelopepush   April 26th, 2010 10:23 pm ET

This guy should be put to death for showing America a product before America is ready to see that product. Off with his head.


JM   April 26th, 2010 10:24 pm ET

This whole thing sucks. Apple sucks for calling the police about something someone tried to return to them. The police suck for kicking in the door and making up probable cause. But I find it hard to believe that Gizmodo did anything wrong. Gizmodo will likely be vindicated in the end, and probably win some lawsuits, too. We don't have a Gestapo. Journalists are allowed freedom of speech. Apple wouldn't accept Gizmodo's return, so Gizmodo did what I would have done. I would have taken it apart, too, just to see where it came from.


Steven3325   April 26th, 2010 10:29 pm ET

Great PR there Apple!!!! Ya'll are looking like jerks for this.

I wonder if they are torturing the guy who lost the phone in the first place, down in some basement of some secret Apple facility?


Dave   April 26th, 2010 10:31 pm ET

I think the California penal code might need some revision with the advent of journalists working from home, at least if this is to set any precedent.

However, Gizmodo are not in the wrong; there's no way to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Gizmodo had knowledge the device was stolen prior to purchase. The only way to determine its authenticity is to tear down the product and certify that the components are from the manufacturer itself.

Consider these four points:

1. Did Gizmodo pay good money for this product based on a strong belief that it was the legitimate product? Yes.

2. Could this product be considered stolen under California state law? Yes.

3. Without dismantling the product, was there any way that Gizmodo could have concluded the product was indeed 100% legitimate prior to purchase? No.

4. Without determining the authenticity of the product, was there any way for Gizmodo to determine that it was stolen from Apple? No.


AppleNaziNotLIker   April 26th, 2010 10:32 pm ET

Good lord, kicking in the door? Searching for what? Jobs is a little Nazi. Makes me feel like chucking the iPhone for something . . . less fascist.


Steven3325   April 26th, 2010 10:33 pm ET

I foresee a lawsuit coming and Apple may pay dearly...instead of using this as a free advertisement of a new iPhone. Obviously the chief exec's at the company don't know how to spin stuff in their favor. Small minds...small minds.


Mat   April 26th, 2010 10:34 pm ET

Steve – where is the evidence of lost sales? they haven't released it yet so they have no sales. no sales data. nothing. $5000 is the threshold for Grand Theft, meaning a felony. That is the stated value of the object in question on the free market and therefor is the basis for the complaint.


Adam   April 26th, 2010 10:38 pm ET

Gotta love all the armchair attorneys on CNN...


Joe   April 26th, 2010 10:38 pm ET

Just move all your internet servers and data storage to Canada. Not a big deal.

Joe
Sent from my PC


Jace   April 26th, 2010 10:43 pm ET

Gizmodo may have broken the law here, case closed. To blame anyone but the responsible party, ie, the person who broke the law is asinine. Apple may have complained, but the fact is, enough evidence was available for a judge to sign a warrent, we'll see if charges are filed.


Jeff   April 26th, 2010 10:43 pm ET

Whether this was Apple or the District Attorney doesn't matter to me. The fact is that I am in the market to upgrade my current phone to a new smartphone and all this has done is sullied me against Apple. I think I'm headed to Verizon for the Droid by Motorola.

The PR on this is a black eye to Apple and whether they are behind it or not, they may to step up and say something.


realistic   April 26th, 2010 10:45 pm ET

Surprisingly, or not, every screaming moron with a keyboard seems to think intellectual property is not owned property in the U.S. Let us say that some giant corporate company came up with a great product that was going to be successful, i.e. create jobs, economic gross product or even maybe worse, profit. A competing company, less creative wanted to steal that product and produce it at their own. Worst case scenario, it's a competing company outside of our borders where too much money is already flowing. The original developing company lost money, jobs, and even the little guy day-trader lost life savings on a bet that their new product would provide his or her nest egg. Would we all be screaming "gestapo tactics" or why didn't the government save us? There seems to be a lot of overeducated or under experience people (or vice versa) comenting here without realizing the impact of corporate espionage.


Don   April 26th, 2010 10:45 pm ET

Who didn't see this coming? Jobs is a Nazi-like bully. Of course this was going to happen. It was only a matter of time.


Mike   April 26th, 2010 10:45 pm ET

I'm pretty sure he actually returned the iPhone after a phone call, where is the crime in that?


Dave   April 26th, 2010 10:45 pm ET

You could look at it from a perspective of industrial sabatoge, as well.


Silas Scarborough   April 26th, 2010 10:52 pm ET

A bunch of people will say they'll get some other type of phone now. They're just plants. Anything for a buck...


Jeff R   April 26th, 2010 10:54 pm ET

WOW– we use the resources of almost bankrupt California to track down a lost i-phone but we can't ask someone to prove that they are a US citizen.....MMMMM Now I see why California is almost bankrupt?????

Maybe California should look at Arizona and see all the money they will save on social services when they have less illegals..–more of them will now come to CA.... Oh wait you would rather track down the super secret I-Phone for Mr. Jobs.

Great use of resources...


darkaxel   April 26th, 2010 10:57 pm ET

If someone wants to claim journalistic protection, then maybe they should go to journalism school, and pony up the cash for THAT, instead of running to a blog. A blog is the electronic equivalent of a group conversation, something that is NOT recognized as journalism. The fact that the Internet makes a blog available to a larger group is irrelevant.

As far as the search warrant goes, the police tend NOT to release all of the information behind their procedures. Perhaps Apple has some proof that the phone wasn't "found", but was stolen by an Apple employee FOR Mr. Chen, who paid the employee to do it. Who knows? Making blanket statements based on a statement by the alleged victim of false prosecution is not only irresponsible, but just plain stupid. If there was a crime committed here, it will come out in court, even if the guy beats the charges. If Mr. Chen acted in good faith and had no illicit intent, then I hope he sues and gets all the money he deserves.

I'm sure there is MUCH more to this story than has been released in the press.


John   April 26th, 2010 10:58 pm ET

Wow, shame on Steve Jobs... Resulting to thuggery, one MORE reason to NOT buy an Apple device.


Pointless1   April 26th, 2010 10:59 pm ET

I'm not a lawyer but I play one on the computer.. LOL


Jeffrey   April 26th, 2010 11:01 pm ET

How much did Apple donate to the DA's campaign fund in the last week or two? That would be a nice little ethical investigation for the DA, or as it's called by law, bribery.


Kojo Boateng   April 26th, 2010 11:05 pm ET

Steve Jobs reminds me of an African dictator controlling and vindictive what a punk. I love Apple products but this is some BS


gizfan   April 26th, 2010 11:07 pm ET

Remember that old Apple commercial that portrayed IBM as this big monolithic scary government gestapo company with jack booted mentality. Funny how now Apple seems to be that. Sue intimidate and threaten anyone who stands in your way. If I were Microsoft I would run that commercial and put the word Apple on the guys back in the commercial. Apple has always been my way our screw you. They always adapt new technologies last. I know they wait for them to mature. I guess now that HDMi has been out three years it's matured Oh wait it's the same.


Tack   April 26th, 2010 11:13 pm ET

The big picture is, with this being all over the air Apple is going to have to work harder to get a new product in because no big companies that compete with them know what they have to do in order to make a bigger and better property... Although, I think it is a little extreme that they ransacked the guys place, but Apple is very much "screwed" right now


AJ   April 26th, 2010 11:14 pm ET

After reading a number of these comments, I am amazed how many stupid people there are with computers. Keep up the stupidity people! Keep on assuming and making things up. Makes for good stories.


Mike from Vashon   April 26th, 2010 11:14 pm ET

Gawker paid $5000 for the prototype device. It is clear who it belonged to. It appears clear from the evidence that Gizmodo published on its web site that they thought it was a prototype iPhone with characteristics superior to currently available devices. California law is very clear regarding what should have been done with the device.

I believe law enforcement should give Chen the benefit of the doubt with regard to normal rights afforded the press. They should not have raided his office.


crimprostudent   April 26th, 2010 11:17 pm ET

@Edison. This is the local DA's doing? are you kidding me? A house raid with the door being kicked down OVER A STOLEN PHONE? Please. There is no way that this would happen unless some serious pressure had been applied by Apple. The local DA would not have even known about this story.


Steve J   April 26th, 2010 11:19 pm ET

Down w/ Gizmodo! Those guys are a bunch of snobby geeks, anyway, threatening to ban people who criticize their own views in articles, etc. They're like the Fox News of electronics sites...well, not THAT bad.


Steve   April 26th, 2010 11:20 pm ET

Mat: The value of that device is different based on who you talk to. For the guy that stole the phone, and tried to sell it to various media outlets, it was worth $5,000 and that is what gizmodo paid for it. To Apple, the company that has invested years of research and millions of dollars in that device, the value is considerably a lot more than $5,000.

Determining lost sales is very difficult to do. They could take the trends over the past few months and compare that to the number of phones sold between now and when the new iPhone is released.


gizfan   April 26th, 2010 11:20 pm ET

My Iphone was stolen and when I called the police they didn't kick anyone's door down hell they didn't even come out and file a report. I had to go to the station to do that. Guess I don't have millions. DROID all the way better anyway and I have owned both. Apple's hardware is substandard. They have the Apple name they don't need to be the best.


DM   April 26th, 2010 11:20 pm ET

Here's a few things to consider:

Possession is 90% of the law.
Said device was bought for $5000.
The person who sold it found it, and attempted to return it.

Failure to claim the device is tantamount to forfeiture of ownership.
The new owner of the device sold it.

So, ownership and transitions went as followed:

Apple –Forfeit–> Bar Dude –Sold–> Gizmodo


JulieW   April 26th, 2010 11:23 pm ET

I hope Gawker gets SUED and destroyed!!!!! I feel bad for Jason though - it was Gawker who bought it... not Chen.


Alex   April 26th, 2010 11:25 pm ET

If the ownership of a device is unknown, it's definitely not illegal to have purchased it, especially considering that he returned the device as soon as Apple requested.

The police will probably face a lawsuit for breaking with existing law (and they know none was broken) and precedent, and I hope lots of people lose their jobs for it (and a certain judge should lose his as well!).


Sonny75   April 26th, 2010 11:25 pm ET

illegal, maybe!! Gawker is stoked no matter what!! any press is good press for his business!!


