The 4G iPhone Photo: Gizmodo
The Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, or REACT, a special computer crimes task force set up by Santa Clara County law enforcement officials is reportedly on the case of the missing iPhone, which ended up in a reporter's hands.
Apple has spoken to local police, and according to an anonymous source cited by CNet, the district attorney's office has dispatched REACT on the case.
An iPhone prototype an engineer left at a Redwood City bar weeks ago was found, and then reportedly handed over to gadget blog Gizmodo, which leaked numerous details about the technology in the device.
Still early in any investigation, it's not clear if the hunt will target the person that reportedly sold the found iPhone to Gizmodo for $5,000, or if reporters from Gizmodo or its parent company Gawker Media will be a target.
Gizmodo has reported that they have returned the phone to Apple.
The investigation seeks to discover if there is enough evidence to pursue criminal charges, either for illegally revealing trade secrets or whether the found phone being sold was the equivalent of dealing in stolen property.
Any case would likely be complicated by issues of press freedom. Apple has legally pursued product information in the past against websites that reported the information, and failed.
Jackson West should probably disclose that he's worked for Gawker Media.