Judge unseals Gizmodo-4G iPhone prototype search warrant

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“In a surprise decision, a judge in San Mateo County, Calif., on Thursday ordered the unsealing of records involving the criminal investigation into what may have been a prototype iPhone purchased by a gadget blog,” Declan McCullagh reports for CNET.

“In a response to a motion from a group of media companies that included CNET, The Los Angeles Times and Wired.com, Judge Clifford Cretan reversed his earlier ruling and said circumstances had changed and now secrecy was no longer necessary,” McCullagh reports.

“Cretan ordered that the affidavit which is apparently 19-pages long, and his April 28 order sealing the affidavit be made available to the public no later than 2 p.m. PT Friday,” McCullagh reports.

Full article here.


  1. I hope Brian Hogan and Jason Chen are held accountable in some reasonable way for stealing and destroying someone else’s valuable property.

    A prototype device like that is obviously worth a lot. If someone found anything that valuable of mine, knew it was mine, sold it, and then the purchaser (who knew it was stolen) proceeded to destroy it or use private information from it to cause me property harm, the clearly would need to be held accountable. The fact that the victim here is a big corporation should be irrelevant both in terms of being harsher or less harsh with them. Either we protect everyone from crime equally or our legal system becomes a joke.

    I am all for freedom of press, but Chen shouldn’t have paid money to someone who was stealing something. He shouldn’t be held accountable for reporting information he came across, but for paying hard cash to someone for stolen property. Last I checked that wasn’t in the Official Reporters’ List-of-Ethical-Behaviors Handbook.

    (If you havn’t heard of that handbook, I only know about it because I found Chen’s secret copy in a strip club. It must have fell out of his pocket while he was getting a lap dance. I am offering it to MacDailyNews for $5 but don’t tell anyone.)

  2. Obviously, the bloggers are looking for precedence. They want to know whether their rights as <strike>bloggers</strike> journalists are being abused.

    Is Gawker sweating bullets? Did Apple withdraw an injunction to bar the release of these documents? Perhaps they contain evidence that will condemn Gawker in the public’s eye?

    Personally, I’d rather be held in contempt of court than in contempt of the court of public opinion.

  3. Imagine the hero that he (any one of the characters involved) could have been if he had just done the right thing… instead he sold out for a measly $5000. Pretty pathetic the state of our humanity. He should/could have driven up to Cupertino and knocked on the front door – then said “umm, could I speak with Mr. Jobs?” and they might have laughed. Then he could have said, “well, I have something in my pocket that he probably wants back, a prototype new iPhone….” at which point I am certain everyone would have paid attention to him, and chances are, he could have asked for a new iPhone and a Mac (pick your flavor) and would have walked away.

  4. That’s blackmail or holding something for ransom. Just give it back if it isn’t yours. Don’t expect a reward. Good karma and doing the right thing and gaining God’s approval is more than enough of a reward.

  5. @G4Dualie

    Contempt of court lands you in jail.

    Public opinion – meh, especially when talking about ‘bloggers.’

    Jail is not as fun as you might think, unless you enjoy being surrounded by 8th graders with hair on their chests.

  6. Steve516

    Or just given the phone back when apple security and the owner came knocking at the door later on.
    (or weren’t you aware that they located the phone using the built in iPhone location SW and went to the apartment to ask for it back after they were refused they (apple) bricked the phone)

    Real journalists had better get a grip, using the press source shield law as a defense for a reporter’s criminal activity (buying stolen property) dilutes and weakens the law.

  7. @Steve516, that’s precisely what I said when this whole thing started. Gizmodo/Gawker would probably have gained a lot more by being in favor with Apple/Jobs by driving round to 1 Infinte Loop, and insisting they saw Mr. Jobs or Mr. Schiller or Mr.Ives and giving them the damn thing back. Instead they acted/thought like kids and tried to get one over on Apple.


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