Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home raided over iPhone prototype story

Originally Published:Monday, April 26th 2010, 10:37 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 27th 2010, 9:16 AM

Don't take a bite out of Apple.

California cops raided the home of a prominent tech Web site editor after he posted inside info about a next-generation iPhone left in a bar.

Gizmodo.com editor Jason Chen came home Friday to find cops in his house, looking for evidence of a felony linked to an online expose about the new iPhone.

"They then made me place my hands behind my head and searched me to make sure I had no weapons or sharp objects on me," Chen wrote on his Web site Monday night.

Chen said a detective told him it search stemmed from "a misunderstanding that could be cleared up if I answered some questions." He refused to be grilled.

A search warrant signed by a San Mateo County Superior Court Judge indicated detectives were searching for evidence connected to lost Apple device.

The warrant allowed sheriff's detectives to seize all records, "including digital photographs and/or video of the Apple prototype 4G iPhone."

Apple officials said last week the super-secret iPhone was lost in March by one of its researchers.

Chen said someone found the iPhone in a bar and contacted Gizmodo, which paid $5,000 for the opportunity to take the device apart and photograph it.

Detectives seized four of Chen's computers, his digital camera and several external hard drives.

Gaby Darbyshire, chief operating officer of Gizmodo's parent company, Gawker Media, said the raid was a blatant violation of Chen's First Amendment rights as a journalist.

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