Jason Chen’s Home Raided by REACT

Jason Chen GizmodoThe United States is a scary place to be when Steve Jobs hates you. As much as the statement is intended to be a joke, there is no doubt that many in the tech blogging community felt shivers up their spine with the announcement that the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team has taken the issued Search Warrant in order to seize several computers from the home of Jason Chen, a tech blogger for Gizmodo.

Plenty of us are already familiar with the main story of how the prototype iPhone was left in some bar and was purchased by Gizmodo for 5000 USD and how Apple requested that the device be returned to their possession.

Oddly enough, Gizmodo replied directly to the letter and have indicated that they fully intend to cooperate with the Cupertino based company and have referred the representatives of Apple to Jason Chen –the man who was currently in possession of the device. This is why it is surprising to hear that cops actually raided Jason Chen’s home.

In fact, these law enforcers were part of REACT –a law enforcement wing that was supposed to be chasing after pedophiles, cyber terrorists, hackers and other mal-adjusted netizens. Apparently, Chen’s possession of the iPhone was a really big among these guys. This has led many to believe that REACT was following directives directly from Apple or, quite possibly, the iPhone was not a prototype for a commercial model, but instead, for military or government use.

The raid has also brought up many issues regarding journalism on the internet. The law in California prohibits the confiscation of equipment from journalists –a statement that is heavily quoted by both Gawker Media and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in defense of Chen. According to Apple, Chen is not a journalist but a blogger.

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