Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

May 6, 2010 -

MSNBC reports that the Associated Press and other news organizations have asked a judge to unseal the search warrant affidavit used to raid the home of Gizmodo.com editor Jason Chen. The warrant used for the raid was already made public and indicated that it was related to a "suspected felony." No charges have been filed and the confiscated material - computers, hard drives, digital cameras, cell phones, financial documents, etc. - remains in the hands of law enforcement.

Steve Wagstaffe, spokesman for the San Mateo County district attorney's office, said that the confiscated items "are not being examined while prosecutors consider arguments that the search was illegal." Meanhwile Chen's attorney, Thomas Burke of Davis Wright Tremaine in San Francisco, said in a recent interview that the search warrant should have never been issued because California law protects journalists from such searches without a special hearing.

The legality of the raid is one of many unanswered questions media outlets are asking - more specifically, reasons for the search warrant being more compelling than the legal protections given to journalists under California law. Curiously, Court documents revealing legal reasons for a particular search are usually made public within 10 days, but the affidavit supporting this raid remains sealed.

The "suspected felony" relates to an iPhone prototype phone that was sold to Gawker Media's Gizmodo for $5,000 after a hapless Apple engineer left it in a Silicon Valley bar and later found by another bar patron.

Source: MSNBC

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Comments

Re: Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

What "legal protection" under Californian law? Since when does California have a law protecting someone who buys stolen property?

Re: Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

Unless a reporter is convicted of a crime, a public hearing has to be held to determine if a search warrant can be issued to investigate a reporter, if the warrant is tied to something involving a story he or she is working on.  No such hearing was held in this particular case.

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

Perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to assume that the "reporter" in this case is actually a reporter as was intended to be protected by California's shield law. That ain't entirely clear to me. Granted, I haven't read much Gizmodo, but if they're anything like GamePolitics has become since the departure of Dennis McCauley, a claim to being a legitimate "journalist" could well be specious. Just because you wait on legitimate journals to publish news stories and then republish those stories on a blog doesn't necessarily make you a journalist worthy of protection. It more clearly makes you a plagiarist, but that it makes you a journalist is less clear. 

Re: Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

"iPhoneGate"? Ok, it's time to retire that little meme.

Re: Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

Thomas Burke of Davis Wright Tremaine in San Francisco, said in a recent interview that the search warrant should have never been issued because California law protects journalists from such searches without a special hearing.

I love how they always creatively leave off the part about how the journalist shield laws don't apply if it's suspected the journalist has committed a felony.

Of course, I think they're still trying to determine if he committed a felony, but that's another story.

Re: Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

Actually, they're inherently linked.  If they don't have enough evidence that he committed a felony, then the hearing should have commenced.  You know, "innocent until proven guilty" and all.

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

This is America, it's Guilty until proven innocent.  And even then you're still considered guilty most of the time.  Of course this does not apply to the wealthy.

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I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

Hmmmm... I suppose it all boils down to whether person buying the goods knew or suspected they were stolen, and does 'finding it in a bar' surmount to 'theft' (theoretically, yes, when you consider the sum it was sold on for, the person who found it obviously had some idea of its value). From that point, I can almost see the reason behind the laws' reasoning, but then, without knowing how much evidence the Police had with regards to what was going on, I really couldn't guess at the legality of a search warrant, from what I understand, there's needs to be some pretty compelling evidence to make a search warrantable.

 

Re: Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

From what I've read elsewhere, the guy who 'found' it at the bar is facing criminal charges himself, as Cali has a law stating if you find something, reasonable attempts to return to owner must be made or else it will be considered theft. In the article I read, all he did was ask various patrons of the bar if it was theirs. He didn't even leave contact information with the bar, let alone letting the bar know he had it, incase the owner came looking for it.


 
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Matthew Wilsonmy god....... people need to play life is strange. its a very very dark version of twin peaks08/01/2015 - 12:56pm
DocMelonheadLook, I know that you guys wanted to study Gamergate; hell, one of your writers were Interviewing KiA on the subject (He's been banned from GamerGhazi). Sadly, the minorities veiwed Gamergate the same way as WBC at best, and Nazis at worst.08/01/2015 - 12:31pm
DocMelonheadIP wanted you to know that GamerGate is about Harassing minorities into submission, not "Ethnics in Journalism". It been a year since the Zoe Post was published and sparked a hate mob on Zoe Quinn.08/01/2015 - 12:28pm
DocMelonheadThat what's IP's goal is here in regard to gamergate: to get you guys to disassociate yourselves from the harassers that made all those claims up to threaten the advocates of social justice for minorities.08/01/2015 - 12:24pm
DocMelonheadIP tries to demonize all of GamerGate and it's supporters, along with those who didn't outright condemn it as a cover for a hate mob full of bigots.08/01/2015 - 12:20pm
MechaCrashNo, IP is trying to dehumanize you, I'm just pointing out that you're a hypocrit who makes bad faith arguments.08/01/2015 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenAnd I'm off too. Play nice, y'all!08/01/2015 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenIn short, discussions of ethics in journalism? Totally fine. Said indie dev's sex life? Not okay.08/01/2015 - 11:31am
james_fudgeTry talking when you have hundreds of people tweeting at you at the same time :)08/01/2015 - 11:30am
Andrew EisenAnd yet, when 30-seconds of research showed that there was no relevance to said indie dev's sex life, many people kept talking about. Hell, still do to this day. I had a guy on Twitter pester me about this nonsense for an entire day last weekend.08/01/2015 - 11:30am
james_fudgeWhatever dude, you're here posting. No one's stopping you.08/01/2015 - 11:30am
Goth_SkunkBe advised: In approximately 30 minutes I'm heading out of town for an obligatory family reunion. This is being stated so that none can interpret my upcoming 24 hour hiatus as a tail-tucking turn from discussion.08/01/2015 - 11:28am
Goth_SkunkEven now, IronPatriot, MechaCrash, and Craig R. continue to attempt to shout me down and dehumanize me.08/01/2015 - 11:25am
Goth_SkunkWhat transpired afterwards was a concerted effort to shout down and dehumanize those trying to bring these matters out into the open. I remain utterly convinced of this to this day.08/01/2015 - 11:24am
Goth_SkunkAnd yet the sex life of this indie developer tied right into the matter of journalistic ethics, as investigations uncovered a great number of breaches of ethical conduct, both related & not. That scandal is the orifice from which the balloon is inflated.08/01/2015 - 11:20am
MechaCrashI am reminded of the saying about playing chess with a pigeon.08/01/2015 - 11:13am
Andrew EisenThis is supported by, well, what actually happened, but also the text of the actual leaks. That was Tito's question and what he and a few (four total, I think) were discussing.08/01/2015 - 11:11am
Andrew EisenNo, it's not. What was generally prohibited was not discussion of journalistic ethics or other GamerGate topics, but threads that were, for example, discussing the sex life of an indie developer. THOSE are what were locked and removed.08/01/2015 - 11:10am
Goth_SkunkI don't believe you. Not for a second. Every major site with the exception of the Escapist prohibited discussion of GamerGate in its early stages. That is a fact.08/01/2015 - 11:04am
Andrew EisenNo, that's a fact. Don't believe me, read 'em yourself. No one was trying to censor discussion of GamerGate.08/01/2015 - 11:02am
 

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