Judges unseals search warrant on Gizmodo reporter's home

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A San Mateo, Calif., judge has unsealed court records involving the search of the home of the tech reporter for Gizmodo who wrote about the iPhone prototype left in a California bar by an Apple employee.

Declan McCullagh of CNET writes, “In a response to a motion from a group of media companies that included CNET, the Los Angeles Times, and Wired.com, Judge Clifford Cretan reversed his earlier ruling and said circumstances had changed and now secrecy was no longer necessary.

“‘It appears appropriate to me at this time to unseal the affidavit,’ Cretan said. ‘I can no longer say there is an overriding interest in sealing.’

“The case of the lost iPhone began when Gray Powell, an Apple engineer, left what is believed to be a prototype of the next-generation iPhone at a San Francisco-area bar after a night of drinking. The phone was found by Brian Hogan, a 21-year-old student, who, with the help of friends, sold the phone to Gizmodo. After the blog eventually returned the phone to Apple, Powell and Apple contacted police.

“Police then launched a theft investigation. Not long after, police arrived at the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, knocked down his door, and served a search warrant. When they left, they carried away Chen’s computer and other electronic gear.”

Read more here.