Mon, Apr 26th 2010 2:13pm
If you were anywhere near a techy site on the internet last week, you probably noticed the sensational story of how a prototype of a forthcoming iPhone got left behind in a Silicon Valley bar, and eventually ended up in the hands (and on the pages) of gadget site Gizmodo. Given Apple's history of cracking down on new product leaks, it wasn't too surprising to see the company ask for the phone back, nor to hear rumors that police were looking into the matter. However, it was a little surprising to read today that California police have seized computers and other gear from one of Gizmodo's editors, breaking down his door in the process. The COO of Gizmodo parent Gawker Media alleges that the search was illegal, as the editor is protected under California's shield law, which protects journalists from revealing their sources. Gawker founder Nick Denton says the case should let us find out if "bloggers count as journalists", but that's not completely clear. The shield law exists to protect unnamed sources, not to let journalists commit crimes (such as receiving stolen property) and then cover them up under the guise of their work. So while the case may not settle if bloggers are seen as journalists in the eyes of the law, it should settle once and for all that age-old question of whether or not an iPhone prototype left in a bar by an Apple employee constitutes stolen property.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Did You Hear About How ISIS Has A Sophisticated Training Manual For Encryption? Yeah, It Was Actually A Pamphlet For Journalists And Activists
- Just About Everything About Twitter Suspending Deadspin And SBNation Accounts Is Ridiculous
- Feds Keep Magically Finding Documents They Insisted Didn't Previously Exist
- Freedom Of The Press Foundation Sues DOJ Over Its Secret Rules For Spying On Journalists
- Rep. Grayson Attempts To Build A Journalist Shield Law Out Of A One-Line Amendment, But Will It Do Any Good?