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Police Seize Computers Over Next Generation iPhone Prototype
engine




msg:4122757
 11:55 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Police Sieze Computers Over Next Generation iPhone Prototype [news.bbc.co.uk]
Police in California have seized computers belonging to the editor of a gadget blog which was involved in the purchase of an iPhone prototype.

Gizmodo had admitted it paid $5,000 to an unnamed individual for the next generation device, which was reportedly left in a bar by an Apple employee.

Editor Jason Chen published photographs and videos of the phone last week.

Gizmodo may have violated a California law covering the appropriation of stolen property for personal benefit.

 

Demaestro




msg:4124719
 11:55 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Emailing a bunch of tech journalists to see who would pay seems to cross the ethical line here


Yes you are right, taking info that reporters would love to have and contacting them to see if they are interested in a story is wrong.

Selling a story to reporters is unethical and illegal and is reason to nail the reporter who buys any story to the wall.

We can't send a message to people that selling info and stories to reporters is allowed in the USA.

Demaestro




msg:4124724
 11:58 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

The recourse here if Chen is innocent is for him to sue the government for damages.


So it is ok for companies and government to abuse power because the person that bears the brunt of the abuse can sue them?

I guess I am just amazed that anyone looks at the details of this and thinks that what happened to Chen is an ok thing and was deserved and that he had it coming and should have known better.

How many 1 time, 1 phone thieves do you think have had their front doors kicked in by a taskforce and had their home computer seized and their homes trashed?


I don't really see how it being a first time offense would affect how law enforcement collects evidence. I also don't think that asking for evidence politely is an effective approach.


That isn't what I was driving at.

Let's say 1000 people get caught jaywalking and they all get a $50 fine... then someone jaywalks in front of Apple and Apple calls their friends in a law enforcement task force, and you are charged with jaywalking, and your fine is $1000 and your shoes are collected as evidence.

My point was that no one charged with 1 count of theft of 1 phone has bore this level of punishment. That all people should be treated equally under the law.

Imagine what the police dept. would say if you, an individual called them and had this conversation with them:

You: Hi I left my phone at a bar

You: It is a special phone that I modded and it is kind of a big deal to me

You: The guy who found it gave it to someone who likes modded phones, I want to charge him with theft.

You: I have the phone back already.

If you think they would kick in the guys door, take his computer and charge him with theft you are living in a dream world... and if they won't do it for you or me, they shouldn't do it for Apple.

[edited by: Demaestro at 12:15 am (utc) on Apr 30, 2010]

Eurydice




msg:4124725
 11:58 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Wired.com just posted an article with name and photo of the finder, along with more details.

Brian Hogan is now at an undisclosed location.

[wired.com...]

BillyS




msg:4124726
 12:02 am on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

It'd be like you losing your phone and I call your house and get the voicemail.


No, it's more like calling your house and telling your son you have his dad's phone and the son saying it's not his phone.

What do you want the guy to do? Drive all over creation because some drunk guy left his phone at the bar?

buckworks




msg:4124727
 12:02 am on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Selling a story to reporters is unethical and illegal and is reason to nail the reporter who buys any story to the wall.


Selling a story can be just fine, if it's your own information you're selling.

Demaestro




msg:4124732
 12:08 am on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Selling a story can be just fine, if it's your own information you're selling.


This is a law or this is your feeling on the matter?

buckworks




msg:4124746
 1:15 am on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, it's the law that the rightful owner of something is the one who has the right to sell it.

Eurydice




msg:4124824
 5:28 am on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

So the unrightful possessor of something has no right to sell it.

wheel




msg:4124897
 11:45 am on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

We are left with a journalist charged with theft, raided by a taskforce for computer fraud and i.d. when charged with theft, an illegally seized computer, a front door kicked in and a house trashed.

And the justification for this is what?

Summary: The iOverlords sent the iPolice.

Apple's actions are totally 1984'ish.

whoisgregg




msg:4124942
 2:26 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Let's say 1000 people get caught jaywalking and they all get a $50 fine... then someone jaywalks in front of Apple and Apple calls their friends in a law enforcement task force, and you are charged with jaywalking, and your fine is $1000 and your shoes are collected as evidence.

In this case, the crime was publicized. Typically the government seeks maximum penalties for people whose crime ends up in the public spotlight and/or for people who profit indirectly from the crime through publicizing it's details.

A person who commits a crime blatantly, openly, and in front of as many people as possible is not just breaking the law but is also challenging society's ability to punish criminals who commit that crime. (Like the whole "come and get me" schtick that movie villians always pull.)

The government is not being harsh with this case, they're just not being as incredibly lenient as they are most of the time. It's an important distinction.

grandpa




msg:4125135
 7:00 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

...his attorney says. "Brian is the kind of young man that any parent would be proud to have as their son."

