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The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reports that the criminal investigation of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a next-generation iPhone last month and subsequent purchase of the device by Gizmodo was spurred by requests from the Apple engineer who lost the iPhone and outside legal counsel for the company.
Wagstaffe said that an outside counsel for Apple, along with Apple engineer Powell, called the District Attorney's office on Wednesday or Thursday of last week to report a theft had occurred and they wanted it investigated. The District Attorney's office then referred them to the Rapid Enforcement and Allied Computer Team, or REACT, a multi-jurisdictional, high-tech crime task force that operates under the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office.
As news of the criminal investigation spread, speculation and disagreement regarding what role if any Apple played in initiating the investigation has arisen in a number of venues. While Apple would have to actively pursue any civil charges related to the incident, some observers wondered whether Apple was pressing the examination of possible criminal charges or if law enforcement was working on its own after having been notified of the loss or theft of the iPhone.

The police have identified and spoken to the person who took the iPhone from the Redwood City, California bar where it was left by the Apple engineer, although officials have refused to say whether that same unidentified person is the same individual who sold it to Gizmodo for $5000. No charges have yet been filed in the investigation, which remains on hold as questions regarding the legality of the search and seizure at Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's residence are being considered.

Article Link: Criminal Investigation of Lost Next-Generation iPhone Spurred by Apple Requests
 

wackymacky

macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2007
1,540
51
38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
Gizmodo should be investigated.

Being shielded because they are "journalists" Is a joke.

If Gizmodo had found evidence showing that Apple was withholding information that the iPhone causes testicular cancer etc, then fine.

But this was just about Gizmiodo wanting to be in the lime-light and make some cash.

No doubt Gizmodo have cost Apple a lot of cash.

Throw the book at Jason Chen is what I say.
 
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PeckhamBog

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2007
272
2
London
I fear this is going to make more noise than it is worth, though I can understand Apple wanting to demonstrate their intolerance towards breaches of intellectual/commercial security.
 
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trainwrecka

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2007
498
625
Earth
If the law was broken, then all parties who broke the law need to face the consequences. There is so much (mis?)information out there, I don't know what to make of the whole debacle.
 
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till

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2007
97
1
New York or Berlin
Bit of an inflammatory headline, when you consider some of the wildly stupid accusations being flung around lately, as if law enforcement is an arm of Apple Inc.

Powell and Apple reported a theft. Yeah, that's often how investigations start. News? Not so much.

(edit) "The police have identified and spoken to the person who took the iPhone from the Redwood City, California bar where it was left by the Apple engineer"

Uh, aren't we burying the lede here? Now *that's* a major development.
 
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mingoglia

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2009
450
9
I find it very interesting that Apple (among other companies) is on the Steering Committee of the task force the house.
 
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fishmoose

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2008
1,804
241
Sweden
Chen is English right? If he hasent become an US citizen and he gets convicted, won't he be departed from the US? That would be sad over an iPhone prototype imho.
 
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chembox

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2010
660
0
Gizmodo should be investigated.

Being shielded because they are "journalists" Is a joke.

If Gizmodo had evidence found that Apple was withholding information that the iPhone causes testicular cancer etc, then fine.

But this was just about Gizmiodo wanting to be in the lime-light and make some cash.

No doubt they have cost apple a lot of cash.

Though the book at Brian Chen is what I say.
They're investigating the personal home and life of Jason Chen, not the offices of Gizmodo/Gawker.
 
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Robert M.

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2010
761
163
Wow! This is tasty!! :D

I think this is my new form of entertainment! I'm going to sit back and watch this thread explode. "I'm never buying another Apple product again blah blah blah" :p

Not my words...just preparing for the insane rants...
 
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SkippyThorson

macrumors 68000
Jul 22, 2007
1,580
764
Utica, NY
Now this is just getting way too blown up. No other leaked products from any other company would cause this. Not at this level.

Sure it may have been illigal; what Gizmodo did... But really? All this because Apple doesn't want to show off what the iPhone looks like yet?

Too much. I've gotta way it. It's just a new design for a product that we all know (basically) what it's capable of.
 
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gwangung

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,109
86
While Apple would have to actively pursue any civil charges related to the incident, some observers wondered whether Apple was pressing the examination of possible criminal charges or if law enforcement was working on its own after having been notified of the loss or theft of the iPhone.

Sorry, but this just stupid and sensationalistic. Even for Joes on the street, it often pays to be persistent with police. This is dog-bites-man territory.
 
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PeckhamBog

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2007
272
2
London
Buying stolen property...... How many times does this need repeating?

Stolen?

It was lost (from the reports I heard) but was there ever an intention to permanently deprive the owner of it?

If the Apple engineer hadn't lost it and it was obtained dishonestly, then I can understand the crime implication.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,959
5,606
Seattle, WA
I'm inclined to think REACT is acting on their own volition more than "doing the direct bidding of Apple" (I mean, really. If Apple had direct control of the police...).

All Apple can do is file a request with the police to press charges of Theft against the person who found the phone and trafficking in stolen goods against the man (for selling it) and Gizmodo (for buying it).

It sounds like in the pursuit of those charges, REACT chose to "secure evidence" which may be material to investigating the charges (email records if the seller contacted Gizmodo by email and perhaps financial info regarding the supposed $5000 payment) to assist the District Attorney's Office is there are grounds to file such charges.
 
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chembox

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2010
660
0
So if you buy a stolen (not really stolen but, found) iPhone, your home gets raided by the government and all of your computer equipment is detained and searched through?

Yeah, right. This only happens because of how Apple has an extreme obsession with secrecy.
 
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coleridge78

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2007
634
0
interesting

As suspected, the police already knew the original thief. The warrant, just like it said, was not to find the source of a story. Even if you want to take that angle on what is a matter of grand theft, the source was already known. The warrant was to investigate whether the journalist in question was not in fact working in any journalistic capacity, but more basely inciting the misappropriation of trade secrets and conspiring to commit grand theft and receive stolen property.

We'll find out!
 
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mdriftmeyer

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2004
3,376
1,106
Pacific Northwest
Stolen?

It was lost (from the reports I heard) but was there ever an intention to permanently deprive the owner of it?

If the Apple engineer hadn't lost it and it was obtained dishonestly, then I can understand the crime implication.

I parked my car as I went into Starbucks. I stayed in Starbucks for an hour and came out to find my car gone.

I left the bar and after realizing I forgot my phone I called the bar to discover my phone is gone.

My property left the premises of both examples by a third party.

That's theft.
 
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AtlasBoy

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2009
269
0
The World
They're investigating the personal home and life of Jason Chen, not the offices of Gizmodo/Gawker.

In the letter Gawkers lawyer sent to the officer on the case, he said that Chen works from home and it is therefore his "newsroom" so Gawker has already conceded that is this place of work.
 
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