Police in California have raided the house of the editor of Gizmodo, the gadget blog which was involved in buying a lost prototype iPhone.
Gizmodo has admitted paying $5000 dollars to an unnamed source to get their hands on the prototype device.
Editor of the site, Jason Chen published videos and photos of the device on his site last week but had his computers seized today. He may be in violation of Californian law for covering the appropriation of stolen property for personal gain.
The police did receive search warrants to seize the computers, and Apple wrote to Gizmodo last week asking for the return of the device. Gizmodo complied with the request.
Gawker media who own Gizmodo had said that they are expecting the immediate return of their computers and servers. Gaby Darbyshire, chief operating officer of Gawker spoke out today stating: "Under both state and federal law, a search warrant may not be validly issued to confiscate the property of a journalist. It is abundantly clear under the law that a search warrant to remove these items was invalid. The appropriate method of obtaining such materials would be the issuance of a subpoena."
According to Gawker media, this issue raises issues as to whether or not bloggers should be considered journalists under the law.
Advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is following the case, said the latest news is troubling:
"You have a reporter who is disseminating newsworthy information to the public that are supposed to be protected from search and seizures. These protections apply to people who collect information in order to report it to the public regardless of what name you slap on them; blogger, journalist or whatever."
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