A Californian judge has turned down a media request asking police to reveal the justification used to search the home of Gizmodo’s editor Jason Chen for information about the sale of a possible iPhone prototype to the technology site.
Gizmodo reportedly paid $5,000 for what may be a 4G iPhone found and sold to them by Brian Hogan, who says he found it after it was left in a German beer garden in Redwood City, Californian, reports CNET. On 23 April, after Apple contacted the police, Chen’s home was searched and kit including three Apple laptops, an iPad and a 16GB iPhone were seized, says Gizmodo.
The request was jointly filed by news organisations including CNET, the Associated Press, Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times, but was denied on the grounds of security of the ongoing investigation.
Over in the US the iPhone prototype drama continues, as Gawker Media challenges the legality of the search warrant served on Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, last Friday. Gawker’s Gizmodo site had received an iPhone 4G protoype and revealed its features online. As CNet reported:
Police have seized computers and servers belonging to an editor of Gizmodo in an investigation that appears to stem from the gadget blog’s purchase of a lost Apple iPhone prototype.
Gawker claimed the search warrant was invalid under a part of California law. This part of the law, CNET reported, ” prevents judges from signing warrants that target writers for newspapers, magazines, or ‘other periodical publications.'”
If Gizmodo editors are, in fact, a target of a criminal probe into the possession or purchase of stolen property, the search warrant served on editor Jason Chen on Friday appears valid. A blog post at NYTimes.com on Monday, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, said charges could be filed against the buyer of the prototype 4G phone – meaning Gizmodo.