Apple CEO Steve Jobs intervened in the Case of the Purloined iPhone, personally contacting Gizmodo editor Brian Lam to ask for the return of the missing iPhone 4G prototype. That tidbit - told by Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell to Detective Matthew Broad of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office - was revealed today by the …
What a cheerfully sordid little story this is. I feel bad for the Apple engineer and Martinson who tried to convince the idiot phone thief to do the right thing. The former is probably on his way to unemployment and the latter will soon be turfed out by her pissed off flatmates. Gizmodo have also shown themselves to be gutter journalists by not only handling stolen goods and blackmailing Apple but also by humiliating the careless engineer just to score points.
Good for her
Regular bunch of criminal masterminds aren't they? Good on the lady in question for repeatedly doing the right thing, even under what must have been some heavy peer pressure to the contrary.
Re: Do the Right Thing
That is, of course, if she was involved as stated. Except for the phone call(s?) to detectives, the person she is accusing is the only collaborating witness...
Of course, its obvious now that she is un-employable for most high-end jobs; covering her own ass is top priority, but she is sloppy and doesn't minimize her own responsibility.
Perhaps looking for a book deal off this free publicity, ala "The Informant"? That kinda screams "My career is dead - Help me Oprah!"
His Girlfriends PC LOL
Hmmm... If I connect it to the internet through my PC, they'll probably be able to see my IP....
I'll use my girlfriend's computer and they'll never find me. Muhahahahahaha
I'm so smart.
With friends like these...
Yes, the right thing would have been to give it back, but the article certainly conveys the impression that Martinson went out of her way to shop her flatmates as much as possible. Was she tired of them leaving dirty dishes or something?
I wish her luck finding a new place to live.
Blackmailing Steve Jobs? Real smart move.
Seriously, has Brian Lam actually paid any attention to the man's behaviour? Since when has he appeared sympathetic to the desires of the tech blogs and Apple rumour community? Don't forget, Apple had Thinksecret shut down altogether after much less sensationalist behaviour, and we still don't even know exactly what NIck De Plume had in his possession, much less a teardown gallery and accompanying video.
Taking a longer-term view, how is this going to affect Gizmodo's advertising revenue? Yes, they may have had "millions and millions" of hits off the back of this affair, but will advertisers queue up to be associated with a site tarnished by it and whatever legal proceedings it engenders? Perhaps Jobs won't have to shut Gizmodo down...
Re: Advertisers lined up
That's why there are aggregate advertising agencies. Then any advertiser doesn't have to be "involved in" any of the sites their ads show up at. All this did was up Gizmodo's ratings and allow them to be paid according to the new tier they now find themselves in.
Nothing but more money for them - so they get rewarded for this, as well as any false arrest civil proceedings, etc. they can squeeze out.
And he ran back to daddy...
Quite an entertaining story when read through the eyes of an investigating officer. I wonder if this'll turn up in a CSI espiode? Or maybe Bones? (it does need more drama - a body and a weapon, after all).
Seems pretty fair that Chen shouldn't be protected by the shield law. He made his own bed, and it should probably be up to a jury to decide if he made it wrong.
Screw you Apple.
This is all a bit OTT for a LOST (not stolen) phone.
Every day that goes by makes me less and less likely to ever buy an Apple product.
RE: Screw you Apple.
"This is all a bit OTT for a LOST (not stolen) phone."
Except it isn't. The person who found it knew who it belongs to and made no attempt to contact that person, return the phone or hand it into police. They then sold it to someone who knew it was not their property to sell, ie they knew they were buying stolen goods.
That makes it a crime. Perhaps not theft but as close as...
Obviously Apple didn't want it falling into the hands of competitors, hence the desire to get it back...
It's called "stealing by finding"
I loathe Apple, I think Steve Jobs is a tosser, but it's still "stealing by finding"
(software patents IMHO however are "stealing by not finding out")
Just goes to show
you should never bring a skirt on a caper. Especially not one with long black hair and big bosoms
, they are the most treacherous kind
Just how many.......
breasts has this sort of individual that "you should never bring a skirt on a caper. Especially one with long black hair and big bosoms?" One bosom = two breasts. If the bosoms are plural that must mean at least four of breasts. If these are also large breasts, perhaps they may get in the way of her typing I suppose, but I'm not quite sure why superumerary breasts of abnormally large volume, or indeed long black hair, should have a necessary connection with treachery.