Vince   April 26th, 2010 11:28 pm ET

THIS IS A CELL PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is the big deal? Apple is getting amazing coverage for this and doesn't have to pay a cent.

BTW...I think I had my phone stolen as well. Can anyone please set me up with that DA. I have a few people's houses I'd like torn into.


Steve   April 26th, 2010 11:30 pm ET

Dave: You stated there was no way of knowing if that phone was stolen or not. How would you explain some guy being in possession of a device that has not been made public yet, and attempting to sell it to various media outlets ?

Do you wonder why, of all the media outlets that this guy contacted, that gizmodo was the only one that took the chance of publishing the pictures. Do you think maybe some of the more legit media outlets like CNN, MSN, etc all knew that messing with stolen property was not a good thing to get involved with ?


Pointless1   April 26th, 2010 11:32 pm ET

The ownership of the device is and was known to anyone who has a BRAIN.... The amount of stupidity on this board is amazing.


Jonathan   April 26th, 2010 11:35 pm ET

LOL@Noel and the Home Depot comment! I really enjoy your perspective. It was refreshing and made me pee a little from laughing so hard. Thanks!


kaz   April 26th, 2010 11:37 pm ET

I find it offensive when those critical of Apple on this issues are dismissed as Apple haters. I think it is more a matter of the defenders being apologists who cannot see clearly when it comes to their "state religion' Apple. I guarantee if Microsoft were accused of the same offenses, the Apple true believers would be screaming bloody murder about corporate bullies using the police to do their dirty work. It appears that Apple is in danger of morphing into the corporate monster it used to seem an alternative to. For the record, I bought my first Apple computer in1987 and am typing this comment on my current one.


Steve   April 26th, 2010 11:39 pm ET

DM: The person that found it did not make an attempt to return it, that is just a story that they made up. The person that found it was in possession of the phone for about a month.

Why didn't he send pictures of the phone to Apple as requested instead of sending pictures to media outlets ?

Why didn't he contact gray thru his facebook page ?

Why didn't he notify anyone at the bar that he had the phone and to let them know how to contact him to retrieve the phone ?

Why didn't he just go to Apple headquarters which is just a few miles away and show them the phone and ask to speak to someone in upper management ?

I think the guy that "found" it knew it was a prototype of a new iPhone, he had no intention of returning it. Instead he tried to make money off of it by trying to sell it to various media outlets.


Mike   April 26th, 2010 11:39 pm ET

While I have no specific sympathy for or against Jason Chen, my question is a more pragmatic one.

Ok, we all know he paid $5000 to gain access to the iPhone 4G prototype, that the money was paid to an unauthorized 3rd party, and that ultimately the phone was returned to the rightful owner, which of course is Apple, Inc., itself.

Perhaps it is standard procedure but does it really make all that much sense for the District Attorney to make an example of someone like this, particularly when they're a member of the press, and when clearly there was no intent to "steal" this object in any conventional sense of the word? Let's assume (I know what Benny Hill used to say about assuming) for a minute that Mr. Chen has no other illicit property in his home, and that the only other materials they'll find are those things which logically would go along with what he's posted (that is, the text of his blog post, his original video, any photos he took, emails, etc.)

What exactly is it they're going to charge him with? He doesn't have the phone any longer, and that's been established, so they can't charge him with possession of stolen property. There is, based on his actions, no obvious motive to re-sell the device, nor to reverse engineer it or disassemble it. He's only a member of the media, not a manufacturing concern.

It seems to me that this should be more properly a civil matter and not a criminal one.


Michael from South Carolina   April 26th, 2010 11:39 pm ET

If I'm in a bar and find a $20 on the restroom floor , Do I hand it over the next morning to the bank? Pardon me I found this and it has the US govts name on it so I was wondering If I should return it here at your federal bank? You know I wouldn't wanna get appled lol!
Seriously folks theirs more than meets the eye here! They're taking dudes pc and servers and harddrives etc etc etc..... These items weren't found in the bar. However these items could tell police if bar story was a front, and if there was a deal arranged by a disgruntled apple employee to sell Apples technology. Which would be against Federal laws that protect patents and their companies. The real criminal is the employee that took the phone outside the company , which Apple would not allow! Also why would a reporter disassemble the phone? hmmmmm theirs more to this I'm sure!


Guy Kimble   April 26th, 2010 11:41 pm ET

Why didn't Apple just ask for the Iphione back? DUH!


mike   April 26th, 2010 11:49 pm ET

yo yo what a retared i would of sold that crap to like sony ,lg,microsoft,just to name a few he would of easly got like 20k


RedPunch   April 26th, 2010 11:52 pm ET

re: Noel – Excellent tangent, mate. Laughed loud and hard. Thanks!

For all those out there, Gizmodo posted their opinion... They did not check to confirm if the phone was stolen or lost. They took the word of the seller that it was 'lost'. So, the article Gizmodo wrote was their point of view only. There was no proof if Gray lost or had it taken from his person. Only Gizmodo's perspective.

As for believing whatever the website considered facts, the truth was revealed once the details of how the item was obtained. The seller became anonymous and the owner was broadcast globally online.

What to do, what to do? Obviously, Jason needs steel doors, or invest in Home Depot stock. Heard it went up earlier. Must've been Noel's advice... Time to define what it takes for a blogger to become a real journalist. Double edged sword? Two more days and we'll know, won't we?


Jason B.   April 26th, 2010 11:53 pm ET

Is this how California handles EVERY theft case or should I assume that they are being a bit hard-core because of the business clout that Apple has in California? Because the next time I lose something, I would like to have a full police tactical team showing the same level of intensity for me that California is currently displaying for Apple.


James   April 26th, 2010 11:54 pm ET

Actually over on Foxnews it was announced the lawsuit was brought to the police by the guy who lost the phone and not steve jobs....


Tommy   April 26th, 2010 11:59 pm ET

When will enough be enough not only have we become a police state in which the police can do as they see fit, destroy property beat up, make false reports and sometimes even Kill, Now we give Corporations the power too because its their dirty money that pays for the perks and that keep those pigs so fat.
I am an apple IPhone owner but will never buy their product again.


Mike   April 27th, 2010 12:04 am ET

@ Jason B.:

Yeah, that's a good point. Of course, we all know the police don't give a crap about something unless there's glory to be had, money to be made, or their feet are being held to the fire. (Frankly, sometimes it takes all three.)

On the other hand, Jason should be glad he works for Gizmodo and not Foxconn, otherwise maybe the article we'd all be reading today, boys and girls, was how they found Mr. Chen dead from an "apparent" suicide.

Sheesh...


Tommy   April 27th, 2010 12:06 am ET

And the looser who lost the phone should also loose his job, Its because of idiots like that that we have to worry so much about National Security, i mean when people like that are given a responsibility and they drop the ball and then want to yell fowl when the ball ends up in the wrong hands.
He should be sued for being such an idiot.


Hawkeye   April 27th, 2010 12:08 am ET

If this is true then Apple has reached a new low. I am getting rid of my kind of cool, but not a Blackberry iPhone–partly in protest against the hubris of Apple, but mostly because I want a phone that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to operate when I am out of the country. I know there is a legion of avid Apple fans out there, some are in my family, but I am most definitely now one of them. I just don't like the company, period.


shawn   April 27th, 2010 12:11 am ET

I hope that Apple takes action against the police! I will surely never purchase an Apple product again after reading this Dog crap! Clearly the big Dog has the big paw in this situation! Congrats Apple, you have just lost another customer! So if any Apple Fans have anything to say, go make Apple sauce instead!


Joe   April 27th, 2010 12:11 am ET

I'm frustrated for Apple's sake. Think about it. They (like any other company) develop things in secret until at a planned time they decide to announce it. So, a prototype is lost and gets turned in to Gizmodo who buys it (first wrong). Then they don't only take pictures of it an postulate, but they open it up (second wrong). Companies thrive on trade secrets and someone just divulged a huge amount of stuff not only to potential rivals, but to the world. Current iPhone sales will slump off and Apple's only going to get more tight lipped from here. Gizmodo knew whose property it was. The rightful action would have been to simply return it. But now they're going to be on the outs with Apple.


Tommy   April 27th, 2010 12:13 am ET

Oh wait... that's right we live in California where its a melting pot for corruption, greed, and crooked cops. If Apple was as aggressive in helping people who bought Iphones and IPods etc... provide and aid authorities in helping to recover these items as they become stolen then I may have a bit more sympathy for them.


I feel sorry for Apple   April 27th, 2010 12:14 am ET

It's lame that they can work hard, probably spending millions on a publicity campaign for their device, and then somebody leaks the device to the media and all of that is for naught. I support some level of enforcement of this. It's basically intellectual property, like playing someone's music online before they released an album, without their permission. I'm with Apple on this one. This thing probably cost them a fortune to market but the first people to talk about it are someone who got it through possible illegal means, telling people what he's figured out about it.


Devyn   April 27th, 2010 12:14 am ET

The uproar that has already commenced from this waste of resources is pretty much proof positive that the DA would never have initiated this without pressure from Apple.

Those says "It's CRIMINAL, Apple didn't start it" are completely clueless. Someone has to be willing to press charges for a criminal case to move forward, unless it's in the public realm. Protection of property is NOT. You fail. Thank you, come again.

No doubt in my mind that this is an orchestrated PR stunt by Apple, if not from the beginning, then surely as soon as the phone was noticed missing.

End result? One person who will never buy another product from this company.

On a side topic, did Apple buy a controlling interest in Time Warner? Because CNN seems to fall all over themselves giving Apple free advertising. Take a 2 week span. Count how many articles appear on the main page with the name "Apple" in them. Then keep the same count for other corporate names. The results are shocking....


Mike (NZL)   April 27th, 2010 12:16 am ET

The World I live in is so dumb.

So very dumb.


SPF   April 27th, 2010 12:18 am ET

Ill bet my last dollar that the law enforcers involved will somehow illegally profit from this situation.


Adam   April 27th, 2010 12:19 am ET

This illegal warrant is just further proof that not only is our legal system completely broken, but the men and women sworn to "Protect and Serve" are only serving themselves. The police of America are as abusive and corrupt as in any 3rd world country. The Justice system is as worthless as that of Saudi Arabia.


