August 11, 2011
One of the biggest iPhone leaks happened in March of 2010, when Gizmodo was involved in the purchase of a prototype iPhone 4, which was left behind at a San Francisco, Bay area establishment by an Apple employee. The district attorney’s office of San Mateo County decided today not to charge Gizmodo with a crime. Gawker Media, the parent company of Gizmodo, released this statement:
We are pleased that the District Attorney of San Mateo County, Steven Wagstaffe, has decided, upon review of all of the evidence, that no crime was committed by the Gizmodo team in relation to its reporting on the iPhone 4 prototype last year. While we have always believed that we were acting fully within the law, it has inevitably been stressful for the editor concerned, Jason Chen, and we are glad that we can finally put this matter behind us.Gizomodo posted today’s announcement on their blog, as this case was tough on their staff and one of their editors, Jason Chen. Since they leaked this story, Apple has banned Gizmodo from the WWDC and other Apple events. Last March, Brian Hogan who found the iPhone 4, and his friend Sage Wallower, shopped the invaluable device around to several tech companies. Gizmodo ended up purchasing the phone for $5,000. Gizmodo then placed exclusive photos on their website, long before Apple even made an announcement of its release. This spawned a full-blown investigation, which was driven by Apple. Police searched Chen’s apartment, took his computer, and later returned it under a deal with prosecutors for other evidence that would be helpful in the case. Both Hogan and Wallower have been charged with misappropriation of lost property and Wallower was additionally charged with possession of stolen property. They both face fines and up to a year in jail. Their arraignment is scheduled for August 25, 2011.