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Gizmodo, Gawker to cooperate with authorities investigating stolen iPhone prototype

Gawker and Gizmodo will be handing over all the relevant documents related to the case to the San Mateo County District Attorney and its team.

According to several media reports on Friday, Gizmodo, its parent company Gawker Media and Editor Jason Chen has agreed to fully cooperate with the authorities investigating the stolen iPhone 4 prototype case.

Gawker and Gizmodo will also be handing over all the relevant documents related to the case to the San Mateo County District Attorney and its team.

In turn the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office (that launched probe into the stolen iPhone 4 prototype on Apple’s complaint) has asked the California judge to withdraw the search warrant it requested previously.

"According to the order signed by San Mateo Superior Court Judge Clifford Cretan on Friday, the property will be returned to Chen and Gizmodo "after inspection of the documents provided by Mr. Chen … and upon the satisfaction of the investigating agency that the documents are true, correct and complete copies of the materials as authorized in the warrant," reported Wired.com on Friday.

Issue that enticed controversy and DA’s investigation
The whole controversial matter started when tech blog site Gizmodo published in-depth details about the Apple’s new iPhone 4 offering with images.

The website claimed that they have obtained the prototype of new iPhone from some person, who found it lying around in the bar, for $5,000.

In turn the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office (that launched probe into the stolen iPhone 4 prototype on Apple’s complaint) has asked the California judge to withdraw the search warrant it requested previously.

After seeing its new iPhone images plastered all over the net, Apple asked the tech blog site to return the prototype as it’s a stolen property. Shortly after retrieving the handset Apple reported the incident to the police.

Police started investigating the matter and went on to raid Gizmodo’s editor Jason Chen’s house where they seized computers, credit card chips, hard disks etc. which they thought might be helpful in investigation.

EFF applauds the withdrawal of warrant
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which strongly condemned the warrant issued against Gizmodo’s editor Jason Chen, stating the violation of the California Penal Code, has welcomed the decision to solve the matter amicability.

"As EFF repeatedly noted at the time, the warrant-backed search of Chen's home was illegal as it violated California Penal Code section 1524(g)'s prohibition against the issuance of warrants for 'unpublished information obtained or prepared in gathering, receiving or processing of information for communication to the public,'" said the cyber-rights group EFF.

The group went on to add, “While the D.A.’s withdrawal of the April 23rd warrant is certainly a positive step, this likely isn’t the end of the matter… the police could (for example) attempt to subpoena the same material without running afoul of section 1524(g) and still proceed with their case.”