Davor Magdic   April 27th, 2010 12:21 am ET

Not only is this police investigation independent of Apple, I'm in fact sure Apple would prefer it hadn't happened. They don't want the bad taste of criminal proceedings accompanying the launch of a fun, cool device - not good for sales. The best for the company and all involved is that everything is forgotten or forgiven, nobody is fired and no charges are pressed, so that they can spin what happened due to Gizmodo's greed into, "this phone is so hot that people risked doing illegal things just to get their hands on it."

It is a pretty good phone after all. :-)


Tommy   April 27th, 2010 12:22 am ET

Yes CNN along with most other media outlets have seem to always align them selves with special interest or big money
It's hard to trust any media outlet these days.


Stephen   April 27th, 2010 12:37 am ET

Come on, the right thing to do if you find a phone is you turn it into the police station and if no one claims it in like 90 days the person that found it can keep it,really anything else is just theft.
Who is to say the so called finder of this phone did not steal it or just watched it fall out and scooped it up when the guy left, seriously anyone that sells a phone for $5000 without turning it is to the police has zero morals.
In my opinion they should both be charged they are nothing but a couple of phone thieves.


JLo   April 27th, 2010 12:43 am ET

All of the comments about how Apple has to be a "complaining witness" in order for the police and the DA to take action are killing me. It's not Apple's call. If a man beats up his wife and the police are made aware of it (and who isn't aware of the iPhone theft??) they have to arrest the husband and charge him with a crime/crimes. It DOES NOT matter if the wife says "please let him out, he didn't mean it, I forgive him" etc. The police and DA will still (hopefully) do their jobs and nail the CRIMINAL.


kiran   April 27th, 2010 12:47 am ET

Way to go Apple! Trying to pull off this hip, re-upstart company mentality, in reality, this is sounding a little big brother to me! Sounds like there could be a GIANT lawsuit coming down the line, hmmmmm....who will be suing whom?


John   April 27th, 2010 12:48 am ET

Just shows that USA has become a police state. Money can buy anything you like, even access to other peoples private homes.


aaaahahahahahaha   April 27th, 2010 12:51 am ET

All this over a cell phone, which will be obsolete six months after it officially debuts. Awesome.


GJG   April 27th, 2010 12:52 am ET

"Also, Apple did not call this in, else this would have been a CIVIL case. This is a CRIMINAL case meaning that the police did this on their OWN."

HUH???

believe it or not there is usually a complainant in criminal cases.....


Ryan   April 27th, 2010 1:00 am ET

I love how so many people post comments like they know exactly what they are talking about and by reading the comment it's very clear they are clueless. Just read and keep your uneducated comments to yourselves


YoseWatch   April 27th, 2010 1:04 am ET

Excellent move to raid the house. If anyone out there felt they had been ripped off, you would have wanted the same thing done. Just because the property is owned by company rather than a person, there isn't any difference. Keeping "found" property is a crime in CA–but I stil think that story is suspect too.


laz   April 27th, 2010 1:12 am ET

You know what, Apple entrusted its employee to keep a secret. And that employee betrayed the organization paying his bills, putting clothes on his back, and keeping his belly full. I have no ill feelings towards Apple for standing up for itself ... Only a thought of how stupid the Gizmodo guy is to actually think Apple *wouldn't* be a bit ticked off at what happened.


ban   April 27th, 2010 1:14 am ET

it's time we protest apple altogether! no more apple. yes to android!


Randy Buist   April 27th, 2010 1:20 am ET

Apple doesn't have a problem with people registering iphones that are stolen. They simply plead ignorance.

All iphones have a unique i.d. even without the sim card, but they have had no desire to help limit the stealing of iphones until it was their own special phone.

Interesting how this 'great' company still showed its hand of greed in this matter. Yes, I have an iphone and a Macbook Pro, but it makes me appreciate the people at the top a lot less.


peteismod   April 27th, 2010 1:22 am ET

Gizmodo checked with their lawyer prior to releasing the article on the new iPhone.

The problem is their lawyer was Lionel Hutz.


lonesailor89   April 27th, 2010 1:24 am ET

Why anyone would stick up for GIZMODO, or Chen for that matter really baffles me. He/or the company paid 5k for something that was not legally theirs to sell. It doesn't matter whether or not it is a big company or not. Then they "GIZMODO" are trying to hide behide journalism for protection. Sorry doesn' t wash out. GIZMODO is dead wrong for doing what they did.


CJ   April 27th, 2010 1:26 am ET

Hmmm...many misinformed people here. Yes, if you know that an item is lost or stolen then it is illegal to possess that item. Purchasing that item from someone else with the knowledge it is lost or stolen is a felony.

Read the California Penal Code folks...its all in there.

But I am sure you would be fine if someone found your wallet/cell phone/other personal item and then sold it right? That is totally legit based on some of the posts I’ve read here.

The best part is this Gizmodo clown actually published it on the web....what a d-bag moron.


KC   April 27th, 2010 1:34 am ET

Also, these charges could not be against Chen and the search could be the basis of finding the person who originally recovered the iphone. This person could be the source of the charges because even if Chen was charged with receiving stolen property, it's a misdemeanor not a felony


Steve   April 27th, 2010 1:37 am ET

I think Apple went over the top inciting this police state nonsense. This is about retaliation and intimidation. The likelihood that a jury in Silicon Valley would convict is zero.

I own no Apple products now, but was thinking about it...at this point it will be very, very cold underfoot before I buy one.


Rich   April 27th, 2010 1:37 am ET

I agree that this is utter BS. Buy some other kind of phone, such as a Google Android and set Apple a message.


bpg   April 27th, 2010 1:42 am ET

I am very disappointed in Apple.

The guy attempted to return the device, they declined, as far as I'm concerned, that was renouncing ownership of the device. Phone was deactivated so no chance of finding the owner.

To have your computers and servers confiscated, for what? He already admitted everything, why did they need to confiscate them? He wasn't hiding anything. What if someone made a trumped up charge against me and the police came in and took all my electronics? It would shut me down.

I AM GOING TO RETURN MY IPAD TOMORROW IN PROTEST.

APPLE MUST UNDERSTAND THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.


Zentgraf   April 27th, 2010 1:46 am ET

He knowingly paid money to gain access to stolen property. That is a crime. You should not be surprised when police kick down your door when you commit a crime. I don’t understand why people are always so quick to jump to the defense of criminals.


Thomas   April 27th, 2010 1:48 am ET

I'm so sick of Apple and Jobs control freak behavior. What's next, the Icolonoscopy? Complain about Microsoft all you want, they're angels of mercy compared to this bunch. I'll listen to music on a 1960 reel to reel tape before giving them any more of my money after this and the IPad fiasco.


Lee   April 27th, 2010 1:49 am ET

The "iPhone 4", lol!

It is called the iPhone 4g, referring to the cellphone's wireless protocol or connection.

Why even write the article, if you are going to type without thinking on tech stuff? Just leave it to those who specialize in it.


Geoff   April 27th, 2010 1:53 am ET

As cool as it was to see the specs on the new iPhone ... they disassembled ill-gotten goods. Even if Apple refused to accept it at first, Gizmodo knowingly paid for property that was obviously NOT the seller's to sell.

I already decided to shelve my iPhone for an Android next. I'm committed to NOT buying an iPad. But just because I think Apple has gotten too draconian doesn't mean people can go flaunting the laws in these regards. Giz deserves the hand-slap.

If I were a tech company field testing new gear that might give away my advantage if someone publicized it ... I would 100% go after culprits in this case.

Just because your neighbor next door is a total jerk and won't talk to you when you call ... doesn't give you the right to buy his property from a burglar. If you do that and it's obviously your neighbor's ... you're just as guilty as the thief. Period.


Ryanb56   April 27th, 2010 1:54 am ET

Funny, when my cell phone was stolen, police refused to even investigate. If only I was a corporation then maybe the police would actually care when someone wrongs me. Ah, that'll be the day.


Jerry   April 27th, 2010 1:55 am ET

I'm disabled and I often don't leave my home for a week or two at a time. The local police can (and all too often do) come and take my legally parked automobile, claiming it to be "abandoned" even though it's parked right in front of my driveway-less home if it's not moved every 48 hours. Under that logic the Apple employee "abandoned" that iPhone prototype, so no "theft" occurred.

In response to the second comment on this, while failure to return to the owner an item "found" may be classed as "theft" it is NOT felony theft unless the value of the item in question exceeds $500.


Kalli   April 27th, 2010 1:58 am ET

The W00Master

Just because this is a criminal case does not mean apple did not call it in. Why would the police care unless apple complained?


Rich   April 27th, 2010 2:01 am ET

It's funny that this is such a black-and-white issue, when you think about it. If the U.S. government had a prototype stolen, we'd blame both sides. You'd hear about criminal proceedings or diplomatic head butting for the party that took the device, and you'd hear non stop criticism of the government for lax security.

I can see some logic in not blaming Gizmodo, if their story is true and they bought the item from someone, weren't sure if it was real, but contacted Apple to check and returned the device upon request. Seems innocent enough.

But why give Apple a free pass for letting this happen? Whether it really was lost in a bar, or taken by stealth and subterfuge from Steve Jobs' desk, didn't Apple fail to secure their device, regardless? Don't they deserve some criticism for that?


Aaron   April 27th, 2010 2:02 am ET

Oh well but I bet I be suing someones ass. Kick my door down over a phone I didn't steal. I don't think so


Scott   April 27th, 2010 2:07 am ET

This POS is a thief......... he stole/paid for a phone just to blog about it......What a POS.... He committed a felony......


Kevin   April 27th, 2010 2:12 am ET

The simple, decent, and mature course of action would have been to return the damn thing to Apple.


wgraves   April 27th, 2010 2:17 am ET

It is really amazing to me. That when people buy or sell stuff that doesn't belong to them, are surprized when cops come knocking.


James   April 27th, 2010 2:26 am ET

Change "Gizmodo" with "Washington Post" what do you think we would be talking about today?


Deuce   April 27th, 2010 2:30 am ET

Someone needs to stand up and bloody Apple's nose a little bit. Seriously, with all the crap going on with the censorship issues with the e-books it sells, the last thing Apple needs is to pick on a journalist. Didn't one of their suppliers torture a guy over a lost iPhone until he committed suicide?

