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Police Investigating The Lost iPhone Prototype Incident

April 24th, 2010 04:34 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

iPhone prototype in final phase of design

Based on the history of Apple product leaks and Apple’s response, we had wondered how it would react to the lost iPhone prototype incident. It looks like we’ll soon find out.

CNET has reported that Silicon Valley Police is investigating the events surrounding the Apple employee’s lost next generation iPhone that was sold to Gizmodo, who published details of the upcoming device.

Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, had revealed that the company had paid $5,000 for what could be Apple’s new iPhone.

CNET reports according to their sources:

Apple has spoken to local police about the incident and the investigation is believed to be headed by a computer crime task force led by the Santa Clara County district attorney's office, the source said. Apple's Cupertino headquarters is in Santa Clara County, about 40 miles south of San Francisco.

The police is currently trying to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to file criminal charges.

CNET points out:

Under a California law dating back to 1872, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be but "appropriates such property to his own use" is guilty of theft. If the value of the property exceeds $400, more serious charges of grand theft can be filed. In addition, a second state law says that any person who knowingly receives property that has been obtained illegally can be imprisoned for up to one year.

However, under the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press the case might get a little complicated.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that confidential information leaked to a news organization could be legally broadcast, although that case did not deal with physical property and the radio station did not pay its source.

Meanwhile, Gaby Darbyshire, Gawker's Chief Operating Officer said that police had not spoken with anyone at the company yet.

We'll keep you posted as soon as we've have any further updates on this story. 

[via CNET]

Source: Police Investigating The Lost iPhone Prototype Incident

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