A Recap of Lost iPhone iProbe

The Internet blogosphere has been alive for a week now with buzz about the iPhone that an Apple employee left behind in a California bar.  In a nutshell:

  1. March 18th: Apple employee Gray Powell leaves his iPhone 4G prototype in a bar.
  2. A college-aged gentleman finds the phone and tries to return it.
  3. After Apple ignored him, he tried to contact Wired and eventually contacted Engadget and Gizmodo.
  4. A Gizmodo editor agrees to help him return it to Apple and paid him for an exclusive story.
  5. Apple tracked down this individual at his home, whom the police have identified, but will not release his name.
  6. April 19th, Apple asked Gizmodo to return it and Gizmodo agreed and returned it Monday (April 26th).
  7. In the meantime, Friday (April 23rd), REACT (the CA computer crimes division) obtained a warrant to search the journalist’s home; which they did and seize his computers, servers and UDB drives because they were suspected of being “used to commit a crime.”
  8. The San Mateo DA’s office still claims they are “still not saying it’s a crime.”
  9. In the meantime, the editor retained a criminal defense lawyer, while the prosecutors defend their seizure, but say they won’t investigate just yet.

Oh, and as an FYI – Apple is one of the 25 companies on the REACT steering committee and asked for the criminal probe.  The Silicon Valley Blog has a great iProbe recap.  The EFF calls it OverREACTing.

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