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iPhone Leak: Police Seize Gizmodo Computers

Recently we've all heard about the new iPhone leak, and the chaos involved in Apple's attempts to retrieve it back. After the phone fell into the hands of a Gizmodo.com editor, the phone was inspected and proven to Apple's handiwork. Now that Apple has finally gotten their prototype iPhone back, they are taking their investigation into the leak one step farther.
IGN reports: "Following last week's leak of the fourth generation iPhone, police have seized computers and other hardware used by Gizmodo.com, the tech blog who paid for, and later posted a detailed analysis, of the prototype device. According to reports today, California Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) entered and searched the home of Gizmodo editor, Jason Chen, and seized four computers, two servers, and other components as potential evidence in their investigation of the theft, sale, and transportation of Apple's prototype technology."

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ahall88nhl2764d ago

Always hated Apple and this just adds to it.

dericb112764d ago

I can understand a little legal action but how the hell can you shut down a site. I hope this hits the major news networks and puts Apple out there for being A**holes. Its the employees fault for losing it. Why have we not heard about him being fired or layed off?

Baka-akaB2764d ago

whatever you think of apple is of no importance here .

Those gizmodos thieves bought stolen goods , and instead of giving it back , tried to blackmail apple into confirming a future product .

They had it coming

qface642764d ago (Edited 2764d ago )

apple has always been like that they once sued some blogger and tried to shut down his site because he reported on leaks of a crappy peripheral for garage band

apple has always been like that they have a history

UltimateIdiot9112764d ago

Apple is at fault here. Gizmodo has tried contacting Apple but to no avail due to their tight security that Apple employees thought Gizmodo obtain a knockoff.

Although, it wasn't the best decision for Gizmodo to post about it either. In my eyes, Apple is not innocent and never really was. They sue left and right for the smallest thing and often bully small companies into giving in due to their size.

I hope this shatter people's view on Apple because they are no better than Microsoft.

beardpapa2764d ago

Gizmodo has tried contacting Apple? Yea... like after releasing articles and articles of the phone, raking in millions of page impressions over a course of three days, and generated about $150k in revenue? Definitely much more than they allegedly paid for the phone.

I don't know about you, but if you were someone high up working at an American car company and someone working for you lost designs/spec to your next big car only for it to be published for all to see, you'd do whatever it takes to get a [legal police] investigation going. I mean, it's all business and mishaps like this could potentially become a huge setback for a company.

If Gizmodo really had the good-will to return the phone, they wouldn't have taken the opportunity to release so much info on it and especially in the method they chose to do so.

Baka-akaB2764d ago (Edited 2764d ago )

@UltimateIdiot911

Hardly they tried to get an exclusive and official confirmation , disguised as "show us the proof its yours" . They had all the infos they needed from looking at the phone and it's OS over and over .

I'm not launching a "is apple a prick or not" debate . They most certainly are .

However the fault certainly lies here with the guy who sold the phone , and gizmodo .

The guy had no business reselling the phone for 5k , story doesnt even say if he even tried to find back the "legit owner" , and it far more likely he was happy to sell a "scoop" , he might actually have stolen(yet "found" to legally cover his bottom) .

Gizmodo had no business buying it . Hell they wouldnt fork 5k , even if its chump money given their hits , if they werent already pretty sure it was the new iphone or a really great fake .

It doesnt matter if it's activision , EA , apple , microsoft , sony or nintendo involved ... what gizmodo tried to pull was larceny and blackmail

It isnt even the first time they pull some shenanigans , like , once , getting banned from CES , because messing around with scrrens from various booth , with an universal remote .

WhittO2764d ago

It was Apples product that was STOLEN.

They asked for it back, formally confirming it is theirs.

Gizmodo chose to publish everything about it, strip it apart and try to spoil as much of the features/new tech as they could, milking every bit of new news etc.

They obviously new the risk and Apple has chosen to hit back, you cant blame them for that!

beardpapa2764d ago (Edited 2764d ago )

Baka is right on this. What Giz did was really in the lines of blackmail.

"Gizmodo purchased the prototype from the unnamed party for a sum of $5,000 and posted pictures and video online.

