Gizmodo Editor in Chief has computers seized by police, iPhone 4 to blame

I’m pretty sure I speak for everyone here at IntoMobile when I say that our heart goes out to Jason Chen. Poor guy had his computers taken away by the police last night while he was out with his wife having dinner, all because Steve Jobs is pissed off as all hell about the fact that he leaked the next iPhone 2 months before it was due to be unveiled.

Is this legal? Jason Chen isn’t just any old blogger with a lame XYZ.blogspot.com blog about his cat, he’s in charge of Gizmodo, arguably one of the largest, most read technology blogs on the internet. Now I’m not going to get into the semantics of whether or not he, or any other blogger, is a journalist, but when did search and seizure become something you could do whenever a large corporation picked up the phone and called the local donut munchers? Gawker Media, the guys who employee Jason, told the cops they’re breaking the law, that the proper thing to do would have been to issue a subpoena for all data related to the iPhone case, NOT to go into his house while he wasn’t home and take his computers.

When the iPhone story broke we all guessed he bought it off someone, and we pretty accurately predicted the amount he paid for said prototype. Would we have done the same thing? Abso-fucking-lutely. The people who are pissed off about this Apple leak are the people who admire the spectacle that is Apple, more so than they enjoy using the products. Was some of the magic stolen from the inevitable presentation Steve Jobs will be giving? Sure, but you know what … who cares?

When the Foxconn suicide story broke, everyone paused for a moment and realized that an iPhone is just a gadget, no one should lose their lives over it. The same goes to this story, that prototype is not worth a police investigation and the trampling of rights.

Stay strong Jason. Gawker Media, and all the other cool bloggers, are behind you.

  • ohhjohnny

    I thought brian lam was the eic … when you play in these morally grey areas you have to expect some blowback. They purchased stolen property. That’s illegal. As you mentioned, it’s just an iphone – but that’s enough to reward a thief and ruin some guy’s career by publicly smearing him? It also sets up a marketplace for stolen apple products, if this one wasn’t ‘stolen’ the next one will be because gawker will pay you for it. This isn’t how adults should behave

    • Chris

      ohhjohnny – I agree with you totally. People seem to think that when it comes to the media, they are untouchable because the police are scared of the bad publicity. At the end of the day, if you leave your phone somewhere, will you be happy if someone picks it up and keeps it?? Or would it be nice to hand it in so the owner can stop worrying? The bottom line is; someone STOLE the iphone 4 and sold it on as stolen property. Jason Chen then purchased stolen goods and was guilty of handling stolen/receiving stolen goods. Just because he is well known doesnt mean he is exempt from the law. Sorry Jason, you took the gamble, got the publicity, so now you must pay the consequence.

      • Joshua

        I agree. While we all love the iPhone, as well as the secrecy of its leaked pics, he broke the law.

        That phone should have never been in that bar in the first place. Whoever found it should have taken it back to Apple. (You never know, maybe Apple would have been so happy to get it back, they would have given the guy an iPad or something, this of course is wishful thinking).

        However, he DID purchased stolen equipment, and then posted pics of him tearing it apart, which violates Apples creative property rights.In the end it sucks. He definitely has balls for doing it, but now he will pay the price for that fame.

        I know there are going to be all of his loyal followers right there to picket his unjust imprisonment, but he’s a criminal. No matter if it’s just an iPhone.

  • Hisprosody

    Wow…. So, he purchases an item he KNOWS is stolen and KNOWS there will be legal ramifications for exposing this item, and you think he should just get a slap on the wrist?

    To you, it may just be an iPhone, but to Apple, it’s their business… If someone was to steal, sell and publicly release YOUR hard work without your permission, you’d be just as infuriated.

    But because he runs a blog, he should get off easy… I wonder if you say the same about ppl who steal and sell items from stores like Wal Mart, Best Buy, etc. Because, you know…. It’s the same thing……

  • Ez

    No fan of apple but Giz deserves what ever they get. They screwed that guy royally and will probably lose his job due to what they did. They could have discretely put out some shots of the phone, yeah it wouldnt have been official but hey they would have gotten their story and not screw Apple and that kid in the process. So I hope Apple tears them a new one. Its a bit ironic that Steve Jobs favorite tech blog screwed him and now he is after them like the Arizona Governor is after immigrants(too soon?). I wonder if they are gonna continue kissing apples back side on their blog now or actually be a bit more unbias to other platforms non apple.

  • Jon

    Worst post I’ve ever read on IntoMobile. Where’s the legal analysis that real commentators are providing?

  • Richard

    When was the last time the police broke into someone’s home over a $400 stolen item, by the way what was the proof that this was stolen? This could have been a big Apple marketing ploy to build excitement about their new iPhone since Android seems to be stealing their thunder. They should at least admit that it is because it was Apple. They also took computers worth thousands of dollars – does the action fit the crime? If this was the LA Times they would have acted differently. I don’t think that any blogger should be treated as a journalist, but Gawker and Gizmodo are not your typical blogger in a basement.

  • Jim Jones

    I have to laugh at this stupid mother fucker Jason Chen. What a stupid fuckin eggroll. I hope Steve Jobs fucks all you homosexuals and your fuckin blog cubt site. Hey Stefan dont make your faget friend to be the victim here. I really hope this eggroll does some real jail time.

    • Dereck

      Hey Jim Jones… true to form, like 99.9% of all the other bigots and racists out there… you're an IDIOT!!! All you're doing by calling people an eggroll, or a faget, or whatever other crap that spews out of your mouth, is proving how uneducated you are. If you can't say something intelligent then shut the f@#k up!!!!!

  • IT DAY

    Thank you, I like very much.

  • yodal

    i agree in a sense but to have his computer seized is stupid, if he had the iphone he should be arrested for possesion of stolen goods but he owns the computer and nothing is illegal on the internet, just material off it is. who owns the internet? they had no right to take his computer but theft is theft. do the police get arrested for stealing his computer? 2 wrongs dont make a right pigs!!!

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