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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 Game_Ender (815505) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @07:51PM (#32006378)
    This guy shopped around stolen property to find the highest bidder after making a feeble attempt to "return" it. I don't have much sympathy for whatever happens to the guy.
    • by MWoody (222806) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @07:55PM (#32006422)

      Agreed. Apparently, this guy thought when people say they're selling speakers that "fell off the back of a truck," it was a valid legal argument.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        Only idiots would buy speakers that "fell off the back of a truck", though I did once buy a truck that detached itself from speakers.

      • 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]

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by iamhassi (659463)
          "The guy is an idiot."

          Very much so, considering he's already been lying to press and police about trying to sell it.
          " "The idea wasn't to find out who was going to pay the most, it was, 'Who's going to confirm this?'" ..... Editors at both news organizations confirmed that they were contacted not about confirming whether the phone was legitimate, but about their interest in buying the device."

          BUSTED

          If this goes to court they have a great case against the finder of the iPhone and Gizmodo. Can't sa
        • by SideshowBob (82333) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:34PM (#32007528)

          "Apple would still scream blue murder and harass him with search warrants, but he would not be a criminal."

          Apple can't obtain or act on search warrants. Apple can't charge or prosecute anyone for a crime.

          The lack of even the most basic knowledge of how our system of justice works is just appalling. Do they put you kids through a civics course in school anymore?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by quenda (644621)

            You kidding? Jason Chen at Gizmodo did nothing wrong. He notified Apple and promptly returned the phone. That did not stop Apple form getting the police to harass him by seizing his computers.
            When you are as rich as Apple, cops and magistrates come easily.

            Do they put you kids through a civics course in school anymore?

            What is "civics"? My kids have something called "society and environment", but they learn sadly little about law and government in their own country, let along foreign ones.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Wovel (964431)

              Apparently your kids are not going to learn from you either since you believe "Jason Chen did nothing wrong". The accounts written by the people accused of the crime do not even agree with the story you presented here. They did not notify Apple and promptly return it. They disassembled it , posted it on their web site and then demanded written communication they could also post on their web site before they were willing to return it.

            • Jason Chen at Gizmodo did nothing wrong. He notified Apple and promptly returned the phone.

              Gizmodo: "Hi, Apple customer service? I think I have a new model of your iPhone here."

              Apple: "Sorry, we don't know anything about that."

              Gizmodo: "No? Okay, well I thought I'd try."

              Gizmodo: "Here are the Facebook pics of the guy who lost the phone. Did we mention we paid $5000 to some dude to purchase this?"

              Gizmodo: "We tried contacting Apple, but they wouldn't say anything."

              Gizmodo: "See this information about the phone owner in Facebook? Haha. It's a public profile. What a shame there's no means to contact him from his Facebook profile."

              Gizmodo: "Hey, we did nothing wrong. Totally good faith attempt on our part to contact Apple in order to return this."

              Gizmodo: "Check this out. We took the fucking thing apart and here are detailed photos of what's inside it."

              Gizmodo: "We have the utmost respect for whoever lost this as it's their personal property and we hope to return it shortly."

              Gizmodo: "Damn, look at the design on this baby. Let's see if we can put it back together again and not have broken it."

              Gizmodo: "We finally stalled enough that we coerced Apple legal into sending us a letter asking for its return. Cha-ching baby! We're fucking awesome. Did I mention we paid some dude $5000 after he claimed he 'found' it in a bar? We so fucking rock!"

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by NekSnappa (803141)

              He paid someone for an item that he knew didn't belong to the person selling it.

              'Nuff said.

          • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:54PM (#32008340)

            Apple can't obtain or act on search warrants. Apple can't charge or prosecute anyone for a crime. The lack of even the most basic knowledge of how our system of justice works is just appalling. Do they put you kids through a civics course in school anymore?

            It must be nice to be that naive.

            "Mr. Jobs draws a lot of water in this town, Doe. You don't draw shit. We got a nice quiet $50+ billion dollar company here, and I aim to keep it nice and quiet. So let me make something plain. I don't like you sucking around trying to sell our stolen prototypes, Doe. I don't like your jerk-off name, I don't like your jerk-off face, I don't like your jerk- off behavior, and I don't like you, jerk-off --do I make myself clear?"

            But no, you're right, I'm sure the cops around there don't say "Heil" when Apple says "Sieg," or anything.

