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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SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
SleakerAnd furthermore just because someone doesn't 'crusade against the evil' that doesn't make them the problem. You can have discussion with those around you. There's a thing called sphere of influence.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
Sleaker@Conster - one person getting harassed is a 'problem' only so far as the harassee's are doing it. Just because a select few people choose to act like this doesn't make it widespread. Nor does it immediately make everyone responsible to put an end to it.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
Andrew EisenNo one's crossed a line but I just want to remind you all to keep discussions civil.09/20/2014 - 1:54pm
Craig R.tldr: I'm a gamer, and imo those who support GamerGate should feel free to take a flying leap off a cliff.09/20/2014 - 1:27pm
Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakersimply oust people that do harass others.09/20/2014 - 11:34am
Sleaker@Conster - I can say the same thing if you think there's been more than a handful. Until there's an actual study on rates no one can claim to know how widespread the incidence of harassment is. Thus the best we can do is 'there might be an issue' and...09/20/2014 - 11:33am
ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
 

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