Video: Police raid blogger who exposed iPhone

  1. Closed captioning of: Police raid blogger who exposed iPhone

    >> that's your latest weather.

    >>> there is new drama over the leak of apple 's latest version of the iphone . now police are getting involved. nbc 's jeff rossen is here with the latest.

    >> this all began with a stupid mistake in a bar. it ended with a huge embarrassment for apple . their super secret iphone prototype exposed. police are going after a blogger raiding his house for answers.

    >> hey, i'm jason chen . this is the new iphone . here are some of the new features.

    >> reporter: it is not the roll outapple wanted.

    >> the back is flush. there's no more roundedness.

    >> reporter: the company's top-secret gold mine released by a blogger. on the website gizmodo.com. the new iphone is still a prototype, not set for release until june. so how did jason chen get it so early? police have now raided his california home to find out if he broke any laws. according to the search warrant , investigators hauled out his hard drives , digital cameras , cell phones , chen 's american express bill and cop tiz of his checks. the man who had so much to say online --

    >> this is quite a bit bigger than the other one.

    >> reporter: -- suddenly clammed up overnight.

    >> i'm sorry, i have no comment. i would refer to you my lawyer. everything i've published is accurate.

    >> reporter: the drama started here at this california bar . last month an apple employee accidentally left the new iphone inside. someone found it and reportedly sold it to gizmodo.com for $5,000. suddenly chen had one of the hottest scoops and blew apple 's secret wide-open online.

    >> apple , steve jobs , probably fuming that this happened. you can't imagine a ceo that is more upset the day he sees this come out on a blog. there's his baby just sitting there for all the world to see before he gets to announce it.

    >> reporter: the website claims it gave the forbidden phone back to apple but the video is still up for everyone to see.

    >> the rest is pretty much just an iphone .

    >> reporter: in a letter to investigators, gizmodo's parent company says, "under both state and federal law , a search warrant may not be validly issued to confiscate the property of a journalist. we expect the immediate return of the materials that you confiscated from mr. chen ."

    >> inside apple , they're sitting there first wanting to know, hey, did this happen for real? like did this really just happen to us? b, did this guy make this happen or is this an honest mistake? just such an incredible story unlike anything we've ever seen before.

    >> that is for sure. some bloggers say apple executives are actually driving this police investigation, but so far apple won't comment on that or anything else. by the way, that employee who left the iphone in the bar still has his job.

    >> but is it the same job?

    >> yeah, right. he's cleaning toy leilets now.

By
updated 4/27/2010 7:53:26 AM ET 2010-04-27T11:53:26

Authorities seized computers, digital cameras, a cell phone and other items from a technology blog editor who posted pictures and details of a lost iPhone prototype.

A computer-crime task force made up of multiple law enforcement agencies searched Gizmodo editor and blogger Jason Chen's house and car in Fremont, Calif., on Friday, according to a statement and search warrant documents provided by Gizmodo.

The warrant, issued by a Superior Court judge in San Mateo County, said the computers and other devices may have been used to commit a felony. Steve Wagstaffe, spokesman for the San Mateo County District Attorney's office, confirmed the warrant's authenticity.

Members of the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team took several computers, hard drives, digital cameras, cell phones and other gadgets, plus Chen's American Express bill and copies of his checks.

Last week Gizmodo had one of the Web's hottest scoops when it posted photos of an Apple device that appeared to be a next-generation iPhone. It had been found in a bar in Redwood City, which is in San Mateo County, and sold for $5,000 by an unknown person to Gizmodo, a gadget blog owned by Gawker Media Inc.

After Chen, 29, posted photos and details about the phone, Apple acknowledged the device belonged to the company, and Gizmodo returned it.

Gawker Media said California's shield law, which protects journalists from having to turn over anonymous sources or unpublished material to law enforcement during a search, should apply to Chen's property.

"Are bloggers journalists? I guess we'll find out," Nick Denton, who runs Gawker Media, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Wagstaffe said the district attorney's office is examining that issue.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment.

Gaby Darbyshire, chief operating officer of Gawker Media, which owns Gizmodo, said on the site and in a statement to police that the search warrant for Chen's equipment was "invalid," and is contesting it.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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