Invalid Warrant Used in Raid on Gizmodo ‘Missing iPhone’ Reporter Jason Chen

The plot thickens. This isn’t looking like a publicity stunt by Apple anymore unless Steve Jobs has cops on his payroll. Beware the Power of Jobs! Kim Zetter writes on WIRED’s Threat Level:
New iPhone?

Police raided the house of an editor for Gizmodo on Friday and seized computers and other equipment. The raid was part of an investigation into the leak of a prototype iPhone that the site obtained for a blockbuster story last week. Now, a legal expert has raised questions about the legality of the warrant used in the raid.

On Friday, officers from California’s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team in San Mateo, California, appeared at the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen while he was not there and broke open the front door.

Chen and his wife discovered the officers when they returned from dinner around 9:45 that evening. According to an account he posted online, Chen noticed his garage door was partly open, and when he tried to open it completely, officers came out and told him they had a warrant to search the premises. The warrant had been signed just hours earlier, at 7:00 p.m., by a San Mateo County Superior Court judge. It allowed the police to search Chen, his residence and any vehicle in his control.

The officers were in the process of cataloging the items they had already taken from the premises and told Chen they had been in his home a “few hours already.” According to California law, a search warrant may be served between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. unless otherwise authorized.

Read More: WIRED’s Threat Level

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  • emperorreagan

    I'm confused as to how Apple could even get a warrant against the guy, shield laws for reporters completely aside.

    He was a reporter who wrote about a phone that one of Apple's employees lost. The phone had already been returned to Apple. What crime did he possibly commit?

    Oh, wait. Corporations have all of the rights in the United States. Nevermind. It could've been something as trivial as a thought-crime against Apple.

  • Spooky

    It's obvious he did nothing wrong, perhaps an investigation of Apple is in order? Perhaps a search and seizure of anything remotely interesting Jobs owns?

  • vicwiz

    fuck apple. Obviously feeding on the joylessness of the people

  • 5by5

    Hasn't Apple ever heard of “Finders keepers, losers weepers?”

    Another thing I also don't like about this, was discussed on the Olbermensch's show last night, along with all the attending MSM superiority complex about “whether or not bloggers are journalists” who are therefore entitled to the protections that include not having their property seized by police over a story they've written.

    Now of course the corporate media wants to portray bloggers as just a bunch of dorks in their mother's basements, rather than as professional writers paid to research news items and report them to the public. This is primarily because the internet is a real economic competitor to the 6 remaining major media conglomerates that control every OTHER thing you see, hear, or read in this country.

    Bloggers are outside of their control sphere, and they REALLY don't like that.

    But the truth is, reporters don't require the official sanction of some corporate entity to call themselves journalists. From the beginning of this country, the freedoms of the press were there for newspapers and the colonial equivalent of today's bloggers, the pamphleteer. Thomas Paine was the blogger of his day, and similarly influential, much to the consternation of the establishment of his time.

    And I have to say, it was particularly amusing to hear corporate media last night blither about “cash register journalism” simply because the Gizmodo guy paid the finder for the iPhone. This from news/entertainment organizations who REGULARLY pay paparazzi for photos and videos they obtain by illegally trespassing on private property. The holier-than-thou thing was just precious.

    I expect better from Keith, but he is still a part of the corporate media machine, and when push comes to shove, that comes out from the corporate insiders, no matter who they are. They've got a corporate pimp to please, after all. Some are just bigger whores than others (the biggest whores being on the Faux News network, of course).

  • Puzzled

    I don’t get the title of this news article. Nothing in the text implies that the warrant was invalid, nor is it explicitly stated. In fact, there is no occurrence of the word “invalid” in the text.

  • Puzzled

    I don't get the title of this news article. Nothing in the text implies that the warrant was invalid, nor is it explicitly stated. In fact, there is no occurrence of the word “invalid” in the text.

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