Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Apple validates our scoop on the iSqueal!

By J. Thomas Duffy

Who knew we would be so prophetic?

On multiple fronts.

First there was the minor fun we had, with the Little Lost iPhone last week, in our 'The iPhone That Knew Too Much', running a wisp of a thread of the classic Hitchcock film in it.

After dismissing that "Redwood City (California) will never, ever, ever be mistaken for in Marrakesh", we had this breaking news;

Police Seize Jason Chen's Computers

Last Friday night, California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team entered editor Jason Chen's home without him present, seizing four computers and two servers. They did so using a warrant by Judge of Superior Court of San Mateo. According to Gaby Darbyshire, COO of Gawker Media LLC, the search warrant to remove these computers was invalid under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code.

Holy Handcuffs Batman!

Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team?

Do they actually have lightening-quick robots that go out, paralyze people, that drag them back to Apple HQ for an under-the-burning LED interrogation?

Apple asked for 'lost' iPhone criminal probe

The criminal investigation into the purported theft of an apparent iPhone prototype came at the request of Apple Inc., officials said Tuesday.


Wagstaffe said that an outside counsel for Apple, along with Apple engineer Powell, called the District Attorney’s office on Wednesday or Thursday of last week to report a theft had occurred and they wanted it investigated. The District Attorney’s office then referred them to the Rapid Enforcement and Allied Computer Team, or REACT, a multi-jurisdictional, high-tech crime task force that operates under the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office.

REACT then sought out the warrant that was served on the home of Gizmodo writer Jason Chen, seizing several computers, a server and external hard drives, as well as copies of Chen’s paystubs and his American Express bill. The warrant was served on April 23 while Chen and his wife were out of the house, leading investigators to break down his door and conduct the search.


Apple is on the steering committee of REACT along with 24 other Silicon Valley companies including Microsoft Corp., Adobe Systems Inc., Symantec Corp., KLA-Tencor Inc., Applied Materials Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. The committee acts as a liaison between the region’s tech industry and law enforcement


When we said "Apple is, notoriously like The Yakuza, we had no idea they had a man on the inside.

Katie Marsal has more on that end of things.

Now, we have a cavalcade of legal circus acts to play out.

And this peaked our interest;

Apple May Have Traced iPhone to Finder’s Address

People identifying themselves as representing Apple last week visited and sought permission to search the Silicon Valley address of the college-age man who came into possession of a next-generation iPhone prototype, according to a person involved with the find.

“Someone came to [the finder's] house and knocked on his door,” the source told, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case is under investigation by the police. A roommate answered, but wouldn’t let them in.

Hmmm ...

How did they know where to go?

Could they really trace it, and/or, did they get a tip?

That brings us square into a scoop we had, way back, in March of 2005;

Apple will also set up a special hotline - iSqueal - for people to phone or email in tips as to who may be leaking, or disparaging Apple or any Apple products.

Changes will be coming with iTunes as well. The purchase price will remain at .99, for those willing to sign a contract that they will not badmouth Apple. Otherwise, the purchase of a tune will cost $99 and Apple will create a dossier on that purchaser and monitor there actions and communications.

Ipods will now be outfitted with special senors to detect a batch of keywords related to dissent about Apple. If any of these keywords are used, the iPod shuts down, and sends a signal - much like a Lojack - for Apple to dispatch a lawyer to serve the iPod owner with a lawsuit.

Apple, unofficially, has validated the iSqueal!

We'll have to wait and see what else breaks with this case.

In the meantime, we'll let Andrew Leonard, of Salon, close us out, from his 'Steve Jobs' iPhone police state';

No one ends up looking good in this mess. Steve Jobs is a control freak with police powers. Apple employees don't know how to take care of super-secret prototypes! Finders of lost iPhones are perfectly happy to sell them to on-the-make media outlets. And the pursuit of the page-view jackpot turns reporters into black market entrepreneurs. It's a wonderful world.

(Cross Posted at The Garlic)

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