By Mark Memmott

The news that sheriff's deputies took computers and servers from the California home of a Gizmodo editor as part of their investigation into the case of the "lost iPhone" alarms at least one person who closely watches for violations of "press" freedom.

CNET News writes that:

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press told CNET on Monday: "This is such an incredibly clear violation of state and federal law it takes my breath away. The only thing left for the authorities to do is return everything immediately and issue one of hell of an apology."
Dalglish said that the San Mateo County search warrant violated the federal Privacy Protection Act, which broadly immunizes news organizations from searches -- unless, in some cases, the journalists themselves committed the crime. The 1980 federal law requires police to use subpoenas to obtain information instead of search warrants, she said.

This all goes back to a story we've posted about previously -- the discovery of a prototype of what may be Apple's next generation iPhone at a restaurant in Silicon Valley. It had apparently been left there by an Apple engineer.

Gizmodo has said it paid $5,000 for the prototype -- which it returned to Apple after the company asked for it back, following the website's extensive postings about the device.

It will be interesting to watch this part of the story play out. Meanwhile, we wonder:


categories: News Media, Technology

8:30 - April 27, 2010