But then again, nobody cares as long as they have their iPad, right? 80% of people in this country are just stupid...


Jim   April 27th, 2010 2:33 am ET

What about the 'Finders Keepers' law that I learned in 1st grade?


Michele   April 27th, 2010 2:35 am ET

this is the most outrageous thing I've ever heard. Confiscating computers? Is this China?


Richard   April 27th, 2010 2:39 am ET

The property was returned, no law was broken. This is just Apple flexing it's muscles. When a company tests the people, they typically lose out in the end. Apple's going to get whats coming, and it ain't gonna be good.


Elbonian   April 27th, 2010 2:41 am ET

Big corporate lawyers get local judge to issue totally illegal search warrant. Kick the reporter's door in, totally against the California shield law, etc. You will never catch me buying any expensive Apple gadget! Those jerks are as bad as Nazi storm troopers!


Tom   April 27th, 2010 2:46 am ET

Um... Nowhere did it say Apple asked the police to do any of this, nor do they have to. The blogger committed a felony, and law enforcement is following up. The sheriff's office in silicon valley is a little more tuned to computer crimes than say, your law enforcement agencies. Once it was determined his crimes were a felony, the feds got involved. Apple doesn't have to say or do anything for this kid and/or Gizmodo to get prosecuted.


sakitepinko   April 27th, 2010 2:57 am ET

You folks maybe didn't know that apple ask gizmodo to return the unit. They returned it since apple acknowledged it's not fake. But why apple criminalize the person who returned the unit.

The gizmodo editor was treated like criminal. Under California law, journalist a protected by the shield law:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shield_laws_in_the_United_States

"A "shield law" is legislation designed to provide a news reporter with the right to refuse to testify as to information and/or sources of information obtained during the newsgathering and dissemination process."

Note that he was not arrested as there's no criminal charges filed. The search warrant appears to be just to bully the poor guy. Apple sits as one of the "steering committee" on this REACT team who raided the poor guy who returned the unit when asked.


Cicakchanson   April 27th, 2010 2:58 am ET

Do not adjust your monitor. Apple is in complete control. We've been monitoring this chat and several of you have been flagged for 're-education'. Do not run. Do not be afraid. Resistance is futile! End communication.


Greg   April 27th, 2010 3:00 am ET

So law enforcement is trampling on journalistic freedoms at Apple's behest, eh? Well, I'll make very sure not to buy any Apple products in the future – including any "iPhone 4s".


Clay   April 27th, 2010 3:01 am ET

Can someone explain how this is a felony? I don't know the state's specific laws, but damn near anything under the value of a couple grand is a mis .


Tam   April 27th, 2010 3:06 am ET

OMG! I wish the police would have done that to me!! I'd own half of Apple and the police department.


The Lost iPhone: Continuing Saga   April 27th, 2010 3:15 am ET

[...] For more information on this developing story, check out ComputerWorld.com and CNN.com. [...]


Geeks Are Goin' Down   April 27th, 2010 3:24 am ET

The problem is Geek Culture and the geek mentality that drives it that has no ethical, mature, intelligent base. Obsessed with gadgetry they camp out overnight to buy the latest gadget. T

hat overzealous thing they have over materialistic gadgets, like little school children when they find a dirty magazine or a toy that belongs to another kid, they don't return it and say "finders keepers...". These types are just immature baby-adults with no character.


Danny   April 27th, 2010 3:32 am ET

'Apple is paying the police'... Wow, that has to be one of the most paranoid statements I have ever heard. This guy, Chen, broke the law. Period. The warrant was lawful. Period. If they find out that the whole 'found it in a bar' was a lie (and I bet it was), he WILL go to jail (like he should). Period.
I know all you Apple fanboys are going to get your panties in a ruffle over this, but let's face facts. We live in a nation of laws, and if you break them (no matter how popular you are with fanboys) you WILL got to jail. Period.


ron   April 27th, 2010 3:43 am ET

What law Chen broke in here? Is news reporting now a felony?


taimoc   April 27th, 2010 4:47 am ET

Kicking in the door of a journalist and seizing his computers and personal property because he acquired a cell phone that was abandoned at a bar is unlawful and is the hallmark of a regime not our own. I wouldn't be surprised it they arrest the journalist for his immigration papers not being in order. Wake up Sheep-pole!!!! It is time to rise up and hold those responsible for this accountable. It could be you next time or a loved one. Americans must act soon before they start building the re-education camps.


billy Gee   April 27th, 2010 4:54 am ET

Dude should have fedexed the phone to Apple once he was done dissecting it.
THis is one Apple that bites back!


Tomas   April 27th, 2010 5:46 am ET

Its a matter of a cost benefit analysis. You calculate the cost of all negative aspects (legal, penalties etc.) vs. the gain from the positive ones (publicity, exclusivity, buzz etc.) It all comes down to business at the end of the day.


YouDontFoolMe   April 27th, 2010 6:09 am ET

This Chen guy probably have alredy sent this iphone to his family in China and in 5 days you will be able to buy it for 1/10th of the price in the streets of Shanghai. Wait and see.


Geezer   April 27th, 2010 6:44 am ET

Chen shouldn't have bought the phone. But having done so, he should have returned it to Apple (hopefully gotten at least as much advertising as he paid for it.)

He should not have to disclose his source - journalistic privacy needs to be protected in this era of lawyers-gone-wild. Chen took a risk in the interest of journalism, and deserves credit for that.

A phone call from the DA should have have been able to pry the phone loose. If he refused to give it up, well, then he's learned a lesson - but don't stomp all over the guy.


Clueless   April 27th, 2010 7:19 am ET

"Geezer", Chen already returned the phone. Your entire point means absolutely nothing.


WestCoastGuy   April 27th, 2010 7:23 am ET

I will never buy another Apple product again. It's also creepy how brainwashed Apple fanboys are. Some people here actually sound worried about Apple's millions like if Steve Jobs is their dad. You really think Apple creates products cause it cares about it's consumers?


matte   April 27th, 2010 7:45 am ET

All apple has to do to ensure felony status is claim development damages that exceed "X" amount of dollars. The guy opened up the prototype and posted across the internet exactly what the phone was made up of. If it was a marketed product, it would be one thing. But the fact that it hasn't been released means he is infringing on some laws.

That being said, there were definitely better avenues for everyone to pursue in this. He did return the device and the police/DA could have easily spoken to him ahead of ransacking his house and maybe even gotten some information. Sucks for him though...who knows what random things are on his computer that could easily be used against him if he does make any wrongful entry claims. I guess opportunist writers attract opportunist law enforcing :-\


Brian   April 27th, 2010 8:33 am ET

I guess opportunist writers attract opportunist law enforcing :-\ Matte I totally agree with you. Its sucks but it is what it is.


Frodo   April 27th, 2010 8:35 am ET

THE PHONE WAS RETURNED TO APPLE AS SOON AS IT WAS DETERMINED TO BELONG TO THEM!!!

How many times does this have to be said before it sinks in?


jojorockets52   April 27th, 2010 8:41 am ET

So would Ngadget also sued?


Neil N. Robert   April 27th, 2010 8:49 am ET

I've read every comment in this article, the article itself, and the corresponding articles about this whole thing over the last several days.

I've discovered something: the wanton butchery of the English language.

"Would of..." is just the least ragged of the cuts.

Honestly, THAT'S what you're going with, in a battle of words, where the conveyance of meaning is comparable to level of intellect, and therefore "right" or "wrong" as perceived by those viewing said words?

I've also noticed that the Microsoft hate has lessened quite a bit throughout these stories. Perhaps the whole thing was a stunt engineered by Bill Gates to throw off the shadow of public opinion? Conspiracy theorists never take all sides into account.

Personally, I'll continue to stick with Linux.


paininthedong   April 27th, 2010 8:53 am ET

Apple are on the steering comittee for the computer crime force who conducted the raid. According to the BBC there are 24 more tech companies on that committee.

Was never a huge apple fan but will now throw my ipod docking stations etc. in the bin. Might even burn em for some staisfaction!!!!

As for the force who conducted the raid, one wonders how the people in charge like having their prostates probed by apple


iPhone blogger’s home raided by police « GatorUptown’s Blog   April 27th, 2010 8:53 am ET

[...] the misplaced alleged prototype, believing that the man has committed a felony. According to the CNN's SciTechBlog, police entered editor Jason Chen's home without him being present, using a search warrant [...]


Bob   April 27th, 2010 8:54 am ET

So by reading the story. Since this apple developer lost a phone that probably shouldn't have been allowed off Apple property if it is this big a secret. I think Gizmodo returned it after they released the story. However that means they can go in and seize computer, hard drives, servers, business cards.What would cards have anything to do with the case. Unless Apple is trying to find the guy that sold it in the first place so they can sue him as well. Will probably find out the guy that lost it is the one who sold it knowing Apple.


Rexa   April 27th, 2010 8:55 am ET

i'm not familiar with laws regarding unreleased products but... aren't unreleased products property of Apple? If he found the phone and is parading it on the net then technically he should return it or it's considered stolen property.


Chuck   April 27th, 2010 9:11 am ET

Apple's at it again. Did anyone know that the last time an iPhone got "leaked", the person who lost it ended up tortured and killed? It was in a subsidary in China. Apple suffers from mass psycopathic paranoia.


TechLord   April 27th, 2010 9:32 am ET

The idea of a police raid over a lost cell phone just sounds ridiculous...whether it's a law or not it's obvious the police were paid off to get the pics and phone back.


Uncle Bernie, Hollywood, ca   April 27th, 2010 9:45 am ET

After reading these comments, it is obvious that most of the posters still live with their parents, flip burgers part time, and are stupid beyond belief.
No wonder CNN is swirling down the drain.


Joe W   April 27th, 2010 9:47 am ET

No reason to think that a prototype device that has never been sold on any market was not a stolen item?


Randi’s Recap – April 27, 2010 « BUZZ 103.1 Florida's New Rock Alternative   April 27th, 2010 9:59 am ET

[...] Police Seize Computer's From Site That Posted 4G 1-Phone, click here to read the story.    Get your emails in if you want to win the free trip for 2....airfare, [...]


Joe W   April 27th, 2010 10:00 am ET

Why did they bust in the door for apple? Well think about it this way, how often when a search warrant gets served is the person that its served on able to get it put in the media that quickly in such a way to ensure it gets lots of attention? Most of the time a search and seizure is preformed you don't hear about it as quickly or as widely spread as you did this one.