In the days to follow, Gizmodo said that they weren't certain of the prototype's origins but once Apple formally claimed the device as their own, they would promptly return it. Sure enough, Apple issued a request for the prototype's return, thus confirming the device's authenticity. "

From the article itself, the fact is Gizmodo purchased the phone and posted pictures/videos. The next line indicates that Gizmodo had already posted the article BEFORE getting in contact with Apple. Then it clearly shows that Giz would only return the device when formally confirmed by Apple - clearly blackmail and keyword being "only" and "formally".

Bonsai12142764d ago (Edited 2764d ago )

gizmodo deserved it for whoring it out like they did. but it'll be interesting to see what happens because apparently, you can't confiscate journalist's stuff?

also, why not link the actual article.. you know, from gizmodo.

bluexy2764d ago

This has little to do with Apple. This is a seizure of property to determine if a crime has taken place. If evidence is found showing that theft did occur, at that point it would be the People of California pressing charges against Gawker, not Apple.

The situation escalated to this point because of the amount paid by Gawker for the device ($5000). That much money would make the crime a felony rather than a midemeanor, which a very serious charge, with punishments exceeding over a year in jail. At that point, Apple would likely also file a civil case for a return on funds that they lost due to Gawker's theft.

Keep in mind though, as of right now there is no criminal charges. Gawker is still being considered an innocent party, but Jason Chen's property is being examined to determine if any illegal activities did occur.

Gawker purports that they and their journalists are protected under their first amendment rights, and considering the circumstances they may be correct. However, their purchase of the iPhone is a simple business transaction... so it's difficult to dermine whether evidence pertaining to it is protected.

I can't wait to hear more on the story, as it may lead to a lawful discussion on Blogger rights vs. Journalist rights, or if there is even a difference.

Noctis Aftermath2764d ago

That is quite an overreaction by apple, the leak has already been made, the phone was given back to them(after they initially ignored the site), doing this won't change what has been done, if anything it just makes your company look like a bunch of asshats.

inveni02764d ago

In an effort to get hits, Gizmodo was reckless. The probability is higher that the phone was stolen than that it was "found".

97gsx2764d ago

Apple requested the iphone back and it was returned. Asking for a statement in writing was legal and justified. The fact is apple lost the phone and it is their blunder. The fact that a journalist got his door knocked down is even more bothering though. I understand if some average guy put it on ebay but not a journalist.

MNicholas2764d ago

They deserve what they get. Wealthy and educated people can't pretend to be ignorant of the law.

When you knowingly buy something that's stolen you are as guilty as the person who actually stole it.

As for Apple, they would have filed a valid complaint with the police.

Apply ought to be furious. The future of the company rides on this product.

As someone who owns a company that depends on trade secrets, relating to design and utility, I hope these guys get serious jail time and fines.

MEsoJD2764d ago

didn't initially know for sure that it was in fact that it was Apple product until they opened it up.How could you not be skeptical about its validity. After they did that and were convinced they tried to contact Apple. Also If engadget had the opportunity, I would think they would do the same.

Christopher2764d ago (Edited 2764d ago )

1. Yes, hate Apple for investigating the illegal sale of a prototype device.

2. Gizmodo wasn't down, they seized personal computers, not Web servers.

3. As soon as Gizmodo opened up the device and saw it was indeed an Apple product, they shouldn't have posted anything about it and should have contacted whomever they could have to return it. In return it's likely they could have gotten some agreement that Apple would offer up the first details of the new phone to them earlier than others for cooperating, rather than Gizmodo just going ahead and posting what information they want. This is like breaking the embargo date for a review, not good to piss off the people who give you news. Gizmodo burned a bridge big time with this act.

FairFight2763d ago

Let's just ask ourselves a question. If you were an apple engineer and your super secret prototype phone went 'missing' what's the more likely story you're going to try and sell to your bosses; A: I got drunk at a German beer bar and lost my super secret prototype iphone or B: Someone stole my super secret prototype iphone while I was enjoying a beer... In moderation of course. Yeah... Anyone who believes this phone was stolen is kidding themselves. Didn't the phone work for hours after it was found. Wouldn't you turn your phone off immediately if it was stolen? Just another big company trying to bully the little guy. F them.

+ Show (14) more repliesLast reply 2763d ago
Max Power2764d ago

what did they expect to happen?

LinuxGuru2764d ago

lol...that's what happens

Xi2764d ago (Edited 2764d ago )

It's not gizmondo's fault that they found a way to acquire it, and they did so though legal means. Apple are the only ones to blame.

