Police seize Gizmodo computers over 4G iPhone

Police investigating the possible theft of the 4G iPhone prototype, and Gizmodo's role in the case, broke into editor Jason Chen's home and took four computers, two servers, an iPad and other devices.

The raid, covered by a search warrant, actually happened on Friday night, but officials in San Mateo, California, have only just released details. According to the warrant, which is posted in full on Gizmodo, the computers may contain photos of Apple's "prototype 4G iPhone", as well as email pertaining to its purchase, call records, and research on Gray Powell, the Apple engineer who purportedly misplaced the device.

According to the website's legal counsel, Gawker Media's Gaby Darbyshire, the search and seizure was illegal under California law - Chen works as a journalist for the publication, and therefore is protected from such action.

California's shield laws protect journalists from having to turn over their sources and unpublished information they've collected as part of their reporting. However, Stephen Wagstaffe, San Mateo County's chief deputy district attorney, told TechCrunch that the prosecutor on the case felt that the shield protection laws did not apply, so the raid was executed.

He also revealed that this raid was just part of an ongoing investigation and that charges are yet to be brought. The police are, at present, just "looking at any hand that touched or had something to do with this phone".

As we rightly said yesterday, this is to run and run...



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