David T   April 27th, 2010 10:01 am ET

If Gizmodo bought the IPhone then in an hour or so took down as much information about the phone and then returned the phone I would not have a problem with it. But he kept it. It isn't his.

I am happy the police raided the place. The phone should be returned. I only wish that the police would do that with all stolen property.

As for revealing everything he could about the phone without destroying it. I have no problem with. It would be like Cameron leaving the Avatar script and getting sloshed at a bar. If the finder returns the script but tells everyone the ending... so be it.


drazen   April 27th, 2010 10:03 am ET

Apple = Gestapo !


PolO   April 27th, 2010 10:07 am ET

Achtung !!!
Anyone caught badmouthing our dear leader Herr Jobsenberg will be send to an iCamp.


James   April 27th, 2010 10:10 am ET

I've always thought you should be able to sue the police department if a search warrant does not result in an arrest, or with anyone being charged. This is a clear case of harassment, compliments of Apple no doubt, and has completely turned me off of this company as a whole. While I was never even slightly interested in the iPad, or iPhone, my current iPod will be my final Apple purchase, ever. Will not contribute to their petty attempts to monopolize several markets, and will not support any new Apple product, as they always seem to release "updated" versions of their products 6 mo's-1yr after it's initial release. Not spending $500 on anything that will be considered obsolete by it's own developers. Apple is now what I call a "candy coated company". Sure their products are flashy, and entertaining, but they aren't productive in any real world ways, and do nothing to advance society as a whole. Where's the next microwave, or the next telephone? I'd settle for the next flowbee- at least it had a goal to simplify every day life. Apple's ONLY goal within these last 10 years, has been to entertain society. Their computers aren't even ground-breaking.


Aaron   April 27th, 2010 10:13 am ET

Anybody besides me see the absolute genius of this whole thing? The employee "accidentally" forgot the phone in a bar. A career ending move for sure.
Unless, this is all a ploy by Apple to get the word out to us sheep that there is a hot new iPhone looming on the horizon and here's an "illegal" sneak peek.
With the commotion and buzz surrounding this, the young man who "lost" it was either told to do so, or really should stop drinking altogether. Thoughts?


David   April 27th, 2010 10:15 am ET

I am convinced people who comment here do not read the articles. HE DID RETURN THE PHONE!. When Apple's lawyer requested the phone it was returned immediately. Apple was contacted by the guy who found it and they denied existance of the phone. HE tried to return it. Gizmodo purchased the phone thinking it was real but not knowing 100%. They were not able to confirm it until they opened it up and as soon as they did they notified Apple who asked for it's return. Until apple asked for it back they were still not 100% sure it was Apples. Guess no one mentions that Apple is on the steering commitee for the task force that raided this guys house. This was an illegal search plain and simple. Not only was he a journalist and is protected. There is a conflict of intrest in Apple being on the steering committee. I fear this is going to get real ugly real soon and I don't think it is going to go Apple's way....


ChrisInLA   April 27th, 2010 10:22 am ET

How ironic that Apple, who exploded onto the world stage in 1984 with a Super Bowl commercial that used police state imagery to decry corporate oppression of individual freedom, may now be entangled in just such tactics. If Gizmodo's account of how the phone was obtained is right, it certainly looks like a legitimate journalistic endeavor.

Apple, meet Microsoft. All hail Big Brother!


Erik Bertel   April 27th, 2010 10:23 am ET

Excellent use of police resources, I mean they got nothing better to do! Apple arrogance at it's finest! They are making the evil empire look benevolent.


My View   April 27th, 2010 10:25 am ET

The iPhone 4G may have been returned to Apple, but they pursued the situation even further considering that Gizmodo and Chen (or whoever) dismantled the phone, thus being in possession of trade secrets. It's the reason as to why the warrant was issued, in the first place. Apple wants to find out if Chen has any secrets of the next generation iPhone on his computer(s), in order to destroy the information.


Adel   April 27th, 2010 10:27 am ET

LET ME ASK YOU THIS: IF YOU LOSE YOUR WALLET WITH PERSONAL CONTENTS IN IT AND THE PERSON WHO FINDS IT SELLS IT TO A JOURNALIST WHO THEN PLASTERS THE CONTENT OF YOUR WALLET ALL OVER THE INTERNET, IS IT OKAY FOR THEM TO DO THAT? Is it okay for journalists to buy an item from a person who they know and clearly is not the owner of the item (which makes it a stolen item) and get shielded by a law?


erohrs   April 27th, 2010 10:31 am ET

Gizmodo's actions were irresponsible to more then just Apple. They were irresponsible to the rest of the telecommunications industry. These guys took a device that might never have been ment to see the light of day and pushed it into the faces of people who are desperate for the next thing apple might release. Now in our already hurting tel-comm industry people have stopped buying, waiting for the phone they saw on gizmodo to come out. A device with the specs that have been presented isn't even supportable by most carriers. No one is currently using mini-sim technology yet. They will be when the new networks are finally released, but they aren't yet and aren't planning to for awhile.
Gizmodo has cost everyone working the telecommunication field money and time. I know they have cost me money
Way to be responsible as a journalist.
I hold they don't break your computer but next time maybe you won't try to publish uncheck facts...another thing your journalistic rights require that you do to not get sued.
Awesome job kids.


Vlad   April 27th, 2010 10:32 am ET

Apple acting terrible and illegal, should of watch his stuff and not get in this situation. Go Android.


gm   April 27th, 2010 10:32 am ET

Gizmodo loving this, bet it's sending traffic through the roof!


TechLaw   April 27th, 2010 10:43 am ET

In California what Gizmodo did is illegal. California Penal Code 499c with regard to trade secrets.

(c) Every person who promises, offers or gives, or conspires to
promise or offer to give, to any present or former agent, employee or
servant of another, a benefit as an inducement, bribe or reward for
conveying, delivering or otherwise making available an article
representing a trade secret owned by his or her present or former
principal, employer or master, to any person not authorized by the
owner to receive or acquire the trade secret and every present or
former agent, employee, or servant, who solicits, accepts, receives
or takes a benefit as an inducement, bribe or reward for conveying,
delivering or otherwise making available an article representing a
trade secret owned by his or her present or former principal,
employer or master, to any person not authorized by the owner to
receive or acquire the trade secret, shall be punished by
imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail not exceeding
one year, or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000),
or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(d) In a prosecution for a violation of this section, it shall be
no defense that the person returned or intended to return the
article.


David   April 27th, 2010 10:47 am ET

Adel,
You would expect someone to OPEN up your wallet to try and identify the individual. The phone was bricked when they got it. Do you know how many chinese knockoffs there are that look exactly like an iPhone? They had to open it to make absolutely sure it was an Apple phone. Even after they opened it they were not 100% sure until Apple contacted them.

Erohs,
No one is crying foul when engadget released Dell's entire 2010 phone lineup a couple days ago. The only reason people are up in arms about this is because it is Apple and it never happens to them. This kind of stuff happens all the time in the tech world. Heck Gizmodo wasn't even the site the released the pictures first. It was Engadget who had pictures of the device TWO full days before Gizmodo's story even broke. When engadgets story came out no one believes them even though they had similar pictures of the same phone. Only after they published pictures of the inside of the phone did people start believing them. Understand why they had to open it up now? They wern't even sure when they paid $5000 for it that is was even real.


David   April 27th, 2010 10:50 am ET

TechLaw,
You are wrong. They did not intice this. The guys that found the phone contacted them and many other blogs about this phone. That section of the penal code you are referencing applies to Espionage. That is not the case here....


My View   April 27th, 2010 10:51 am ET

@ TechLaw:

Exactly what I was thinking. Even though Gizmodo and Chen returned the iPhone 4G prototype to Apple, they could still have plans to reveal or sell the secrets of the prototype to Microsoft, etc.


Kevin Moore   April 27th, 2010 10:59 am ET

Somebody, somewhere filed a criminal complaint and during an investigation enough information was developed to justify the issuance of a search warrant. The police DID NOT just arbitrarily decide to go search Chen's home. The affidavit was presented to a DA, and then presented to a judge who determined that there was sufficient cause to issue the warrant.
Stop blaming the police. They were simply doing their jobs. I know, I am a retired cop.
Whether Apple or someone else filed the criminal complaint is not clear in this article. I suspect that someone connected with Apple filed a theft report for the guy who "accidentally" left the prototype phone in the bar. I suspect the guy who left it at the bar was likely paid to do so in order for someone to gain insider information either for media or financial purposes.


JP   April 27th, 2010 11:02 am ET

This ONLY happens if Apple chooses to press the investigation. The San Mateo DA has many more important cases to deal with than this ridiculously small thing. But Apple wanted the guy to get slammed, and here we are. If I needed another reason to be convinced that Apple is a much worse company than Micro$oft, this would be it.


KC   April 27th, 2010 11:03 am ET

@TechLaw:

That trade secrets statute states that you need to be employed by the principal or employer who owns the product. Gizmodo doesn't work for Apple. Also that would still be only a misdemeanor and the search warrant was for a felony charge.


TechLaw   April 27th, 2010 11:04 am ET

@David-

Gizmodo makes money off people coming to their blog?

(b) Every person is guilty of theft who, with intent to deprive or
withhold the control of a trade secret from its owner, or with an
intent to appropriate a trade secret to his or her own use or to the
use of another, does any of the following:

Doesn't matter if you're Google doing this or Gizmodo. "EVERY PERSON"...media should follow the rules as well.


quitwhining   April 27th, 2010 11:10 am ET

To every one who is bashing apple over this, get a clue. If you made your living developing and selling products, you wouldn't want your prototype being stolen and illegally sold. No, apple is not crying, nor are they being overbearing. Do you not think that any other company would have done the same thing?


TechLaw   April 27th, 2010 11:11 am ET

Well at least now we know it probably wasn't a publicity stunt.


