There is not and never was any justification for a police assault team to invade Chen's apartment and ransack the place looking for a piece of evidence in a case that was not even a crime, and which was far more likely to be in Gizmodo's corporate office than Chen's home anyway, given that it had already been photographed and was the subject of ongoing coverage.
The riot police, jobs' call to Gizmodo's boss of bosses, letters swelling with suppressed rage and indignation from Apple's lawyers were all part of a campaign of intimidation to get one small news outfit to give up a piece of evidence it had acquired in a fair and legal way and which was of critical interest to its readership.
There was no justification for Apple to blow up what was essentially a minor case involving a lost gadget and what one blogger was going to write about it into the kind of felony that requires assault teams, a year of investigation and casework by the district attorney's office and who knows how much lost time and money spent on attorney's fees for both Gizmodo and Jason Chen.
It was a waste of everyone's time and money, a violation of the rights of (at the least) Jason Chen and Gizmodo and an abuse of public resources to reinforce the paranoia and controlling monomania of one computer-industry billionaire.
Good guys escaped; bad guys weren't stopped
It's a good thing that Chen isn't being charged. It's a good thing the case has mostly gone away.
It's not a good thing that it's going away without anyone suing Apple or pressing charges for its abuse of everyone else in this case and all the others in which it tortures employees or associates to make sure its secrets stay secret.
Apple is not a sovereign nation. It is not a religion. It does not have the right to demand or expect the loyalty and dedication rarely given freely even to family or country.
It definitely doesn't have the right to use police and prosecutors to violate the rights of people whose behavior the directors of its internal gestapo don't like.
There were major crimes in the iPhoneGate case; the D.A.'s announcement today confirms that.
It misses the major point that those committing the real crimes in iPhoneGate were not Jason Chen or Gizmodo. They were Steve Jobs and Apple.
And so far, no one has done anything to stop them from doing exactly the same thing, to someone else, again.
Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.