Gawker Media, the owner of tech blog Gizmodo, says it is considering a lawsuit against San Mateo county police for allegedly violating a California journalist shield law designed to limit searches of newsrooms, following a police raid on the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen.
Thomas R Burke, the media lawyer representing Gawker Media, told CNET that conducting a full-blown search of a journalist's house was simply illegal.
He added that Gawker was in talks with the District Attorney's office, which had agreed not to examine any of Jason Chen's seized computers and hard drives until a definite conclusion had been reached on the legality of the search.
Legal experts have noted that the California journalist shield law will not protect Gizmodo if it is established that the blog knew it that the iPhone 4G prototype it purchased for $5,000 was stolen. Under Californian law, this could result in felony charges.
Burke told CNET in a statement: “Very much to their credit, they aren't just putting their heads into the sand and saying, 'Go away'. The district attorney's office is independently looking at this. We're going to be sending them a detailed letter of what we already told them Saturday and yesterday.”