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Gizmodo ponders lawsuit over iPhone raid misconduct claims

updated 07:25 pm EDT, Wed April 28, 2010

Lawyers suggest pursuing sheriff's office

Following claims of misconduct surrounding a task force raid of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home, a lawyer representing the blog suggests the publisher could file a lawsuit against the San Mateo County sheriff's office. The attorney claims California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) violated shield laws protecting journalists from such actions, an opinion shared with other groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Media lawyer Thomas R. Burke argues that a lawsuit is feasible because "search is not the appropriate method in this situation," according to an interview with CNET. Although the prosecutor involved in the case reportedly considered the shield laws before pushing forward, the DA agreed to suspend further searching through the contents of the seized computers until the issue has been resolved.

"Very much to their credit, they aren't just putting their heads into the sand and saying, 'Go away,'" Burke said.

The DA has yet to file formal charges or publicly label the proceedings a criminal investigation. The prosecutor's acknowledgement of the shield laws could be considered an indication that Chen is the target of a criminal probe, as journalists are not protected if their activities are deemed criminal.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Tralthamidor

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Newsflash: rival borderline-journalism website is pondering something. Superfluous updates to follow.

  1. Brad Bradley

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm going to start stealing stuff and writing about it and they can't do anything to me!!!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. ilovestevejobs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re:Brad Bradley

    Sounds like what Steve blowjobs would do :)

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wow, iphone sure is getting lots of free publicity.

  1. LeeL

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Gizmodo are clowns

    Gizmodo broke the law and they know it. The shield law does not protect against buying stolen property. Engadget was offered this same phone and their attorneys said don't get any where near it, apparently Gizmodo's attorneys are not as smart.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    attaboy ilovestevejobs!

    way to go ilovestevejobs! so glad you got to, yet again, throw out that master wit you clearly have!

    what is it now - 8, 10, a dozen times you've used "Steve Blowjobs" on this site alone?

    man, i mean you must sit around all day and peruse sites just so you can share that wit with the masses over and over and over again.

    "Steve Blowjobs". it's just... wow. what a mind to have come up with that and then to use it ad nauseum! to possess such an intellect! the world is yours my friend, the world is yours

  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Gizmodo claims misconduct but was it?

    I don't think so. They are part of two crimes committed. Theft and release of trade secrets. And possibly even a third crime, receiving stolen property. Based on those facts, the investigation and the search was totally legal. They're not looking for the source of the info, there looking for the thief who took the iPhone that didn't belong to him. On that fact, the media umbrella or shield law is invalid. You can't use that clause when a crime has been committed. Then on top of that Gizmodo writes that they paid $5000.00 for the stolen property and wrote about what they knew already was a prototype iPhone which clearly had Apple printed on the back.
    So Jon, I wouldn't be talking c*** about Jobs because you are clearly WRONG!!
    Your 8 minutes of B.S. doesn't equal a paragraph of what truly happened and Apple like anyone has the right to justice when it comes to stealing of any property, prototype or anything else.

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