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Crime Iphone Apple

The 4G iPhone's Finder Reportedly Located 404

Posted by kdawson
from the tell-no-one dept.
CNET is reporting that investigators have interviewed the person who found the unreleased Apple iPhone and began all the trouble. Wired reports that last week people "identifying themselves as representing Apple last week visited and sought permission to search the Silicon Valley address of the college-age man who came into possession of a next-generation iPhone prototype." "'Someone came to [the finder's] house and knocked on his door,' the source told Wired.com, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case is under investigation by the police. A roommate answered, but wouldn't let them in. ... News of Apple's lost iPhone prototype hit the Web like a bombshell, but it was apparently an open secret for weeks amongst the finder's roommates and neighbors, where the device was shown around mostly as a curiosity. ... 'There was no effort to keep it secret,' the source said. 'There were a bunch of people who knew.' ... Wired.com received an e-mail March 28 offering access to the device, but did not follow up on the exchange after the tipster made a thinly veiled request for money."
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The 4G iPhone's Finder Reportedly Located

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @07:57PM (#32006456)

    So someone came to the door, but the roommate didn't let them in.

    And then what happened?

    This whole story reeks of a PR stunt. The story is so intricate in detail, but scratch the surface and there are more questions than answers.

    But I guess we're talking about it, and that's what really matters.

  • Far more interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by yoyhed (651244) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:18PM (#32006716)
    Far more interesting than the fact that they've tracked down the finder of the phone:

    Police broke into and searched Gizmodo journalist Jason Chen's home, seizing basically every piece of technology in his home, under an apparently illegal warrant:

    Check it out [gizmodo.com].
  • Gizmodo warrant? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SudoGhost (1779150) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:22PM (#32006770)
    I wonder if they found him using the Gizmodo journalist's computer, which according to the EFF, was an illegal warrant. If it is found to be an illegal warrant, I wonder how it would affect this case? Not that I feel sorry for the guy, he sold stolen property, he's a criminal (pending the jury finding him guilty). The only thing I'm questioning is the legality of the authorities' methods of finding him. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/gizmodo-search-warrant-illegal [eff.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:30PM (#32006866)

    If Apple pursues this Gizmodo should do discovery on Apple's emails to confirm it wasn't a publicity stunt.

    The most annoying thing about this whole thing is the free press Apple is getting out of it. Fuck them.

  • by defaria (741527) <Andrew@DeFaria.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:39PM (#32006964) Homepage
    It's a sad day when we impose such obligations by law (that's if we do - you made no citation). Theft requires the intent to deprive somebody of their possession. No such intent can be proven here since the dude merely found something *AND* made an attempt to return it. He is under no obligation to return it and shouldn't be.
  • by jgreco (1542031) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:50PM (#32007086)

    Seen on the blog:

    http://dilbert.com/blog/entry/thatlost4gphone/ [dilbert.com]

  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:11PM (#32007304) Homepage Journal
    so, because you have no sympathy, you are ok with a private corporation sending 'representatives' to search his house ? so, you would be ok with waking up a morning and suddenly finding 'representatives' of a private corporation 'asking permission' to search YOUR home ?

    with this mindset, you may find yourself trying to justify people getting beaten with baseball bats when they tried to jailbreak an iphone in 4-5 years in future.
  • by quenda (644621) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:14PM (#32007316)

    The guy is an idiot. Instead of stealing the phone, he could have just taken lots of photos, including the insides.
    He could then promptly return it to Apple, and openly auction off the photos. Apple would still scream blue murder and harass him with search warrants, but he would not be a criminal.

