High-tech and low-tech collided today in Redwood City, when tech journalists were forced to show up in person (gasp!) and shell out cash (double gasp!) to obtain the just-unsealed search warrant
in the iPhonegate case
An exasperated employee at the San Mateo County Clerk's office told SF Weekly
that a line of "like 20 people" was snaking into the hall to purchase copies of the warrant, which was made public at 11 a.m. sharp. The hot document outlines the San Mateo County Sheriffs' rationale for forcibly entering the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen
and carting off his computers and other effects after his site published photos of an iPhone 4G prototype purportedly left in a bar by a tippling Apple engineer.
Your humble narrator had attempted to wheedle a car to speed to Redwood City; news of a blockbuster queue took the wind out of his sails. We will glean the documents that a media cohort will undoubtedly post online, posthaste.
"I know the investigation is still ongoing but the immediacy of what
was happening in the first few days has passed," Judge Clifford Cretan told the Los Angeles Times, adding that the identities of the persons named in the affidavit have become public knowledge. "I can no longer say that there was an overriding
interest that continues to overcome the right of the public."
Incidentally, the San Mateo County Clerk was charging 50 cents a page for that warrant. If they employed dynamic pricing, by the way, they could have asked for much more than that and cleaned up today. That's old-school thinking for you.
Update, 4:55 p.m.: The search warrant is a hell of a read. You can get an excellent summary of it here at CNET; at the bottom of that article you can read the original warrant.