By Kim Zetter
April 26, 2010
Police raided the house of an editor for Gizmodo on Friday and seized
computers and other equipment. The raid was part of an investigation
into the leak of a prototype iPhone that the site obtained for a
blockbuster story last week. Now, a legal expert has raised questions
about the legality of the warrant used in the raid.
On Friday, officers from California.s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer
Team in San Mateo, California, appeared at the home of Gizmodo editor
Jason Chen while he was not there and broke open the front door.
Chen and his wife discovered the officers when they returned from dinner
around 9:45 that evening. According to an account he posted online, Chen
noticed his garage door was partly open, and when he tried to open it
completely, officers came out and told him they had a warrant to search
the premises. The warrant had been signed just hours earlier, at 7:00
p.m., by a San Mateo County Superior Court judge. It allowed the police
to search Chen, his residence and any vehicle in his control.
The officers were in the process of cataloging the items they had
already taken from the premises and told Chen they had been in his home
a "few hours already." According to California law, a search warrant may
be served between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. unless otherwise authorized.
The officers told Chen he could request reimbursement for the damage to
his front door.
Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director for the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, said Chen is protected from a warrant by both state and
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