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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Judge Keeps Warrant Under Wraps in iPhonegate

Posted By on Thu, May 6, 2010 at 4:59 PM

click to enlarge There are some things you can't even do with a newfangled iPhone...
  • There are some things you can't even do with a newfangled iPhone...
A San Mateo County judge today ordered that a search warrant used to search a Gawker Media editor's home be kept secret, leaving media organizations in the dark as to what exactly police hoped to find in the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, who'd purchased a prototype iPhone, CNET reports.

CNET, the AP, Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Times and other news organizations earlier Thursday asked the court to unseal a detective's affidavit used to obtain the warrant two weeks ago. Prosecutors asked a judge to keep the case records sealed.

Gawker is currently wrangling with San Mateo Country prosecutors

over whether the search warrant might have been invalid under

California's Newsroom Search Act. At issue is whether Chen is suspected

of a crime, and whether employees of the Nick Denton Gawker blogging empire

are bona fide journalists. If Chen's an alleged perp or a

non-journalist -- pretty much the same thing as far as we're concerned

--  he might not be protected by the Act.

Judge Stephen Hall kicked the can down the road to colleague Judge

Clifford Cretan -- who signed the warrant -- but is now occupied by an

unrelated trial. Cretan is unavailable to consider the request until next

week.

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