Paris -- because she has only two and they're small ones. Presumably doesn't need any more or any larger.
the bosom /breast numerical confusion
Interesting clarification, re: breasts and bosoms but I'm fairly sure the original point holds true: I'm not at all sure that anyone with 4 breasts is a suitable participant in a caper unless distraction plays a big part in the plan, of course.
Nothing to say really, just
wanted to break the run of FAIL icons!
Well, she knows a thing or two about "unfortunate" leaking of sensitive info...
"Yes, they may have had "millions and millions" of hits off the back of this affair, but will advertisers queue up to be associated with a site tarnished by it and whatever legal proceedings it engenders?"
Millions of millions of hits == millions and millions of ad impressions so I reckon most of them will deal...
What I don't understand is how Chen gets any journalistic protection when he's actually committed a crime, surely the shield laws are there to protect journalists who, for example, impede an investigation by refusing to name a source, not those who knowingly buy stolen goods..?
"What I don't understand is how Chen gets any journalistic protection when he's actually committed a crime"
He doesn't. He's entitled to protect sources, but that doesn't absolve criminal behaviour which is a separate matter for which neither being a journalist or having a big ego provide any protection (AFAIK, IANAL).
All of this..
over a bloody phone? Seriously? You have to love the USA.
it's not about a "bloody phone", it's about (big) business
It's about lost and deferred sales of the iPhone 3GS, and lost sales of this new iPhone, when competitors and carriers without iPhone put together a matching response a couple of months earlier than they would have. And it's about giving the chasing pack of handsets and carriers a free permanent two to three month boost in catching Apple. It means, at the least, hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profits to Apple.
Of course Apple can afford it. That's not the point. It's simply the rule of law. Gawker media appears to have used criminal theft and industrial espionage to destroy value in another business and pick up a few bucks for themselves out of the mess.
Not so sure about that...
"It's about lost and deferred sales of the iPhone 3GS, and lost sales of this new iPhone, when competitors and carriers without iPhone put together a matching response a couple of months earlier than they would have."
Apple demoed OS4 *and* released it to developers before this all happened and the hardware itself doesn't appear to be even slightly revolutionary - a high-def screen and forward facing camera are new in the iPhone range but getting quite commonplace elsewhere.
On top of that, Apple's somewhat open secret of launching a new iPhone every year at around the same time is just as likely to cause them lost sales at this time of year (at least from anyone who's likely to be reading this story).
Mind you, had it happened earlier in the development cycle it could have been much more of an issue - I suspect this is as much about trying to ensure any gear "misplaced" in future makes its way back home a bit more directly and quietly.
Martinson has great restraint.
"Martinson called the cops because Hogan had hooked the purloined phone up to her computer..."
I think that shows she has great restraint, and sensibility.
If someone hooked up some Apple iCrap to *MY* computer, I'd go properly postal.
The blissfully unsecure
"she feared that Apple would trace the phone to her by way of her IP address".
Oh the irony. If she didn't reply on Steve Jobs for the security and privacy of her machine she'd be running a firewall and could have blocked the phone's access if it attempted to phone home.
RE: The blissfully unsecure
" If she didn't reply on Steve Jobs for the security and privacy of her machine she'd be running a firewall and could have blocked the phone's access if it attempted to phone home."
1, Nowhere does it say that she used an Apple Mac.
2, OSX comes with a firewall
3, Does she really "reply on Steve Jobs"?
Ok, that was three things.
Can we start a rumour that Jerry Bruckheimer has gotten hold of the movie rights to this little escapade? Because all the story is missing is some massive explosions...
Flame icon, to represent an explosion.
All of this over a phone?
"Why all the fuss over a phone?"