Mike   April 27th, 2010 11:21 am ET

Well.... onto legal technilicalities... Mr. Chen was not guilty of theft.. IF.... he can provide a written receipt otherwise known as a "Bill Of Sale." That relieves him of legal obligation of where it came from, and puts the crime on the seller. And I agree, if Mr. Chen can provide a pay stub with his home address as his workplace, then it should have protections as with any other news agency. I wonder if the Apple employee is gonna get this much publication.......


jimmy   April 27th, 2010 11:22 am ET

why is california in so much debt again? why is the state dying slowly?


jimmy   April 27th, 2010 11:24 am ET

the police cannot assume it was stolen, unless someone said hey...this was mine and it was stolen. think people, then type. i thought this was left in a bar? isnt that what an apple employee claimed? now the cops act as if it is stolen property. so my question is why are the cops involved if someone claimed they lost something?


F16   April 27th, 2010 11:29 am ET

Apple lovers, maybe you should check this...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts1795


Lou   April 27th, 2010 11:32 am ET

The irony. Gizmodo has always been the epicenter for Apple fanboi cloning, then to have the company it so faithfully represents turn on them? lol

Hope your iPad's work in prison boys.


Zach   April 27th, 2010 11:45 am ET

Wow these guys from gizmodo either stumbled on a gold mine or are involved a growing publicity stunt for apple, in any case apple is going to get some serious press because time to buy upapple stock i think so!


Bubba   April 27th, 2010 11:48 am ET

I kinda thought 'left it in a bar' was a bit too convenient. IF these bozos paid someone to pick a developer's pocket, they deserve to get slammed. They can claim the information wanted to be free, and anyway it was asking for it dressing like that.


svscnn   April 27th, 2010 11:56 am ET

1. Mr. Chen paid $5k for what any "reasonable" person should have at least suspected was stolen property. Stupid Move & Felony #1.

2. Mr. Chen posted details about an unreleased, illegally obtained piece of technology, knowingly (operative word here) violating Apple's rights regarding trade secrets. Stupid Move & Felony #2

3. Gizmodo lauded Mr. Chen & themselves for their cleverness – worldwide, provoking the ramifications we just read about. Stupid Move #3.

Reaping what they've sown... Priceless.


Nick   April 27th, 2010 12:14 pm ET

Buy an Apple product and help destroy Freedom of Press...

At least you'll look cool doing it...


Adolph   April 27th, 2010 12:17 pm ET

Sieg Heil! Steve Jobs. Sieg Heil!


gvii   April 27th, 2010 12:18 pm ET

I call bull on Woomaster's interpretation. The police would not have gotten involved at all if Apple hadn't done some prodding of their own. We've seen things like this happen countless times, and while they may end in a civil courtroom, it was never a police matter.


Brian   April 27th, 2010 12:19 pm ET

I recently became an Apple customer, buying a new macbook pro and a new I pod. I will be returning them today and will NEVER purchase another Apple product.

Just how much political power does apple have that they have the power to have govermental agencies do their bidding by illegially invading his home.

Maybe it is our Supreme Court at work, after all they struck down all the political reform laws, So maybe Apple is now buying judicial seats so they can expand their Apple Empire!


LLBD   April 27th, 2010 12:24 pm ET

It all has to do with Intellectual property. Especially if items have either just been released (which have patents) or properties that have not yet been released, therefore, the still in beginning stages of development and production. If you designed a product, wouldn't you want to protect your product from others trying to cash in on YOUR work???


krehator   April 27th, 2010 12:25 pm ET

Wow... It is a strange equal justice we have in this country. If a big company accessed your computer illegally ( which they do all the time), and you called the cops to report it, they would tell you to call the BBB after they laughed at you.

The law is ONLY enforced in favor of big business in this country. The United States is bought and paid for.


the bob   April 27th, 2010 12:25 pm ET

First it was not the police that they were radid by it was The Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), a Silicon Valley high-technology task force. Apple did not report the theft it was the guy who lost the phone. If you read the story on the News site that posted it yesterday they have more info on this story. The DA has not even been involved yet the task force that is handling this looks at the basic theft but by posting the info that Gizmodo did they also broke a few laws that they wont be able to hide behind the freedom of the press.


krehator   April 27th, 2010 12:26 pm ET

BTW: How many people have their cars and home robbed every day???? DO the cops do a raid for them?? Heck they don't even bother to investigate it.. Double standard.


Jim H   April 27th, 2010 12:32 pm ET

i bet in some dark, dank cobwebbed dungeon deep underground somwhere, a sinister and deformed RIAA agent is rubbing his yellowed, liver spotted claw nailed hands together wondering how to get that kind of response from the police against illegal downloaders....

besides that, i am amused how the Apple Corp is sooooo protective of their cult daring to even cite "truth", "fairness", "logic", and "legality". all those seem in rather short supply when applied to non-Apple products.

Micro$oft indeed!


GonzoG   April 27th, 2010 12:45 pm ET

UNACCEPTABLE!

This is the SECOND POLICE RAID on JOURNALISTS this MONTH.

UNACCEPTABLE!

You #($)@%% can have my pen when you #($)% pry it from my cold dead fingers.

CNN! YOU SHOULD BE SURROUNDING THE WHITE HOUSE, CAPITOL HILL, AND THE SUPREME COURT WITH JOURNALISTS AND DEMAND ANSWERS!

If you don't, YOU and every other news outlet in the nation will end up being a FAX number that spews government propaganda.


S Durnin   April 27th, 2010 12:59 pm ET

What's the big problem with the police taking Chen's computers and perhaps disassembling them? They'll be returned. No harm done.


Lost and Found   April 27th, 2010 1:06 pm ET

Everybody should read the CA law on lost property (section 2080)
The phone would only be considered stolen had Gizmodo not posted it online. The fact that the posted it online shows an attempt to find the original owner, starting the 90 day clock CA law gives the owner to claim lost property (note there is no law against posting pictures on the internet in the attempt to find the original owner). Also the phones owner could have been an individual and not Apple (and may have been worth $200 in which case Gizmodo would have over paid). Once Apple claimed the property by CA law Gizmodo can request reasonable expenses for storage of the device and Apple would have to pay. By claiming it stolen they are no longer required to pay those expenses (read loophole). Gizmodo was nice enough to return the device without charging Apple for the cost of storage and effort in finding the owner.
Also there is no law against buying lost property, its only stone had Gizmodo not attempted to find the original owner.
Those who are using trade secret law... you have to realize that Gizmodo would have to know by looking at the phone that it was this include opening the device to determine ownership 1) truly a new type of phone and not just a currently available version of an iPhone and 2) that it was not a knock off.
Once Apple claimed the device and claimed original ownership, they should have offered Gizmodo a large sum of money to sign an NDA and return the phone. Gizmodo was nice enough to return the phone, and from what i can tell did not charge the legally allowed storage fees. Because they did not sign and NDA and the phone was lost and the original owner was found the pictures are still property of Gizmodo and they can do with them as they please. Here is the key, if they sold the pictures (which would be nearly impossible) Apple would have all the patents to the products and if anybody wanted to replicate they would have to pay Apple to either use the patent or find a new way of doing it.


CamRonD   April 27th, 2010 1:21 pm ET

Yeah, the people blaming Apple & the D.A., police, whatever... get a clue. It's a well known fact that Apple guards these things with... someone's life.
It's bad that it got out there, however I don't quite believe the story about Gizmodo buying it from some guy who found it in a bar who tried to contact Apple. It sounds like Giz is trying to save their butts.
Once Gizmodo discovered it was legitimately an Apple product, THEY should have contacted Apple asking "Do you want this back?"
And paying 5000 for a phone you're not sure is the real deal? Puh-lease.


Dan S   April 27th, 2010 1:27 pm ET

@LLBD – wouldn't you want to protect your product from others trying to cash in on YOUR work???

Yes, I would. I wouldn't lose my phone in the first place. It is not a crime to find a lost phone. It is not a crime to buy a lost phone. It is not a crime to rent a lost phone so you can open it up and take a look at what makes it tick.

Property law is simple. The finder of lost property has superior rights to found property over everyone except the lawful owner. The finder of this lost property actually contacted the lawful owner and the owner did not believe they had lost it. The finder (i.e. the interim owner) was then free to do whatever he wanted with the property. When the true owner realized their mistake/ignorance, they contacted the finder and the lost property was returned. No law was broken...

...until the illegal warrant was issued.


briggs   April 27th, 2010 1:35 pm ET

One las comment. About people citing laws and so forth. I think the apple lawyers who not only had gone through law school, but were good enough to get a job at a multi billion dollar company know where they stand in the law on this one.


J2   April 27th, 2010 1:40 pm ET

@CamRonD The device was not misplaced by Apple, but by an employee away from work. So there is no way Gizmodo could have known that it was a product directly associated with Apple.... So what you are saying is, if you found, say a Motorola Droid, you would contact Motorola directly? And just as "Lost and Found" said, it is not illegal to buy lost property and with Gizmodo's posting of it online is an attempt to find the rightful owner...... I guess what I'm trying to say is people such as "CamRonD" who are paranoid that everyone is out to get Apple needs to wake up and look at the facts.


J2   April 27th, 2010 1:42 pm ET

@Dan S, If only these people would understand.


M   April 27th, 2010 1:47 pm ET

@mike: Want your door kick down....there's an app for that.

I am laughing so loud and my belly is hurting....


marica j   April 27th, 2010 1:47 pm ET

wow im only a junior but did he rlly steal it or did he buy it cus im really confused on why hes being searched and why he had to have ghis door kicked down...and why did or how did he commit a felony??????


A GG   April 27th, 2010 1:54 pm ET

If this turns out to be a fact that the raid was indeed carried out. I will surrender my iPhone and all Apple products. Steve Jobs, grow up! The phone was lost by careless behavior and not stolen. Where are the reporters rights here. I hope the iphone was not located...


rushy79   April 27th, 2010 2:29 pm ET

Interesting...... well if he is doing something illegal he deserves it. =p
But ok....


Yoda   April 27th, 2010 2:57 pm ET

"Hey officer, come over here and restrain this human. He's squirming too much and thus violating my corporate right to screw him."


truestar   April 27th, 2010 3:03 pm ET

If I find out that it was Apple that did this, I will sell all 3 of the iphones on my calling plan and never buy another apple product for myself or anyone else ever again.


Dave   April 27th, 2010 3:08 pm ET

Apple sits on the panel that runs this cyber crime task force in CA, so it's not just a police action gone amok. There were insufficient grounds for the warrant, and any evidence collected is likely inadmissible.

As such, the police are liable for any damages.


