The iPhone 4.0 leak story has taken another dramatic twist: police have raided the home of Jason Chen, the Gizmodo editor, who first revealed the Apple prototype. Apple confirmed that the apparent iPhone 4.0 was its property in a letter last week, now the involvement of the police suggests the device was considered stolen, not lost…
Members of the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), a Californian police task force dedicated to “reducing the incidence of high technology crime”, received a warrant to search Chen’s home and seized computers and hard drives which they believe contain information about the iPhone 4.0 leak.
The warrant makes reference to “the Apple prototype 4G iPhone” and “the physical prototype 4G Apple iPhone” as well as “searches and/or research conducted on Apple employee Gray Powell”. Gawker Media, the owner of Gizmodo, claims the search was illegal and that the iPhone 4.0 leak story is protected by a California shield law which covers journalists.
Apple is one of 25 businesses on REACT’s steering committee but there is no evidence that it influenced the task force’s investigation into the iPhone 4.0 leak. Gawker Media has previously suggested that it paid $5000 to take possession of the iPhone 4.0 prototype which has since been returned to Apple.
While stories like the Lufthansa offer of free flights to Gray Powell have been fun, the opening of a police investigation shows the iPhone 4.0 leak saga is taking a more serious turn. Apple has yet to make any public statement about iPhone 4.0 leak investigation but the involvement of the police could mean Chen is in seriously hot water.