A second case that will test shield laws for American reporters is under way in California. The court action follows a police raid on the home of Gizmodo staffer Jason Chen.
Police allege Chen had stolen property – a prototype of the next Apple iPhone – and that he had committed a felony by having it in his possession.
Gizmodo, published by the Gawker group, is challenging the warrant on the grounds that Chen is a journalist and his home is his newsroom.
Under California law, a warrant cannot be used to seize the work items of a reporter.
There is good coverage of this issue on Gizmodo and elsewhere, so I won’t repeat it here, but on the heels of this New Jersey case, it seems that the scope of shield laws and the definition of ‘journalist’ and ‘reporter’ are going to get a legal work out in the USA in the next few months.
The following links are from Gizmodo.
• Computers Seized From Home of Blogger in iPhone Inquiry [New York Times]
• What is Apple Inc.’s role in task force investigating iPhone case? [Yahoo News]
• EFF Lawyer: Seizure of Gizmodo Editor’s Computers Violates State and Federal Law [Laptop Magazine]
• Expert: Invalid Warrant Used in Raid on iPhone Reporter’s Home [Wired]
• Understanding the legal issues that are clouding the Gizmodo iPhone raid [ZDNet]
• iPhone Leak Investigation Pauses As DA Ponders Gizmodo Shield Law Defense [TechCrunch]
• Gizmodo Editor’s Computers Seized Amid IPhone Flap [Bloomberg]
• Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s house raided, computers seized [ZDNet]
• OverREACTing: Dissecting the Gizmodo Warrant [Electronic Frontier Foundation]
• Dilbert: That Lost 4G Phone [Dilbert]