Home > All, Security Issues > Applications from [CENSORED] are dangerous…

Applications from [CENSORED] are dangerous…

December 4, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

I had sight of a letter from General Counsel the other day. It started, well shouted, “NOT FOR PUBLICATION”, so I won’t repeat it in full because I’m a coward. And actually cowardice — and its cause, legal bullying — is the purpose of this post.

The purpose of general counsel’s letter was to make an author withdraw an article. Again, the author and the article are not relevant. The article, according to general counsel, was libelous, false and malicious, and the author would be held to account in a manner (ie, amount) yet to be determined.

Said article was based on research from a researcher — who had already been bullied into withdrawing the research. Actually, as far as I can tell, only the name of general counsel’s company was removed: the research itself remains on site, but anonymized

Well, I’ve looked at that research; and frankly it seems perfectly valid. It’s a warning to users to beware of certain applications because they can do far more than the user might suspect.

But general counsel of this company — which has, I might add, very deep pockets — doesn’t like it. So he is bullying both the researcher and the author into withdrawing the story.

And that is the problem. I believe the research is valid. The researcher believes it is valid or he would have taken it down rather than just anonymized it. But general counsel, through legal bullying, is attempting to prevent the information from reaching the people who need it: the users.

I know this happens in other industries — pharmaceuticals springs immediately to mind — but I’m a bit surprised and disappointed that it also infects security.

Categories: All, Security Issues
  1. December 5, 2013 at 9:02 am

    If the research is valid, and the claims based on strong evidence, how could it be considered libel?

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    • December 5, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Well, Law is designed to protect the rich. I can fully understand companies not wishing to get embroiled. And let’s face it, their shareholders and/or investors are not likely to be keen. It’s far easier to just back away from threats, and then nobody other than the truth (and in this instance the users) gets hurt.

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