San Mateo county police, presumably at the bidding of Apple, broke open the front the door of the home of the editor of a technology blog and seized his property. This is in relation to Gizmodo’s revelation of what is presumed to be the next iPhone.
On its merits, Gizmodo may well have broken the law. However, this incident is over a tech gadget, not some explosive device or human trafficking. It’s a phone, and it’s been returned to Apple.
The only reason to break and enter, as the police did, is for punishment after the fact. There was no stolen property to retrieve. They seized private computers which I presume Jason Chen needs to do his work.
Tech journalists: this is Apple at its worst. They can enforce all sort of onerous secrecy on its employees. It should not be asking police to break into the homes of journalists.
So here’s a very difficult but I think necessary request: do not cover new product announcements from Apple for a full year. They make millions based on the free publicity you provide. In return, you get readership.
Here’s the hard part: consider giving up some of that readership. Think about who your audience is, and the ethical standards that they expect from you. Your best, most loyal readers don’t come to you to hear about Apple’s latest; they can read the press release and watch the commercials.
Give it a think.