Gizmodo's Loudest Story Ever Ends Quietly

By PAUL ELIAS
|  Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 AM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Raw Video: What Apple Will Give iPhone 4 Customers

NBC Bay Area

Gizmodo blogger Jason Chen

advertisement
Photos and Videos

A Story Too Good Not To Dish

As excited as Silicon Valley folks are to see the next generation iPhone, that's how badly they feel about the guy responsible for it.

Legal Debate Swirls Around iPhone Prototype

The blogger behind the lost iPhone prototype talks to exclusively NBC Bay Area George Kiriyama but doesn't say much.
More Photos and Videos

A brewing free-speech debate touched off by a lost prototype of Apple's iPhone has ended quietly with a blogger's agreement to cooperate with investigators.

      Thomas J. Nolan Jr., a lawyer for Jason Chen of Gizmodo.com, said Monday that technology website agreed to the deal with prosecutors to resolve the case as quickly as possible.
     
A judge on Friday ordered a search warrant withdrawn and seized items returned to Chen. The website posted images in April of a prototype iPhone left in a Redwood City bar by an Apple employee.
     
Gizmodo said it paid money for the phone.
     
Investigators from the multi-district Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team had raided Chen's house and seized computer equipment as part of its investigation into whether any laws were broken.
     
The website and other media organizations objected, saying the raid was illegal because state law prohibits the seizure of unpublished notes from journalists.
     
"The search was clearly illegal," said Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer Matt Zimmerman, who added that issue won't be fought in court after Gizmodo's agreement with authorities.
     
Zimmerman said there's little debate that Chen qualifies as a journalist, who are explicitly protected from seizures of unpublished notes. Journalists can also invoke California's so-called shield law to fight orders to testify about their sources and newsgathering.
     
"We still think the search warrant is and was inappropiate," Nolan said. "It is a very practical resolution that doesn't require us to litigate any further."
     
Nolan said once investigators review what is turned over to them, he believes they will drop their investigation without filing charges.
     
Chen purchased the iPhone from Brian Hogan, who said he found it on the floor of a Redwood City bar. Hogan is also under criminal investigation, though no charges have been filed.
     
Lawyers for both men didn't immediately return telephone calls.
     
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs mentioned the case briefly Friday during a discussion of the newest iPhone.
     
"Sometimes Web sites buy stolen prototypes and put them on the Web," he said. "And we don't like that."

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Bay Area Proud
Bay Area Proud is NBC Bay... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out