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Judge unseals documents in Gizmodo case, finder offered extra $3500 and bonus for lost iPhone


After multiple requests from media like and the Los Angeles Times, a judge has unsealed the search warrant in the Gizmodo case. According to California law, search papers must be made public within 10 days of a search being completed, unless there are extenuating circumstances in the case.

In this one, the prosecutors were arguing that the identities (presumably of the Apple employee who originally lost the iPhone purchased by Gizmodo's editor, as well as the person who found it and sold it to Gizmodo) could be revealed. But that information had already reached the Web -- Gizmodo identified the Apple employee as an iPhone engineer, and Wired identified the phone seller, so San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Clifford V. Cretan decided that since the information was already out there, there was no point in keeping the papers sealed up.

Judge Cretan made note of the irony that the papers were originally sealed to hide "possible intrusion into media sources," and now it was media institutions asking to have the papers opened up.

Wired has the papers now -- they say (not surprisingly) that the iPhone seller's roommate led police to Brian Hogan (who found the phone), but there's also news that Hogan had allegedly spread evidence around Redwood City. The papers also confirm that Gizmodo paid $5000 for the iPhone, but there was also a bonus promised to Hogan when Apple officially announced the phone, and an additional $3500 payment from "another source." Interesting. Maybe there is more to this case than we had originally heard. Keep in mind that this is only the initial investigation -- no charges have yet been filed.

[via The Loop]

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