JG   April 27th, 2010 3:08 pm ET

Did it even occur to any of you Apple haters that perhaps the person who owned the phone reported it stolen to the police after finding his/her phone plastered all over Gizmodo's site? Gizmodo and Mr. Chen committed a crime, Apple did not.


Cowbell   April 27th, 2010 3:14 pm ET

No one seems to take notice that Apple voluntarily allowed an employee to leave Apple corporate premises with a device that was worth millions. The employee then lost the item at a bar. Apple denied it was theirs at first. When Gizmodo asked Apple if it was theirs, they finally said yes, and Gizmodo gave it back (without charge). I believe that Gizmodo did everything asked by law.


C   April 27th, 2010 3:50 pm ET

whether you agree or disagree with the $5k paid for access to the device, or the publishing of the 'intellectual property' online, zoom out and decide whether you agree with a search warrent that violates the law, and the fact that it was not only sought after, but signed by a judge.

We are not Apple's army of consumers. Our tax paid police force is not Apple's tool to use in investigating their own internal issues. We do not have to take a stance against ourselves and our peers in favor of a corporation who's privacy protection restrictions don't allow users to play itunes purchased media in any other player.

They are a company who restricts their own consumers use of product, in order to shield against copyright infringement, and yet we as consumers are in support of a police force breaking down our doors and taking our property if they feel like the corporation's profit has been threatened...


sftommy   April 27th, 2010 4:07 pm ET

APPLE is guilty of "GROSS NEGLIGENCE" in controlling their own product development, that is the only crime here. Petty of the APPLE Execs to play out their own self-recriminations against a journalist. Judge Roberts' Supreme Court rulings say corporations are more necessary than people anyway.


Dmarch   April 27th, 2010 4:47 pm ET

To those of you who think this is a publicity stunt by Apple, please seek professional help. This would be a really stupid and non-productive way to get attention for a device that already has enough buzz about it..

To those of you who think a crime has not been committed, you may feel that way but the law is written differently. Gizmodo purchased something they did not own and was the property of someone else. They chose to spend $5,000 to get it, then took it apart and then broadcast their "findings" on their website.

Whether or not the search warrant was legal, that is in fact separate from the crime of purchasing stolen material, which at this particular point seems to be what happened, Gizmodo has in fact plastered that fact all over their site.

People keep saying that Chen and Gizmodo didnt know it was stolen, well they certainly wouldnt have offered that much money to something they were sure wasnt real. If they didnt think they committed a crime why was Gizmodo legal counsel preparing Mr. Chen for a possible seizure?

And lastly to put it in perspective. If you were at a bar and found a watch, wouldn't you turn it in to the manager so they could be contacted by the owner?

If the guy in the bar who found it had done that in the first place, none of this would have happened.


klowe007   April 27th, 2010 4:47 pm ET

Lol...that'll teach'em, don't F" with Apple!


Mandy   April 27th, 2010 5:29 pm ET

Was a crime committed? Maybe, the issue of lost vs. stolen is open to appreciation.

Was the police respond out of proportion? Well, depends on who you ask. Poll anyone who had their phone (or computer, or car, or purse, or lawnmower) and they will tell you that, no, the police should ALWAYS track down the criminals, barge it their home and take everything! That was MY stuff they took and they should get hell for it.

Now, face the reality and go report a stolen phone, just to see what happens, how long it takes for you to get it back, and how many policeman will ACTUALLY pay attention to your misery.... Then tell me again that big-money-huge-pull Apple did not ask for this!


Freedom Lover   April 27th, 2010 5:40 pm ET

After years as a MS guy, I have finally gotten used to Apple and was literally planing on going out to buy an iPad this weekend after spending last weekend online looking.

I am officially an Apple hater. Apple determines whether the police pursue this or not.

I am surprised because most people who love Apple unconditionally also love the first amendment. If I were Apple, I would PREVENT this from happening with all my power. Apple loses a lot of credibility for this even if they didn't order it.

I guess we all love the first amendment until that one time it doesn't make life easier for us. Its sad because this small personal interest can take a huge chunk out of the protections generations of Americans have fought and died for.

Down deep, Apple is a big business and Steve Jobs is a neo-con just like all big businesses are.

Really Steve? With all the publicity a leak like this gave you? You have to come down so hard on a protected journalist?

Get out of the business. Go die with dignity, or proove your worth by coming out in favor of the journalist and against the neo-con jack booted thugs who broke into this guys office.

The most recent Supreme Court nominations will be all over this. This is a fundamental shift in the freedoms that have kept this country together for so long. We are on a downhill trend when we see things like this happen.


Paul   April 27th, 2010 5:49 pm ET

Anyone who thinks Steve Jobs can just snap his finger and get the police to investigate and kick someone's door, jeez are serious? STEVE JOBS COULD'NT EVEN GET THE LOCAL CITY COUNCIL TO ALLOW HIM TO DEMOLISH THE OLD HOUSE HE OWNS. AND HE'S BEEN TRYING FOR YEARS! I REPEAT HE COULDN'T EVEN GET THE "LOCAL" CITY COUNCIL TO DEMOLISH HIS OWN HOUSE. HIS OWN HOUSE! Steve Jobs doesn't have an influence on the DA and the police any more than you and me.


Franko   April 27th, 2010 5:55 pm ET

   
After trust in government has been lost - govern by fear.
Is this a black operation event ?


Ronnie   April 27th, 2010 5:58 pm ET

I hope Chen sues these morons!


John   April 27th, 2010 6:08 pm ET

I know it to be true that the police and lawyers that approved the warrant did not even think that they were conducting an illegal search. They were more concerned with making Steve Jobs happy.


S Durnin   April 27th, 2010 6:09 pm ET

I was planning on buying an iPad before this happened.
Now I'm buying ten iPads.


Taco   April 27th, 2010 6:22 pm ET

number one...he didn't have the product in question. He sent it back to Apple last week. So the search was not for stolen property people! #2 It was all apple and jobs wanted to rough this dude up after finding out that chen reverse engineered the device and posted details about it's new developments......that's why they took his computers and cameras. That being said, apple sucks.....their products suck, and customer service is mediocre at best. I have relatives that work for apple, so I've got products from them, but EVERY device that I have bought I've had to have repaired at least once. Screw apple, GO GOOGLE!


GEEKS MENTALITY   April 27th, 2010 6:25 pm ET

YOu people are so dumb and part of this geekery that is Chen and all his ilk.

Pathetic for you to "hate" Steve Jobs or say you're not buying an iPad now, ridiculous. Ridiculous. This is not Apple snapping their fingers, please. Grow the hell up.

You will do what you want, but this happened, this raid, because the LOCAL POLICE realized there was something AMISS in this problem. The stories were not adding up, there was probable cause to look into it and in order to outsmart tech-nerds like this, you have to move quick.

At the core of this is ethics and professionalism.

Some of you say, oh, well the police has real criminals to chase after, but a geek in a tech gossip blog and all the others around him, have to also be investigated. It does not exonerate them from persecution or nor are they ABOVE THE LAW.

Tech geeks are not some untouchable soc.ial tech-class that can getaway with breaking any laws.

If you didn't like what WallStreet was doing, then you should also have an issue with GEEKS thinking they can evade and break laws or rewrite them.

You, who criticize Apple need to really think out your own values, you're illogical and overzealous about anything. And this is very good indicator you may be a geek.

At a snap of a finger YOU suddenly think that by stopping buying Apple products you will get one up on them. Trust me, Apple will continue to innovate and then you're going to be left behind. Get real.


jono   April 27th, 2010 6:39 pm ET

just to get the air clear, chen bought the iphone, maybe he knew it was "stolen", maybe he didnt. what matters is that there was no way of being sure if it was stolen so if he bought it, he is not liable. Do you expect police to raid your house if you buy items at a garage sale? i dont think so. And pawn shops? If they buy stolen property, they are only liable for the item and the police ASK for the information reguarding the person who SOLD it to them. i cant remember the last time i heard about police ransacking PawnStars shop after they accidently bought an item and RETURNED IT. What is going on here has no legal basis what so ever. If you look atthe item as stolen property, well didnt Chen ask apple if it was theirs and they said "uhhh hmmm not possible, must be fake",? How can police justify "his computers were used to commit a felony" if LEGALY speaking, there wasnt one? He asked apple it if was theirs, they said no, so of course he wants to fool around with it and do what ever he wants with it, if he bought property, legaly it is his. just like a pawnshops items are theirs until otherwise notified about. I dont even know how this happens, the californian legal system is already crooked. Where is the actual justice in this?


lolapple   April 27th, 2010 6:56 pm ET

Apple Nazi's FTL. Will they make us get tatoos and start burning books again? I can't believe these facists jackals. And I can't believe these fanboys that defend them. WAKE UP ITS NOT TO LATE!


Gary   April 27th, 2010 7:39 pm ET

Sorry, purchasing an item that you know is not the legal property of that person is a crime. Then you are even more stupid to go on line and and boast about it, and profit from it.


JOSEPH   April 27th, 2010 7:42 pm ET

THIS IS BOGUS. CALI IS ALL SKREWED UP.. IF YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH KILLING NOTORIOUS BIG IN PLAIN SIGHT OF CALI NIGHTLIFE IM SURE GIZMODO WILL BE ALRIGHT...


krehator   April 27th, 2010 7:50 pm ET

I love how the business fanboys try to use ethics and morales to attack people who do wrong against businesses, when business cannot abide by the same standard with consumers. Deception, theft, invasion of privacy, and greed is a-okay for business conduct.

Stop supporting a double standard of law and morals, hypocrites!!!


haha   April 27th, 2010 7:56 pm ET

no matter which way you paint it, this is nothing more than the local police/DA flexing muscle. apple is more than likely fully aware of whats going on and probably initiated it. waste of taxpayers money, but hey look what state they are in? CA, the land of wasteful and frivilous spending. a robber or a drug dealer probably went free because this idiot district attorney has midterm elections coming up and wants to appear "tough on crime'

whatever you apple lemmings say won't matter. you will always have a rip off of the unix kernel as an os, a system you believe works because it's superiorly designed(not the fact that apple CONTROLS everything that is put on their systems has anything to do with it), over priced, under power pieces of junk. enjoy being ripped off. we could point to the fact that osx was cracked in 30 seconds at a security conference last year through safari, or that nobody bothers designing virus for mac because such a small population of users actually have mac's. but we'll save that for another story.