    • by magsol (1406749) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @07:55PM (#32006424) Homepage Journal
      Apple is going to crucify the bloke.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by binarybum (468664)

        I bet. They must be sooo angry about all this mysterious free hype and viral press coverage.

            Conspiracy theory or not, leaving a partially crippled prototype of a near release ready product in a silicon valley bar and letting the internet take care of the rest comes across as good business one way or another.

        I think apple and ATT are going to pull through this mess, I think their investors are going to do just fine regardless of what happens to this young journalist.

        • by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @11:13PM (#32008514) Journal

          I bet. They must be sooo angry about all this mysterious free hype and viral press coverage.

          Press coverage does nothing for Apple when it's months away from anybody being able to buy it. Meanwhile, their competitors now have many months during which they can start cloning the design and/or features. Then, when Jobs launches the iPhone, everyone will say "Okay, but we knew that already. Nothing new here, folks." People won't be blown away by stuff they already knew.

          What does that translate to? I'm guessing $50 million in lost opportunity cost. All the coverage is doing is potentially cannibalizing current iPhone sales if someone who was considering getting one now wants to wait. Additionally, their competitors now have an unfair advantage and will design their products not by guessing what Apple will be doing (as they normally do) but knowing what Apple will be doing. As a result, their competitors will save millions of dollars by not going down a course that they are now able to prevent. Further, all that wasted press coverage now means less when it actually launches. The hype and virality will be done by then. Oh, I'm sure it'll have some unexpected things... but the reduction will mean many more millions of dollars in free press that they won't get when it matters: when people can buy/preorder it.

          The leg up that their competitors will receive from this information will have a ripple effect for years to come. That extra however many percent market share they are able to squeeze out by proactively countering (or sabotaging, even) Apple's strategy in a several billion dollar market is a huge cost to Apple.

          Yeah, Jobs isn't going to be collecting food stamps and eating nothing but ramen noodles but this has a significant financial cost to Apple.

    • by dxprog (898953) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @07:55PM (#32006430)
      I guess Wired was a little smarter than Gizmodo.
    • by rxan (1424721)
      Finders jailed losers win.
    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      Is it stolen if you lose it?

    • 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.
  • Knock Knock (Score:4, Funny)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @07:52PM (#32006380)
    Who is it?
    Not a land shark [wikipedia.org]
    Who?
    Oh, for Christ sake, it's Steve F'ing Jobs. Give me my phone back or I'll send the Steve Balmer Chair Delivery Service to wreck the place!
  • by wbren (682133) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:00PM (#32006496) Homepage
    • by Cowclops (630818) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:27PM (#32006834)

      This isn't a troll. It is a law school professor explaining why that interacting with the police can lead to trouble for you down the road, even if you're innocent, and even if you say only things that would point towards you being innocent. Cops have absolutely no requirement to quote you in context, and out-of-context quotes can make a completely innocent statement sound strange. 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.

      The cop's followup to the law school professor's talk is less interesting, but the very least it validates most of what the law school professor said.

      So, indeed, do not talk to cops when you can avoid doing so.

      IANAL, but I did watch the video in its entirety and you should at least watch the first half too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kosanovich (678657)

        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

  • by ravenspear (756059) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:02PM (#32006514)
    I thought for a minute that Apple had ported the Finder to the iPhone OS and someone had a screenshot or something.
  • You know, the attitude surrounding Gizmodo and the people involved in this is trying to make Apple look like the bad guy. But if anyone has read Gizmodo's comments this past week or so, it's easy to see that the damage has already been done. The site has lost a lot of reputation among people, and Gizmodo's handling of this has been pretty disgraceful. http://apple.slashdot.org/story/10/04/26/2048228/Police-Seize-Computers-From-Gizmodo-Editor?from=rss [slashdot.org] The phrasing in this article by Gawker was just way too
  • 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].
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Goaway (82658)

      apparently illegal warrant

      Yes, let's trust the legal opinion of the lawyer who apparently thought it was a great idea for a newspaper to buy stolen property and announce it all over the internet.

    • They took a box of business cards, too (first item in the inventory). I'm still trying to figure that one out.

      • Perhaps the "finder" had one of he business cards in his possession. It would provide evidence to connect the two of them.

        • But a box (as opposed to one)? And besides, if the finder (or thief depending on who you believe) had one in his possession it has the information on it to point to whoever it refers to (generally being the point of a business card, I think). It just sounds odd, though you are probably right.