Because it's the prototype of the new iPhone from Apple, and as such lots of people in the industry will be paying VERY close attention to it. Even if some of the technical specs aren't much of a surprise (better camera, gosh) having details like the new styling leaked months in advance will have a huge commercial impact, potentially running into the millions.
"But it was lost, not stolen!"
So what? Do you seriously think that if you found a co-worker's credit card on the canteen floor and then sold it to your friendly neighbourhood petty crook you'll be treated any differently in the eyes of the law than if you'd taken it straight from your co-worker's jacket pocket? Of course you wouldn't. Theft is theft.
"Only in the USA / only because the cops are acting on instructions from Apple"
Right. If you think the police in the UK (or anywhere else) wouldn't follow up on a case of theft where there's good evidence of who's involved then I suggest you try nicking your co-worker's credit card or phone, telling all your friends or posting a blog entry about it, and we'll see how far you get!
To be honest in the UK you would get given a crime number and be told not to get your hopes up... then you would hear no more...
All of this over a phone?
Pretty disgusting sick world we live in when peoples houses get raided over a lost phone.
LOST does NOT mean stolen so whoever the 'tard is that says its handling stolen goods is a tosser.
Face it, not 1 person in Britain would return a wallet full of cash so why would anyone hand back a mobile when a SKIP load of them are lost every day.
Mobiles once reported lost are USELESS as a brick because the IMEI is barred so WHAT are they crying about?
If anyting the 200% blame is the knobhead TRUSTED to look after it who LOST it -
THAT individual ruined the entire game of years of design and research. OWN GOAL. End of.
Think people. If all journalists followed the law implicitly we'd all be reading about knitting in the press because they'd be too scared to report anything. You Apple protectionists are warped.
The APPLE EMPLOYEE lost the phone!!!! What cant people understand about that ?
Youre only sad because you wanted to WOOOP WOOOP when Jobsian unveiled the new product, well you dont have to read Gizmodo folks - do ya?? But you did... We ALL did.
So now you know why he reported it and took the flipping thing apart !
Speak for yourself!
"Face it, not 1 person in Britain would return a wallet full of cash"
I have, and would continue to do so, and people like you that would take advantage sicken me.
You're missing the point that laws were broken, and intellectual property was handled for financial gain.
"not 1 person in Britain would return a wallet full of cash"
RE: All of this over a phone?
"Pretty disgusting sick world we live in when peoples houses get raided over a lost phone.
LOST does NOT mean stolen so whoever the 'tard is that says its handling stolen goods is a tosser."
Umm. Do you know anything about this at all whatsoever?
In the place this all happened, it is illegal to find someone elses property and not make any attempt to return it. Now, not only did they know who it belonged to (and yet made no effort to contact that person) they then sold it for $8500. What makes it better is that both parties then bragged about their crime.
So, FAIL all around but a large amount to you for commenting before you read the article...
The purchasers bought the phone, knowing full well that it did not belong to the person who was selling it. That's buying stolen goods, incase you didn't know.
Must just be you
I've returned at least three personally. One in the car park behind my house, several left behind at a karate club, I returned a credit card that was left in a card reader in a store I worked in once (and nobody else saw it and it was only discovered after-hours - it went straight into the work safe when I found it and the bank notified next morning).
My wife's returned several more, including one with several thousand pounds in cash - turned out to belong to a penniless student who'd been loaned the money by her parents and was taking it to a debt collection agency to clear her debts in order to stop her possessions being repossessed. Cash was the only thing they'd accept, and if she didn't pay she'd have lost everything - as it was she was already owing her parents thousands - can you imagine what would happen if she hadn't had that handed back to her? You have *never* seen a more grateful person in your life. If you could sleep well at night knowing that you'd just taken that money, I don't think I'd want to know you.
Also, my wife used to be very clumsy before I met her and she lost her purse several times - every time it was returned with all the cash / cards intact. So we're not the only ones out there.
A theft is a theft. Technically picking up 10p from the street without handing it over to the cops and waiting for a 6-month "ownership claim" period is theft. However, if no-one claims it, it's legally yours after that time and the police will return it to you - no matter how much money it is.
