The fourth-generation iPhone prototype purchased by tech blog Gizmodo cost them an alleged $5,000. There’s little doubt the site made that back and then some on ad revenue, but was the phone also worth jail time?
In the first steps of what may be a criminal investigation into the legality of how the device was obtained, San Mateo County police raided Gizmodo Editor Jason Chen’s home last Friday, seizing four computers and two servers. Police have yet to investigate the contents of the machines and are first reviewing the relevant law to see if they are allowed to do so.
News broke last week that Gawker, owner of Gizmodo and a host of other blogs, purchased the prototype iPhone for $5,000 from a person who claimed to have found it at a bar in Calif. Gizmodo subsequently posted a thorough analysis of the device and later received a letter from Apple requesting it be returned.
Gawker is claiming journalistic shield laws prevent the San Mateo police from searching Chen’s computers. Shield laws protect journalists from being forced to give up their sources, in this case, the name of the individual or individuals who sold Gizmodo the lost iPhone.