FREE PRESS -- Apple pressed local police to investigate the loss of a
next-generation iPhone a day after Gizmodo published photographs,
telling investigators that the prototype was so valuable, a price could
not be placed on it, according to court documents made public Friday, reports Declan McCullagh for cnet.com.
In a response to a motion from a group of media companies that
included CNET, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Times,
and Wired.com, Judge Clifford Cretan reversed his earlier ruling and
ruled on Friday that circumstances had changed, and now secrecy was no
longer necessary. "It appears appropriate to me at this time to
unseal the affidavit," Cretan said. "I can no longer say there is an
overriding interest in sealing."
On Friday, San Mateo County
District Attorney Chris Feasel told the judge that there is no precedent
that gives "the court the authority to unseal the search warrant at
this time." Feasel had argued that until charges were filed and there
was a criminal defendant, news organizations had no right to access the
Cretan ordered that the affidavit to search Gizmodo
editor Jason Chen's home and his April 28 order sealing the affidavit be
made available to the public no later than 2 p.m. PDT Friday. "It's
gratifying that the judge was willing to reconsider his decision and
recognize that circumstances have changed," Roger Myers, the San
Francisco attorney who represented the media coalition, said after the
ruling was made.