Theft is the taking of property not belonging to you with an intention to permanently deprive. I think that applies here to someone that SOLD the device on to a tech website who then opened the thing up after they *made* the company that owned it disable it via a remote security protocol. Legally, you deprived them when you sold it (and that's handling stolen goods in itself, not to mention a list of other crimes), and the "fence" at Gizmodo then categorically destroyed the device. That's criminal damage, for a start, and intention to permanently deprive. Reading this story, you can tell just from the attitude and the things cited that both "handlers" were idiots and deserve to be arrested, if not charged.
Now, the 10p thing is different because it's almost untraceable but I'd let you off with interpreting the law loosely in that case... but a wallet will contain identification, obviously "belongs" to someone, who WILL be looking for it and who will almost certainly try to reclaim it from the police, local shop, security, whatever. You've gotta be a scumbag to do more than look inside it in the hopes of being able to contact the owner. Same with the phone. It belonged to someone - whether that's a company, individual (how do you know the original Apple guy didn't buy that phone on some special internal Apple sale with his hard-earned money, and thus was HIS property?), or whatever, it wasn't theirs to mess with. They crossed the line the second they thought about selling / buying it.
And I hope you never lose your wallet at a critical point in your life - and I only hope that because I'm actually a nice person - I think it would be all too easy to laugh at you if you did.
Lost or mislaid property?
unfortunately its a wikipedia quote:
"Property is generally deemed to have been lost if it is found in a place where the true owner likely did not intend to set it down, and where it is not likely to be found by the true owner"
Property is generally deemed to have been mislaid or misplaced if it is found in a place where the true owner likely did intend to set it, but then simply forgot to pick it up again."
"Under common law principles, the finder of a misplaced object has a duty to turn it over to the owner of the premises, on the theory that the true owner is likely to return to that location to search for his misplaced item. If the true owner does not return within a reasonable time (which varies considerably depending on the circumstances), the property becomes that of the owner of the premises."
He stole it.
Oh, and yes, i would hand the wallet in as I have morals and am not a nasty little tor-rag.
welcome to the Real World (tm)
"LOST does NOT mean stolen so whoever the 'tard is that says its handling stolen goods is a tosser."
No, he is correct. It is also a UK crime (AFAIK), but if you don't get caught there's not much that can be done. However, if you go and tell everyone I suggest you start packing pyjama's and toothbrush as you will soon be visited by the nice boys in blue. If you're a Brazilian electrician I suggest you add a bulletproof vest to the assembly and avoid travelling by tube.
The main reason nobody feels sorry for Chen and Hogan is the deplorable way they behaved. Even if they decided to take pictures they could have still tried to get it back to the original engineer, and not mention his name. Disclosing who it was was unnecessary and could have gotten the guy fired (I'm still surprised he wasn't).
In general they could have left a lot of information out about where they got it from, which is what you do if you're serious about protecting your sources, even if they're unwittingly your sources - the phone itself was credible enough.
Instead, they more or less pissed on the poor guy who made the mistake that gave them their precious hits and exposed themselves as the idiots they are. I expect Hogan's charitable expression to feature prominently in court.
If I was Gray Powell I'd send both of them a big tube of lube the moment they're locked up, with a little tag "Because you're worth it.." :-)
Sod off and come back when you have grown up!
"Face it, not 1 person in Britain would return a wallet full of cash"
Nice! I think we can surmise from your incorrect use of the digit 1, that you are indeed about 9 years old! I have returned one wallet and a purse. The purse belonged to a an old lady of about 75 who was over the moon with me handing back her purse as her late husband had bought it for her.
No wonder the country is in a state with the tabloids having a field day on the report of every sordid little episode of youth crime with pathetic individuals like you about!
Re: Outing the name
Do you really think Apple wouldn't have figured out which engineer lost the phone when it turned up in the media? Whether they published his name or not, he would have a chance of being fired.
And frankly, he should be. You shouldn't be employed if you're taking "secrete prototypes" worth pressing criminal charges over to a bar. The phrase "gross negligence" comes to mind.
