New iPhone 4G, Gizmodo and bloggers as journalists

The saga of the Apple prototype iPhone 4G just continues to grow. For those of you who’ve missed it so far a brief summary is that the prototype was lost in a bar, and then bought by a parent company of the blog website Gizmodo, who published details and photos on the internet. Apple demanded the prototype back which Gizmodo complied with.

However the case has now taken a further turn with the home of Gizmodo editor, Jason Chen, being raided by police who confiscated computers and further items. According to mashable.com it’s part of an investigation into whether any crime was committed because of the purchase of the prototype phone and leaking of the details. It’s now becoming clear that the implications of what happens in this case could affect the future of blogging and journalism.

Gawker who purchased the lost prototype and is the parent company of Gizmodo are claiming that the search warrant used to confiscate items from Jason Chen’s home, was in fact illegal, as he is a journalist and therefore protected by section 1070 of the Evidence Code. Others though argue with this as they say the shield law doesn’t protect evidence related to the commission of a crime while other people have questioned whether bloggers are actually journalists.

Apparently even the police don’t appear to be sure if in this circumstance the shield law applies. For full article go to mashable.com. This is certainly intriguing and the outcome cannot even be guessed at this early on, but one thing for sure is that the legal outcomes of the case could have longstanding consequences for blogging and journalism. We’d be interested in hearing your opinions on this.