Being a parent, I feel that I've been misrepresented by this statement. Any other parents here feeling 'proud' of the actions of Brian?

Had Brian made any sort of sincere effort to return this phone, either to Apple or to the bar, this discussion would never have taken place... The REACT team would never have broken down Mr. Chen's door... Apple engineer Gray Powell would have quite probably been quietly terminated.

No, proud is not how I would feel at all if Brian were my son.

StoutFiles




msg:4125144
 7:33 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple engineer Gray Powell would have quite probably been quietly terminated.


He currently still has his job(or a less important one), probably because of all the positive publicity he's been getting.

Any other parents here feeling 'proud' of the actions of Brian?


I'd be proud to go scavenge for things people drop and then sell them with Brian.

Demaestro




msg:4125186
 8:57 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

...his attorney says. "Brian is the kind of young man that any parent would be proud to have as their son."


Being a parent, I feel that I've been misrepresented by this statement. Any other parents here feeling 'proud' of the actions of Brian?

Had Brian made any sort of sincere effort to return this phone, either to Apple or to the bar, this discussion would never have taken place... The REACT team would never have broken down Mr. Chen's door... Apple engineer Gray Powell would have quite probably been quietly terminated.

No, proud is not how I would feel at all if Brian were my son.



From the same article:



Enrolled in College ...

He has been working part time at a church-run community center giving swimming lessons to children and volunteered at a Chinese orphanage last year while he was enrolled in a study-abroad program.

He also volunteers to assist his aunt and sister with fundraising for their work to provide medical care to orphans in Kenya


Yes I would be proud if my son did those things. And I wouldn't be less proud because of 1 mistake that he admits to making.

I wouldn't be proud of a grandpa that would allow 1 mistake as small as not trying hard enough to find the owner of a phone that he found in a bar and selling the right for a tech blogger to have a look at said phone to undo all the good he has done.

Maybe not in this instance but a person like Brian is the type of person I would be proud to call part of my family.

Good for you though for not letting him or your children make any mistakes in life without you losing your pride in them. That will teach em to make small mistakes.

TheMadScientist




msg:4125187
 8:58 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apple is a large company with multiple departments. Unless the people working the support lines were told "Hey, be on the lookout for an unlikely lost phone call", well, of course they wouldn't know anything about the new phone.

It'd be like you losing your phone and I call your house and get the voicemail. Well, I tried, right? Time to sell your phone to some guy who will post your text messages on the internet for all to see. Not my problem though, I made an effort to get the phone back to you.

I've got to disagree on this one...

It would be much more like you calling me calling your house and getting someone who was not you, but represents you in some way and having them say, 'No, don't know anything about a lost phone... Have a good day.', and NOT saying, 'I don't know anything about that, but I'll ask... What's your name and number in case there's something I don't know about?'

The guy called and talked to someone who represents the company which is now claiming 'stolen property' and they did not even look into the matter. That's not his fault. It's theirs. Is he supposed to NOT believe the person on the phone representing the company he thought lost it?

He reasonably thought a company lost a product. He rightly called the company. The company wrongly said they didn't lose it without ever even looking into the matter. That's not his fault. He talked to someone who was definitely representing the company and they dropped the ball...

Of course.... I might disagree with the analogy, but I have found a lost phone before and I did answer a call on it to let someone the person who lost it know where it was so they could let the person know and pick it up, because I figured it was the cool thing to do. (For some reason I found it tough to get in touch with the owner to let them know where their phone was since I had their phone. LOL)

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 9:17 pm (utc) on Apr 30, 2010]

Zamboni




msg:4125194
 9:12 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

The guy called and talked to someone who represents the company which is now claiming 'stolen property' and they did not even look into the matter. ... He rightly called the company. The company wrongly said they didn't lose it without ever even looking into the matter.


Actually the latest statement from Hogan's lawyer is that he never called Apple, a friend of his was supposed to call Applecare but that might not have happened either.

Bornstein is Hogan's lawyer
... "However, Bornstein only noted that a friend of Hogan's has promised to call AppleCare, Apple's support line, on his behalf. "[Brian] regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone," said Bornstein."
[computerworld.com...]

StoutFiles




msg:4125205
 9:28 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

He talked to someone who was definitely representing the company and they dropped the ball...


Is anyone here aware of what he actually said? Gawker media has been trying to make it look like he gave tons of effort to return the phone, but a supposed phone call to Apple support just proves that customer service is worthless like every major company. But I'd like to know what he said exactly, if anything at all.

From the bar's owner:
What he never did, however, was notify anyone who worked at the bar, according to its owner, Volcker Staudt. That would have been the simplest way to get the phone back to the Apple employee who lost it, who "called constantly trying to retrieve it" in the days afterward, recalls Volcker. "The guy was pretty hectic about it."


It should have been treated like any other lost product. Police or location owner. If you can't do either, just don't pick it up.

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