I think you may be wrong
You say "Face it, not 1 person in Britain would return a wallet full of cash", but it sounds a lot like "Face it, I would never return a wallet full of cash". My personal experience of losing stuff - lots - and getting it back - even when the finder had to go to significant lengths - tells me that you are wrong.
For EMPIRICAL evidence just look at the mountains of unclaimed gear that, eg. TFL, accumulate every year - it belongs to people who are so sure that everybody else is dishonest that they erroneously believe that there is no chance it would have been handed in.
Thankfully, people who keep easily returnable found valuables are in the minority, even though they excuse themselves by persisting in an unsupportable belief that everybody else behaves in the same manner - when, in fact, not even a majority do.
Why does Rik Myslewski persist with the canard
that the mobile phone in questioned was «purloined» ? Is it due a lack of understanding of the English language, a partiality to things Apple, or some still more mysterious motive ?...
RE: Why does Rik Myslewski persist with the canard
In the place this all happened, it's illegal to find valuables and make no attempt to return them.
If you then go on to sell the valuables (and brag about it) then the chances are no-one is going to believe that you "found" the items anyway.
In this case, they even knew who the phone belonged to (thanks to his Facebook) and did nothing about it.
Buying said phone = buying something that you know doesn't belong to the seller = dealing in stolen goods.
Like if I sold you the Mona Lisa and said "I found it"...
So a disguised iPhone left on a bar stool is a Mona Lisa ?
And Steve Jobs a Leonardo da Vinci ? It would seem that certain «Anonymous Cowards» are carrying their worship for things Apple to extremes....
Stop being asinine.
Lost or Stolen?
Not sure about the law in the US, but in the UK if you can prove that you where not going to "permanently deprive" someone of their goods then you did not steal.
If they where going to give it back all along (clearly planned too, seeing as they told the world they had it!) then they did not steal it, they did not pay for stolen goods as such, as it was not taken from someone, but found.
The guy who sold it would also need to prove he expected them to return it which is a bit of stretch but still plausible.
loss of value counts too
The classic thought experiment in criminal law studies is the season ticket. Returning a pristine piece of cardboard after it ceases to be of use is still permanent deprivation.
Loss of market advantage is something that can't be regained probably counts too, but IANAL
But the law considers using something as if it was your own (e.g. using the phone beyond trying to trace the owner, trying to sell the phone or stripping it down) as as an indication to permanently deprive.
"It means, at the least, hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profits to Apple."
The announcement of a new iPhone early is *such* a shock.. because they don't update it every year.
The idea someone might now put together a better iPhone is also ridiculous. You don't have to be some kind of spy to figure out the roadmap for the iPhone, you don't need access to the latest prototype. The fact is nobody has managed so far, this fiasco hasn't changed anything.
Bored of this now. Thanks.
Seriously, people, look at what California law has to say about lost property before you say it's not theft. Under California Code - Section 485:
"One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is guilty of theft."
Could not be clearer: It's a stolen phone.
Can we move on now?
A clear statement of the law, as it applies in this case (i.e. jurisdiction etc.).
It doesn't matter whether or not Apple can afford to lose this item, it doesn't matter whether or not Apple are "good" or "evil"; only the facts of the case and the law of California are relevant.
"Lost" - "Stolen" - "Who Cares"
To all those saying he "stole the "Lost" the iPhone.
The Law in the state in which this happened allows for a "good faith attempt to return goods to it's original owner".
He did contact apple twice, both times the drones at the other end of the phone denied it was an apple product. (Didn't he look for the owners facebook page so he had a name to get in contact with and apple sill denied it was one of their phones?) it was remotely deactivated shortly after those calls.
What else should he have done? as far as he was concerned Apple didn't want it back. The only bit he did wrong was not waiting 3 months to sell on the phone. (Their is a provision that after a length of time the phone becomes his property) it's not a fix length but it's a reasonably expected period in where the finder has to keep the item in case the owner comes forward.
mine's the coat with the next years Apple iPad/iPhone in the pocket...
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