The case of the lost (stolen?) iPhone 4G prototype that wound up in the hands of Gizmodo just gets more and more bizarre.
You may have heard that, last Friday, police armed with a search warrant raided the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen and seized a number of his computers as evidence. The criminal investigation — which was instigated by Apple — was to determine if Chen and/or Gizmodo broke the law by receiving what could be considered stolen property, and to learn the identity of the person who sold Gizmodo the prototype for US$5,000.00.
Gawker (Gizmodo's parent company) promptly cried foul, arguing that as a journalist, Chen was protected under California's "shield law," which protects journalists from search warrants if they refuse to disclose a
source or unpublished information. (There is still some debate as to whether that law applies in this case.)
Since the raid on Chen's house, investigators have identified and interviewed — but not released the name of — the person who found the iPhone after Apple engineer Gray Powell accidentally left it in a Redwood City, California bar. However, they have not indicated whether this is also the person who sold the iPhone to Gizmodo.