iPhone blogger’s home raided by police

Last week I posted about Gizmodo.com sharing details of a device purported to be the new iPhone model… The plot has definitely thickened. Apparently on Friday night police raided the home of the editor who published the details of the misplaced alleged prototype, believing that the man has committed a felony.

According to the CNN’s SciTechBlog, police entered editor Jason Chen’s home without him being present, using a search warrant authorizing them to take four computers and two servers as the equipment may have been used in the commission of a felony.

Gizmodo.com has posted the account of Chen and his wife returning home from dinner to find their front door bashed in and police inside, where they had apparently been for a few hours. Allegedly they made the couple wait outside for the final thirty minutes or so of their visit to the house, printed out a copy of the inventory list, assured Chen and his wife that they would be reimbursed for the damage to the door, and left with the computers and servers.

There’s some murky legal waters here, because Chen is a journalist whose computer equipment is used in the course of his full-time professional work for Gizmodo.com. Also published online are the search warrant authorizing the home intrusion, and the company’s legal challenge against the search-and-seizure of Chen’s computer equipment. Click here to check out these documents on their website.

So what’s next? I note that Mr. Chen hasn’t actually been arrested or charged with a crime, so it seems like the warrant is an attempt to find proof of the alleged felony. I’d really like to find out what felony he is alleged to have committed with that equipment. I definitely have ZERO expertise on copyright law or journalistic protections, so I’m genuinely curious and want to learn more about the whole situation.

I’d also love to hear how the police are going to explain their presence at 9:45pm when the search warrant explicitly states that a night search was NOT approved by the judge. Just sayin’.

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