With the fourth-gen iPhone expected to make its official debut next week, you could almost forget the controversy surrounding the handset leaking earlier on in the year. At D8 this week, Steve Jobs said that people had told him “You shouldn’t go after a journalist because they bought stolen property and tried to extort you”; now, San Mateo County Court has decided that it will examine the computers seized as part of the ensuing investigation.
The court has appointed a “special master” – a supposedly impartial, unpaid agent – to sift through the computers and identify only those materials they believe relevant to the iPhone HD case. A court order prevents the identity of that “special master” from being revealed, though Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s lawyers did come to an agreement with the district attorney as to the procedure being followed.
The process could take up to two months, and in the meantime nobody has been charged with any crimes. Lawyers will be allowed to protest any evidence turned up by the examination, before the judge decides what will be passed on to the district attorney.