A computer-crime task force, the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, made up of multiple law enforcement agencies, searched Gizmodo Chen's house and car, seizing computers, digital cameras, a cell phone, an American Express bill and copies of checks.
A search warrant, issued by a Superior Court judge in San Mateo County, said the computers and other devices may have been used to commit a felony.
Steve Wagstaffe, spokesman for the San Mateo County District Attorney's office, confirmed the warrant's authenticity to the AP.
According to AP:
- Last week Gizmodo had one of the Web's hottest scoops when it posted photos of an Apple device that appeared to be a next-generation iPhone.
- It had been found in a bar in Redwood City, and sold for $5,000 by an unknown person to Gizmodo, a gadget blog owned by Gawker Media Inc.
- After Chen, 29, posted photos and details about the phone, Apple acknowledged the device belonged to the company, and Gizmodo returned it.
- Gawker Media said California law, which protects journalists from having to turn over anonymous sources or unpublished material to law enforcement during a search, should apply to Chen's property.
- "Are bloggers journalists? I guess we'll find out," Nick Denton, who runs Gawker Media, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
- Wagstaffe said the district attorney's office is examining that issue. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment.