Monday, April 26, 2010, 01:35 pm PT (04:35 pm ET)
California authorities seize computers of Gizmodo editorArmed with a warrant, California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team entered Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home last week and seized four computers and two servers in its felony investigation of an obtained prototype iPhone.
Gizmodo revealed the information, along with a copy of the warrant issued by a judge of the superior court in San Mateo County, Calif. In response, the website's post argued that it believes the warrant was invalid under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code.
The warrant states that there was probable cause that Chen's computers were "used as the means of committing a felony." The REACT authorities entered Chen's home without him present, according to Gizmodo.
A full inventory of the seized material includes a MacBook, MacBook Pro, 32GB iPad, 16GB iPhone, an AirPort Extreme, IBM ThinkPad, a Dell desktop, external hard drives, and many more. The items were removed from numerous rooms in his home.
An account of the events by Chen was also filed. The Gizmodo editor said he and his wife came back home from dinner around 9:45 p.m. when they noticed their garage door was half-open. When he tried to open the door, officers searched him and informed him that his property was under their control.
Chen's front door was reportedly broken open so the authorities could enter, and those on the scene informed him that he could be reimbursed for the damage. Chen was provided with a copy of the warrant, and declined to comment to the authorities. He was not arrested.
Last week it was revealed that police are investigating the Gizmodo purchase of a prototype iPhone from Apple. The publication's parent company, Gawker Media, has openly admitted it paid $5,000 to obtain the device from a man who claimed he found it at a California bar.
The prototype handset was allegedly left at the Redwood City, Calif., establishment by an Apple engineer. The employee frantically searched for the device, calling the bar multiple times to see if it had been returned, but the owner of the bar said no one ever contacted him to say they had found an iPhone. Gizmodo claimed that the person who found the phone attempted to call Apple and did not receive a response.
Gizmodo returned the iPhone to Apple after the Cupertino, Calif., company requested it be given back, but not before the publication wrote numerous stories about the device and revealed the name of the engineer who allegedly lost the device. The website also disassembled the hardware to confirm it was manufactured by Apple.
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