    • 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:

      Um... yeah. Because apparently someone working for Gizmodo committed a felony.

      • by Protoslo (752870)
        I agree that everyone involved in this business is a complete moron, since they apparently thought that they would get away with receiving stolen property, fencing it, etc. In their defense, they cite a law that pertains to publishing information from confidential sources. Good luck with that.

        The warrant is still interesting though; in these electronic times, the police will take all your computers, hard drives, phones, cameras, and routers, because there "might" be relevant data secreted on them. Yea
    • by sribe (304414) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:35PM (#32006922)

      ...under an apparently illegal warrant...

      Well sure, if you believe gizmodo's claims and their somewhat stretched interpretation of the journalist protection laws.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mike Buddha (10734)

          The EFF believes that if Jason Chen is not charged with a crime, then the search is illegal. If he is charged with a crime, then his protection as a journalist goes out the window. They can't act on a warrant, impound materials that implicate his source, then let him go. He has to be the target of the investigation for this to be legal. Journalists don't get a free pass to commit crimes just because they write about the crimes they've committed.

      • by radish (98371)

        How on earth is it "somewhat stretched"? He is employed as a full time journalist by a multi-outlet publishing organization, and California law clearly recognizes that internet journalists/bloggers are covered under shield laws. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of their handling of the phone itself, it's pretty obvious that the police royally screwed up [eff.org] this part of the investigation.

    • by dissy (172727)

      What causes you to say it was an illegal warrant?

      The state started a criminal trial (Keep in mind no one has to ask them to do this, they do it on their own. Even if you specifically DON'T want them pressing criminal charges against someone that did a crime to you, they can NOT stop the charges at your request)

      The thing to do between when charges are brought, and no evidence is in hand, is to get a warrant to search for said evidence.

      100% of the conditions for a warrant are in place and OK.

      So where is the

      • by radish (98371)

        What causes you to say it was an illegal warrant?

        How about the EFF [eff.org]? As has been explained on a whole host of articles about this, if you want evidence from a journalist covered under shield laws you use a subpoena - NOT a search warrant. That allows the proper process to be followed to ensure that sources aren't improperly identified and journalistic freedom, public interest, etc are protected. While it may not matter in this case, journalistic freedom IS important to help protect society and that's why the

  • Gizmodo warrant? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SudoGhost (1779150)
    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]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by joh (27088)

      The EFF fights for the right cause but is not automatically right. Just being a journalist does not mean you're allowed to deal with stolen goods.

      By the way, the Gawker/Gizmodo guys obviously don't think they're journalists themselves:

      "We don’t seek to do good,” says Denton, wearing a purplish shirt, jeans and a beard that resembles a three-day growth. “We may inadvertently do good. We may inadvertently commit journalism. That is not the institutional intention." [washingtonpost.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BasilBrush (643681)

      which according to the EFF, was an illegal warrant.

      The take away from that is that you can't trust the opinion of the EFF. They're so wrong, it shows them to be incompetent. Journalists have no protection from the law if they are under investigation for a felony. The felony being purchasing stolen goods.

    • by rxan (1424721)

      I'm no lawyer, but lets assume that EFF is right and the warrant is invalid. Wouldn't this only protect Gizmodo and not the iPhone seller? Gizmodo could get damages or something if the warrant was invalid, but any evidence found against the seller can still be used in court.

      Either way, they probably have other sources who can verify the identity of the seller.

      • If they only found the seller because of information that they recovered due to the warrant, then it all goes out the window. Don't you watch CSI:Miami?

    • I wonder if they found him using the Gizmodo journalist's computer, which according to the EFF, was an illegal warrant.

      The answer to your question is "no". Read this quote form the DA in the San Jose Business Journal:

      “I told (Gizmodo) we will hold off and not do any investigation into the computer itself while we resolve this issue,” he said, adding that if attorneys 'come to the conclusion that Chen is not protected, Gizmodo may seek an injunction preventing investigators from moving forward and examining the computers.'

    • by mkiwi (585287)
      The police have not searched the contents of any seized computers. Now, since they can interview the person who found the phone, they can determine the actual circumstances behind its disappearance. The police, by finding this guy, may now have a legal outlet to search the computers they seized because they may have found probable cause.

      <rant>
      Not totally related to parent, butI know it is very popular right now to say, "Apple = bad, Google/open source = good," right now on slashdot. This is really
  • by jgreco (1542031) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @08:50PM (#32007086)

    Seen on the blog:

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

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