Michael Arrington of TechCrunch discusses the dilemma they grappled with when they received a zip file from “Hacker Croll” containing hundreds of confidential corporate and personal documents of Twitter and Twitter employees.
There is clearly an ethical line here that we don’t want to cross, and the vast majority of these documents aren’t going to be published, at least by us. But a few of the documents have so much news value that we think it’s appropriate to publish them.
Marie Boran of Silicon Republic comments on the controversy about publishing the documents:
Plans to publish the stolen confidential corporate documents were met with some disapproval from Twitter users, some of whom labelled this action ‘going too far’, a ‘bad move’, and ‘wrong and unethical’.
In light of the recent scandal in the UK involving phone tapping by the press, this action by TechCrunch continues to raise questions on what role the media plays in the violation of privacy laws. Is this publishing in and of itself a criminal act? Where are the police with a court injunction to stop one firm publishing the stolen, private documents of another?
And speaking of security, Stan Schroeder over on Mashable discusses what he calls Twitter’s security meltdown.
… back in April, we received a tip that several French sites have images from Twitter’s admin panel. It was a tough call to decide whether these were authentic or not; our bet was yes, and judging by the latest posting on one of these sites, they were. This same site (link omitted on purpose) now holds images from various personal accounts of Evan Williams, including PayPal, Amazon, Gmail (Gmail) and MobileMe (MobileMe).
One thing is certain. Twitter needs to burn everything security-related down to the ground and build it all anew to make sure this won’t happen again. Employees should adopt stricter security practices; services that don’t offer adequate security should be replaced with better ones; in short, Twitter needs to seriously rethink its attitude towards security and privacy in all aspects of their work.