Legality of Chen/iPhone raid called into question

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Date: Wednesday, April 28th, 2010, 09:13
Category: iPhone, News

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Following the police raid of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen (the editor who wrote about the now-infamous fourth-generation iPhone prototype), the examination of Chen’s seized computers has been put on hold.

Gizmodo had paid US$5,000 for an iPhone prototype that had been accidentally left behind at a Silicon Valley bar and written extensively about the device.

Per BBC News, Chen’s lawyers have argued that Chen is protected by California’s shield law and State lawyers are considering whether the raids in Fremont were legal.

The shield law states that journalists have the right to protect their unpublished material from examination.

In the meantime, San Mateo county chief deputy district attorney Steve Wagstaffe said he was considering the matter and expected to issue a legal memo later this week.

Wagstaffe cited that the computers would not be examined until then and that the laptops, hard-drive and USB memory sticks that belong to Mr Chen are currently being held by the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (React), the state’s high-tech crime taskforce that conducted the raid.

They ordered the search after Apple reported the phone stolen.

Earlier, Wagstaffe had defended the raid, saying prosecutors had considered whether reporter shield laws applied to the case but decided to proceed.

He also said that police knew the identity of the person who took the phone and that they had talked to him.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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