Top Posts — WordPress.com   April 27th, 2010 8:13 pm ET

[...] Police seize computers from Gizmodo editor The Gizmodo-iPhone saga continues. Gizmodo, the technology blog that recently published details about Apple's [...] [...]


TheOnlyKingArthur   April 27th, 2010 8:41 pm ET

Seems strange that if what Chen has done is so illegal, why hasn't he been charged with a crime yet? Why not arrested? Suspected felons get arrested, police don't let them wander the streets freely while they attempt to build a case. Apple is clearly trying to set an example for what happens when you mess with them. They already tried filing suit against bloggers revealing secrets in 2007 and failed, so this time they've set their own police dogs out to terrorize the journalist's property. Let's not forget this happened AFTER the phone was already returned. So what were they looking for? Obviously not the phone. If you're not charged with a crime, the police can't just arrive at your door and start taking stuff. Except in this case of course, since apparently this particular police force is in Apple's pocket. Apple pretends to be for the consumer, and they do a great job of convincing a handful of morons exactly that, but make no mistake Apple is just another greedy power hungry corporation.


iPreferAndroid   April 27th, 2010 9:43 pm ET

i still think this is an apple ploy. this story is fake. steve jobs sees that the i pad isnt selling so hes doing this just to keep people intrested in his probucts.


joe   April 27th, 2010 9:48 pm ET

how are the police wrong in this case? the guy buys stolen property. We should all be happy they raided his house. to claim journalistic protection is ridiculous. being a journalist doesnt give you the right ot break the law. don't pretend the phone wasn't stolen. what the bar employee did is text book theft.


Robert   April 27th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

Under California state law, Gizmodo broke the law. Second, the person who found the phone and sold it also broke the law. Really, the only issue here is the $5,000.

Under California law, Apple has 3 years to claim their property before it becomes property of the finder. The finder kept the phone for weeks, trying to sell it to the highest bidder. You are right, Apple did contact the police – to report it missing – long before it was purchased by Gizmodo. So, how did the original finder break the law? The original finder did not make a reasonable attempt to return it to Apple. They knew the name of the engineer who lost the phone (from the Facebook app on the phone). Apple's mailing address is not a secret (1 Infinite Loop). Second, even if the original finder was incapable of returning the phone, Gizmodo wasn't, and should have returned it immediately and without charge. No $5000.

This phone isn't a normal phone. This phone represents millions of dollars of research and development. You might be asking "why didn't Apple secure this phone better?" Well, how else do you test a telephone? You have to take it out into the real world.

How did Gizmodo break the law? They clearly knew they were buying stolen property. If you're buying a prototype of the next version of the iPhone, and you're not buying it from Apple, any reasonable person would expect that they are buying stolen property. Now, if it's not real, then it's not worth $5000. If it is real, then you're buying stolen property, and you can't buy it. Gizmodo determined that they believed that it was truely a stolen phone, and purchased it for $5000.


krehator   April 27th, 2010 10:54 pm ET

Apple shouldn't take it so personal. "it is just business". Morals dont apply in business, remember?


mastershredder   April 28th, 2010 12:32 am ET

I have been watching this whole thing with Gizmodo unfold for the last few days thinking, "how dumb can a new-gen technology publication get?", particularly one that depends upon smooth sailing waters with developers, publishers and manufactures involved in technology driven goods. I spent a few good years working for Apple and this was by far the the most foolish thing I have seen anyone do in order to get Apple news/rumors/leaks splattered on their home page and all over the web.

Obviously this was "sensitive" property and rather than directing their discovery to proper channels (which they totally know about, oh yes), they flaunt, decorate and dance. Talk about burning bridges for personal gain! Macosrumors and Apple insider (among some others) used to get their chops busted for leaking prototype prints/sketches, specs or sneaky hidden cam shots. It eventually resulted in Apple banning them from participating in events or being privy to Apple news/information. No site or news business ever went this far, particularly in this style. This is an awesome burning wreck that you just have to sit back and admire while it burns.


hyren   April 28th, 2010 12:45 am ET

geeks will fail:
You realize the entire reason Apple even has an iphone, hell, the reason you even have an internet to spout your drivel on is because of us "geeks". In fact, the entire tech industry would be a completely different thing without us. Do you see the irony of all this?
Geeks tend to be the innovators when it comes to these things. Without Bill Gates, who knows what PCs would be. Back in the day, Steve Jobs himself would likely have been classified as a geek. Without them, computers wouldn't be what they are today, and you wouldn't have your precious apple gadgets to play with, or your computer to type with. Think about that the next time you rail against us using a forum which was essentially created by us.


theAntiELVIS   April 28th, 2010 12:58 am ET

Hey, remember back in 1984 when Apple ran that ad proclaiming themselves the alternative to "Big Brother"? Guess what – a funny thing happened on the way to massive corporate success....


Arick   April 28th, 2010 1:08 am ET

Geeks will Fall, that is the most idiotic rant I have ever read.

You don't like geeks because they are far more intelligent than you. Accept this and maybe you will advance a bit as a human being.


Mr Guzz   April 28th, 2010 1:17 am ET

I was about to buy my very first Crapple product: the so call "iPhone 4G" or wherever .....now with all this BS: Jobs and the others cry babies doing. I am not planning to do buy it anymore.

I gonna try to stay as far away from Crapple products as possible.

I guess Adobe have the biggest laugh out of all this.....I am with them !


iPhone Prototype: Web Reacts to Police Raid on Gizmodo Editor’s House   April 28th, 2010 1:43 am ET

[...] Over at CNN, the tone is a bit different–commenters appear to be more interested in discussing whether or not Apple has gone too far–or if Apple is even to blame for the police's "Gestapo" tactics. [...]


Drew   April 28th, 2010 3:14 am ET

Chen did not pay $5000 for the phone but for exclusive rights to the story. Gizmodo had no intention in keeping the hardware, but made requests to Apple to officially confirm that this was their product so that it could be returned.

The question of whether the search and seizure was legal rests on whether the Gizmodo editor is considered a member of the press or a mere blogger.

Apple got great free press along with a soaring stock price after the Gizmodo expose. They should have maintained that good will instead of reacting in such a litigious manner.


greenteagod   April 28th, 2010 3:33 am ET

Schalken really has no clue how the legal system works. Maybe you've been asleep at the wheel for the last 10 too?


Rob   April 28th, 2010 4:55 am ET

I think the police have every right to do what they did, that Gizmodo idiot obviously knew what he had and the fact that he exploited it on the website for media attention is probably one of the dumbest moves ever. He should have tried harder to return the phone but instead he dug himself a hole that will only get bigger as the days go by. All you Apple/Steve Jobs haters sound like crazy immature kids, you think this is child's play? There is millions of dollars and a lot of hard work behind any product to be made, I don't think you'd be very happy if someone did the same to you in some way, shape or form. This isn't just Apple trying to get revenge, this is a legal matter and there are laws that protect products. The Gizmodo guy knew exactly what he had and paid lots of cash for it, just because it happened to be an Apple product doesn't make it okay to do what he did. Society thinks that with the internet, there are no more rules or boundaries and that people are free to do anything they want...wrong!


TBA   April 28th, 2010 6:30 am ET

@The W00Master, yea thats what Apple wants you to think, I bet apple is mad because data on this new phone has been leak instead of it being a rumour. Apple is a corp giant, they basically want you to conform to them. Look at all of their computers, if you want it to be repair you have to take it to a Apple speicalist, where a regular PC basically almost anyone can fix. Thats why PC is more prono to attacks because more SMARTER people us PC, than Macs which is over price paper weights.


gcbcman   April 28th, 2010 7:43 am ET

It is a crime to purchase STOLEN goods, not LOST goods. Gizmodo had no reason to believe that the phone had been stolen. The article says plainly that Apple contacted the police. Gizmodo's business is based on getting information first. They committed no crime. Would the police have come running if this had been an ordinary citizen's phone that was LOST and then showed up on the Internet somewhere? Please. They would laugh at you and tell you to keep better track of your phone.


hhm   April 28th, 2010 8:24 am ET

Even thieves show more respect than kicking down your door. In this day and age? Don't they have an app for that?


lilmoon   April 28th, 2010 10:10 am ET

Did anyone ever think Apple could have done this on purpose? perhaps to get national and international attention. I'm a huge Apple fan and supporter. Companies these days will "stop at nothing" to keep their slice of the pie (market)


Dave   April 28th, 2010 12:04 pm ET

It's a good thing they confiscated his business cards.

Wow. Can you imagine what would happen if those business cards had gotten out on our streets?

Imagine the chaos! Good work, California Police! You saved us from a potential business card disaster.


Vincent   April 28th, 2010 6:01 pm ET

Chen willingly was the buyer of what he knew to be stolen property in order to make 15 minutes of fame for himself as a "journalist." He was a part of a crime and therefore not under the journalist shield laws.

You don't pay $5000 to buy what you already know is not the sellers to sell. You don't pay $5000 to be a good samaritan and return Apple's stuff. You certainly don't pay $5000 to receive stolen goods, take the thing apart and write a story.

Guilty all the way around Chen and Gizmodo. Time to see some big penalties to come Gizmodo and Chens way.


Christian   April 29th, 2010 4:33 pm ET

gcbcman – it is a crime to purchase goods not owned by the seller, it is also illegal to sell goods you don't own. crimes all the way around.


nico   April 30th, 2010 12:32 am ET

You shouldn't bend the law and blame others for something you lost. I am getting a more negative impression of Apple with every release of their products especially the iPhone & iPad which these devices doesn't support flash.

Apple you such a losers!!!!!


Al   April 30th, 2010 12:41 am ET

Free Jason Chen. That's the man trying to hold you down!!!


الشرطة تداهم منزل المحرر ( جاسون ) بسبب IPhone 4G « Azzam's Blog   May 5th, 2010 3:01 pm ET

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Jai's Laboratory » Blog Archive » JAILBROKEN : the CS5, the flash, and the iPhone   May 12th, 2010 7:17 am ET

[...] Flash in one way or another in my projects), they kick Mr. Chen's door down (gizmodo's prototype showdown.) , and now I'm "banned" for using the iPhone [...]


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Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.

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