How did the iPhone prototype end up in Gizmodo hands? That's what the police would like to know.
The saga of how Gizmodo got that device exploded this week into a criminal investigation with many questions arising about journalists' rights and responsibilities.
In an investigation that appears to stem from the gadget blog's purchase of a lost Apple iPhone prototype, deputies from the sheriff's office in San Mateo County, Calif., last Friday obtained a warrant and searched Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's Fremont, Calif., home, seizing his computers and servers. The warrant said a felony crime was being investigated.
Hours before the raid, CNET was the first to report on the criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the iPhone prototype and Gizmodo's acquisition of it, including that Apple had contacted local police.
However, the criminal probe is expected to broaden, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNET. One reason for an expanded investigation is obvious: law enforcement wants to learn who found the so-called 4G prototype and offered it for sale. California law makes it a crime for someone to find lost property but not return it.
Since then, two people have been identified as allegedly being involved in the device's sale. Brian J. Hogan, a 21-year-old resident of Redwood City, Calif., is the person who found the iPhone and was paid by Gizmodo, according to a story published on Thursday by Wired.com. Hogan, however, had help in finding a buyer for the phone. CNET has learned that Sage Robert Wallower, a 27-year-old University of California at Berkeley student, contacted technology sites about what is believed to be Apple's next-generation iPhone.
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