Apple is one scary company

Not sure if you’ve seen that the California police raided a blog editor over posting pictures of a missing Apple iPhone prototype? While I understand some people think Gizmodo comitted a crime by purchasing a stolen iphone, I think the police search sounds much more ominous. Journalists have the right to protect their sources and it sounds like the police were after the source, using scare tactics of this search to get the information. I can’t believe that they think searching this guy’s home was going to give them evidence to support their case that purchasing a “stolen” item is a felony crime. Perhaps they think they can read through his emails to find out whether he knew it was stolen? That seems like a huge invasion of privacy in order to get that information.

Someone apparently left their iphone at a bar – and I view this as a mistake on Apple’s part – letting a valuable prototype out in the public. The guy who found it tried to return it to Apple and they knew nothing about it. It could have easily been a fake and Gizmodo has reported on knock-offs before. It just turns out in this case it is real.

If Apple could get the computer crime task force to move this quickly on what sounds like a borderline search, invasion of privacy, and intimidation to get a journalist to reveal his source, then Apple is one scary company.

I’m not sure yet whether I think Gizmodo was in the wrong to publish the information. It wasn’t a stolen phone, but they knew it didn’t belong to them. What if they didn’t buy it but it was given to them? Would it have been illegal to report? I don’t see how that is a crime. They did return the phone to Apple once it was known they wanted it back.

The whole thing is odd, interesting, and a bit scary.

Baltimore Sun article on this story

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