Fremont, Calif.
– Last Friday evening, authorities in California
executed a search on the residence of Jason Chen, the Gizmodo reporter who
broke the "lost" iPhone 4G story last week, and confiscated several
computers, cameras and other items, Gizmodo reported. Gizmodo parent company
Gawker Media called the seizure "invalid," noting that "under
both state and federal law, a search warrant may not be validly issued to
confiscate the property of a journalist."

It added, in a letter sent to a
Detective Broad demanding that the items be returned to Chen, that "Jason
is a journalist who works full time for our company…He works from home, which
is his de facto newsroom, and all equipment used by him there is used for the
purposes of his employment with us."

Gawker Media head Nick Denton also
queried, "Are bloggers journalists? I guess we’ll find out," when
asked for comment by the Associated Press.

Gawker Media reportedly paid the
person who found the prototype iPhone 4G — left in a bar by an Apple employee
— $5,000 for the device, and subsequently posted photos and details of the
device on Gizmodo.

Apple (NASD:  AAPL) quickly acknowledged that the device was theirs, and
Gizmodo returned it.

Late last week, reports emerged that authorities were
looking into the incident to discover whether a felony had been committed.


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(DMW previous coverage)
(DMW previous coverage)