    Heck, according to US government precedent, you could have sent it back in pieces.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Belenko [wikipedia.org]

  • by kosanovich (678657) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:37PM (#32007568)

    I agree that the video is good, however be careful not to have a false sense of knowledge just because you watched it. The video shows that there is too much for a common person to understand and thus they should let the lawyers help them make decisions in legal matters. Your statement:

    "Furthermore, while cops can use anything you say AGAINST you in a court of law, if you ask them to repeat something you said that would help your case, that would be heresay, and therefore can not help you."

    shows that while you have gained a small amount of knowledge on the matter from the video, you don't fully understand all the implications. For example hearsay is anything that is said (or written) outside of court that directly asserts the truth being tried in the case. Whether it's good or bad for you doesn't matter, it's related to what's being asserted in the case, so just because something is said that can help your case doesn't make it hearsay. Also just because something is hearsay doesn't mean that it can't be used in court.

    Any way this is just to demonstrate that there is a ton to know about the laws and if you have any doubt then you should get a lawyer. But again I do agree that this video is good at making you afraid to talk without a lawyer which is generally in your best interest.

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @11:32PM (#32008708) Journal

    First off, people keep saying the finder should have "returned the phone to the bar/bartender". That's insanity! Most bars I've been to, I *hardly* trust the bartender or other staff not to just lie to me, promising they'll "try to get it back to the rightful owner" and then just turn around and sell it themselves! Especially in a part of the country where a large portion of the clientele are fairly "tech savvy"? How can you be remotely confident the people working there wouldn't have some personal interest in hanging onto a phone like that?

    Second, I don't think it really matters what part of Apple the guy says he tried to contact. The point is, he made an initial effort. He didn't just sell the thing off immediately. That might be "feeble" to you, but it's probably going to hold up in court to prove he doesn't meet the required standards for his actions to be criminal.

    Third, what about an Apple store?! Do you have any idea how "in the dark" their employees are kept on Apple's unreleased products and projects? Most of their "geniuses" I've dealt with knew less than I did about upcoming products, or even the details of exactly what's in a brand new product AFTER its released. I had to educate a couple of them on some of the new features Apple added to the Macbook Pro aluminum, when I was in there right after those were released and in stores to demo. Apple actually prefers hiring employees who DON'T have previous experience working in computer stores. They don't think the "hard-core techno geek" types give off the type of image they want for their retail stores of a "friendly place for ANYONE to shop for a computer".

    Fourth, giving it to the police?! Another foolish idea. I know most police are way too busy to waste time with a lost cellphone. If I called my local police about something like that, I'm pretty sure they'd laugh and tell me just to keep it. A few, less honest cops I know would just take the thing themselves - figuring they eased your conscience and made you happy, and they got a free bonus at the same time.

    About the only sensible thing you've said so far is that he could try to contact the engineer whose name was supposedly in the phone. Still, even that's a little questionable. I thought Apple killed the phone pretty quickly after they realized it was lost, so that would mean he couldn't get back in it to see any info at all. Would he necessarily remember how the guy spelled his whole name, after only looking at it once on the night he found it (and presumably after doing some drinking himself)?

    Really, the whole thing looks to me like Apple might have just ignored the lost phone completely and decided to "cut their losses" by letting the world guess if what was found was real or a fake. But all the media attention and diagnosis forced their hand to do something, days later.

    I'm not saying what he did, trying to SELL the phone, was completely ethical -- but this is far from being a clear-cut "criminal" case either. He didn't pick-pocket the phone from the engineer in the bar. He found it after it was LOST. And neither Apple corporate nor the engineer made a huge rush to get the phone back either.

    I'm not even sure exactly what I would do, if I was the one who found this thing.... Knowing what I know about Apple and their paranoia about leaks of info, I'd be sort of afraid to drop by their HQ with it - for fear I'd get blamed for stealing it or something. I'd also realize the value it would have to the tech-geeks and Mac fans out there, and think I'd rather see them "win one" for a change, vs. helping Apple protect trade secrets they weren't able to sufficiently protect themselves this time around.

  • by fredmosby (545378) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @01:58AM (#32010164)
    I think you're assuming Apple believed the phone had been deliberately taken from the bar. For all Apple knew someone accidentally took the phone home thinking it was their phone. They probably sent the people to the house hoping it was just a misunderstanding. Why get the police and lawyers involved when you can just go ask to look for it?

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