Apple gave the orders!
Yahoo News’ John Cook asks “What is Apple Inc.’s role in task force investigating iPhone case?”
What’s curious is that one of those high-tech companies providing training, personnel, and support to the task force is Apple Inc., the alleged victim in the Gizmodo case. … Which raises the question as to whether Apple, which was outraged enough about Gizmodo’s $5,000 purchase of the lost iPhone for CEO Steve Jobs to reportedly call Gawker Media owner Nick Denton to demand its return, sicked its high-tech cops on Chen.
Yes, Apple must really have been outraged to call and ask for its property back. Property that may have been stolen. Anyone else would have just let someone who had purchased their possibly stolen property keep it. But not Apple. They’re such hotheads.
In either case, it’s hard to imagine — even if you grant that a theft may have occurred under California law, which requires people who come across lost items to make a good-faith effort to return them to their owner — how the loss of a single phone in a bar merits the involvement of an elite task force of local, state, and federal authorities devoted to “reducing the incidence of high technology crime through the apprehension of the professional organizers of large-scale criminal activities,” as the REACT website motto characterizes its mission.
Indeed. It certainly sounds all dark and insidious.
“It depends,” Wagstaffe says. “If there’s something unusual about the phone, then yes, REACT would get involved. It deals with anything that’s high-tech. So if it’s hard to put a value on it — for instance, if it’s not just any cell phone — then a local police force might have trouble assessing its value, and the task force would have the expertise to do that.”
Which pretty much exactly describes a prototype of an upcoming signature product of an A-list technology company. Oh, hey, turns out it’s really not hard to imagine why REACT might get involved at all!
This isn’t the first criminal investigation REACT has conducted in which a steering-committee member was a victim: In 2006, REACT broke up a counterfeiting ring that was selling pirated copies of Norton Antivirus, which is produced by steering-committee member Symantec. REACT has also launched piracy investigations in response to requests from Microsoft and Adobe.
Pirated copies of software. Well, at least we all remember the outrage about Symantec, Microsoft and Adobe being nothing more than a bunch of jack-booted thugs.
UPDATE: In comments, ronin notes that until just recently, John Cook wrote for Gawker. Now, the Macalope knows that “the media” like to consider themselves without bias, but doesn’t that seem like something that either a) should have been mentioned in a footnote by Yahoo News or b) should have disqualified Cook from writing the piece in the first place?