I hope that gizmondo sues them.

Premonition2764d ago (Edited 2764d ago )

But at the same time gizmodo had the right to return the product, and none of this would have happened, apple isn't some small company their work is very important and for something they tried to keep underwraps for months just explode on to the internet and on a well known site, I would be pissed as well.

AEtherbane2764d ago

They are vague on the circumstance, if this Gizmodo employee uploaded the software or connected the phone to the computer and took info from it off, then Apple has the right to obtain the computer to search for confidential information if they get a warrant to do so.

Xi2764d ago

Unless apple has substantial proof that intellectual property has been stolen, and is being sold can they acquire the personal belonging of a staff member of gizmondo.

Apple messed up, they should know better, now their reputation is being sullied. That should've been kept under lock and key, and there should've been more devices in place to ensure it's confidentiality.

AEtherbane2764d ago

Its a felony investigation, so im pretty sure the computers can be possessed in search of IP belonging to Apple.

Premonition2764d ago

Plus didnt gizmodo said they paid about 5 grand or 10 grand to acquire the phone?

Raypture2764d ago

They paid $5000 for it.

Thing is whether they realize it or not this was huge in terms of marketing from the story from it, even my friends who don't like keeping up with everything in technology were really interested in it, and unless you're living under a e-rock you've probably heard about the iPhone/Giz saga.

I personally hate the term intellectual property as it basically tries to make you be able to own thoughts, sure they could probably sue him if he tried to tamper with the programs inside it, but if they did that it's contradictory as they'll need to sue everyone whos ever hacked/used the iphone for unintended purposes.

beardpapa2764d ago

The fact that they paid for the phone gives you more reason to believe what their true intentions were with possession of the phone. They do whatever it takes to get a big story, but unlike professional journalists, they [like the paparazzi] do it in a d-bag way.

Baka-akaB2764d ago

There most likely wasnt anything legal about the way they bought the phone .

They were aware it wasnt the seller's phone , nor probably could even get a legal document from it .

Christopher2764d ago (Edited 2764d ago )

That actually has not been proven, which is what the seizure of their computer equipment goes towards proving. But, knowing Gizmodo purchased an item that was not the seller's, meaning it counts as stolen property that can be seized along with any other material items that can lead to finding all parties involved in the illegal sale of the item.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2764d ago
Raypture2764d ago

To my knowledge they didn't know it was stolen, from what I've heard it still hasn't been confirmed exactly how it got out.

Also the article on giz talks about the search in which they broke the door down and have offered to reimburse for it, a fine waste of tax payers money if you ask me since nothing there was hurting anyone and did not require immidete attention.

beardpapa2764d ago (Edited 2764d ago )

The problem with Giz is that since they had the phone and all information they could retrieve from the phone, they could pretty much fabricate any kind of story they want about the whole transaction they made to obtain the phone.

They were practically the only ones with it. No other site knew what the phone was to look like. There were no [big] leaks other than what Giz started. They could practically change and add to their story how they saw fit by looking at the rumor-mill the comments sections usually bring up.

I mean, how effing coincidental is it [if you were following the leak and comments] that people started commenting about "oh Apple is going to go legal on them" and then the next day, Gizmodo has an article about how they sent a notice to Apple and received a message regarding where meet up to pick up the missing phone? Does that even seem professional to you? I wouldn't be surprised if that letter was fabricated to add to the suspense.

Like those youtube videos have said, any thing you see nowadays on the net or magazines could've been made in photoshop / content-aware fill.

Raypture2764d ago

apple has a history of going after people with the smallest leak, they went after that one kid that started a rumor that steve jobs blood pressure was up (argue you may, but Steve Jobs has made apple what it is, like them or not he's a genuis when it comes to marketing things as seen how they were failing until they got him back after they fired him the first time)

They could have made false info, but I doubt giz would go about doing that seeing as how they have a reputation to uphold. Now I'm saying the info ABOUT the phone was real, but it's anyones guess as to how the phone got out, some say it's stolen, some say it was found in a lost bar and other theories, we don't know for sure though.

Christopher2764d ago

Doesn't matter if they knew or not.

Buyer beware, especially if you buy from the guy on the corner rather than a reputable vendor.