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Media asks court to unseal records in iPhone investigation

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  1. Court Access
News organizations are asking a state judge to unseal the search warrant affidavit that led to police searching an editor's…

News organizations are asking a state judge to unseal the search warrant affidavit that led to police searching an editor’s phone for evidence about a missing iPhone prototype, The Los Angeles Times and Wired reported.

Police raided the home of technology blogger and Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, who had allegedly purchased the next-generation iPhone from 21-year-old Brian Hogan after he found it at a restaurant where it had been left by an Apple engineer.

The media coalition has filed a brief stating that the public has a right of access to the affidavit and that the order sealing the records did not comply with judicial requirements.

The search warrant affidavit would provide insight into what crime was being investigated, what evidence investigators had, and whether the prosecutors and judge considered shield laws before issuing the warrant.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Gawker Media has argued Chen should be protected by the state’s shield law for journalists. The Electronic Frontier Foundation told Wired that even if Chen possessed the stolen material in violation of the law, investigators would still need to obtain a subpoena.