District Attorney Won’t Press Charges Against Gizmodo For Buying Stolen iPhone 4 Prototype

District Attorney Won’t Press Charges Against Gizmodo For Buying Stolen iPhone 4 Prototype

After a year’s deliberation, the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office has decided not to press charges against Jason Chen, Gizmodo or Gawker Media for buying the iPhone 4 prototype that leaked this time last year.

The prototype — which was lost by Apple Software Engineer Gray Powell at Redwood City’s Gourmet Haus Stadt — was sold to Gawker Media by Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower, who’s arraignment is still scheduled for Thursday, August 25th at 9am.

The case against Gizmodo was obviously not strong enough for the D.A. to risk going to court over, though, as they have released an official statement saying:

After a consideration of all of the evidence, it was determined that no charges would be files against employees of Gizmodo.

Not quite an exoneration of any wrong doing, but Gawker’s jubilant anyway:

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.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Gizmodo’s acquisition of the iPhone 4 prototype was legal, just that the D.A. doesn’t feel it has a strong case. And while the D.A. might be willing to let the matter go, Apple has a long memory, and Gizmodo will undoubtedly continue to be blacklisted from all future Apple events. That’s probably a small price to pay for the biggest tech scoop of the century, though.

[via Gizmodo]

  • Mike Rathjen

    “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”

    That appears to be an outright lie. Deciding not to prosecute and deciding that no crime was committed are very, very different things.

  • iDaBoss

    old news, don’t care

  • JDWages

    Old news, and I do care!  It’s unfortunate Gizmodo won’t fry over this.  The entire iPhone 4 “fiasco” was their baby.  Even though the iPhone 4 has been wildly successful, it cannot be denied that Gizmodo did unwarranted damage to Apple.  They should be held accountable for it. What they did was a crime.

  • Robert Pruitt

    Gizmodo was pegged for being sleaze not just for stealing this phone, or supporting theives.  They nearly lost the Apple engineer who had the phone stolen from him his job.  Who knows what kind of hit his career has taken to this point either.  They published articles with the engineers identity right after this event happened, so they knew where to return the phone.  Then, after completely tearing it apart and putting it together the phone, they return it. It was freaking tech-rape.  I’m glad that the largest and most important company in the tech world has banned them from their events.  They don’t allow free comments on their site, they get political, they post sex toy and other sleazy articles that aren’t safe for work with article titles that don’t properly describe them.  Jesus Diaz is complete trash. et cetera et cetera.  The final straw for me was their detailed article on how to cheat and not get caught.  Low lives. 

  • crateish

    Gizmodo is assclown central. Does anyone actually take their ‘reporting’ seriously?

  • Dilbert A

    No, it was a big price to play. Gawker lost traffic after it was over, and again after the redesign. I go there a lot less. They’ve been trolling Apple hard ever since they got blacklisted.

    They brought it on themselves. They did the entire internet a disservice by promoting criminal activity like it’s no big deal, and by trying to make Apple out a “big brother” because they called them on their bullshit.

    Giz can still occasionally write some great articles and honest reviews, but they lost too much creditably in my eyes for this to be worth it.

  • Dilbert A

    You cared enough to comment though, didn’t ya?

  • Dilbert A

    It’s hard to disagree. Shame.

  • Dilbert A

    Yup.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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