Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Important Points About Gizmodo Police Raid

I am gonna cut through the clutter and get to the issue on this matter.

By now, you probably know about the police raid on Jason Chen's home. This is the same Jason Chen who, last week, broke the story of the prototype 4th generation iPhone on Gixmodo.

Let me be clear on the role of Jason as far as I am concerned: Jason is a journalist as it pertains to how California statutes view his role in providing news, rumors, and other bits of information on the Internet. Also, I believe a blogger can wear two hats, those of a journalist and that of, well, a blogger.

The case here is as follows. The police raided Mr. Chen's home on Friday and took some of his computer hardware. It was done with a search warrant signed by a judge. Is this legal? I will let you google and parse the plethora of posts on this matter with the same CA laws and federal Privacy Protection Act mentioned here and there.

Bottom line is that the laws see Jason and his Gizmodo buddies as journalists. So what did the San Mateo DA hope to accomplish? Fish for the ID of the person who sold Gizmodo the stolen (at this point, the prototype iPhone is considered stolen in the eyes of the law) iPhone?

If that is the case, the search and seizure isn't likely to hold up in court. Jason is a journalist and he is afforded protection at the state and federal level.

Now, if the DA believes Jason Chen and Gizmodo committed a crime by commissioning the theft or bought stolen good, then it gets more complicated. It is unclear even then that the authorities can go after Gizmodo. Nor are the Giz guys in the clear. It does look like they will need to lock horns in court. There is evidence that the DA's office is giving their case another look.

Of course, we don't know what kind of evidence the police have or who the target of their investigation is.

There you have it. I know, it is not satisfying. Everyone is chiming in and, yet, we know almost nothing in the criminal case. We only know a crime has been committed. We just don't know who did the crime.

More at Wired

Note: I am not an attorney. I am just putting together what I have read so far on this matter. Everything is a bit fuzzy at this time.

Another note: Gloating by Gizmodo aside, however uncool, we love rumors and leaks and Gizmodo got us what we wanted. Feeding the beast, yah?

-- Post From My iPad

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