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Exposing Sony's leaked financial data damages film industry

When a company like Sony gets hacked and thousands of documents including financial spreadsheets are leaked on the web, it's hard to understand why some people would want to aid attackers in promoting this information.

Many bloggers have been analysing the hack since the start of last week, providing an insight into the scale of the breach and showing how much detail has been exposed. Yes it's very, very bad and of course lots of sensitive information was exposed, but I don't see how people should be exploiting the hack to the point where financial data along with employee details and salaries are being made available. This tests the very limit of the 1st amendment and in fact, some may have gone too far as it could be argued that stolen financial data from a company is not fit for publication. 

The reality is we don't know for sure what the limitations are in the digital age. There is a grey area, and of course freedom of speech has to be upheld as well as a free press. However it worries me that people are so eager to copy and paste whatever they receive because it creates controversy or a readership boost at the expense of companies that just want to get on with it. Sony Pictures employs thousands of people. Why aid in their destruction? Sony spends million of dollars on advertising which in turn supports news publishers indirectly, so it really is quite self-defeating.

According to California Law, publishing confidential company information can be considered 'trade secret misappropriation'. In another instance, the invasion of privacy is also a no-go area particularly with sensitive information like social security numbers and financial information. If hackers are providing publishers with company information it shouldn't be published to the fullest extent. In my view, it gives hackers even more strength to carry out damaging attacks in the future. No one wants to be hacked, but if everyone is giving them a public forum and copying all leaked info online, then this poses serious challenges to the film industry and other sectors.

While it is in the public interest to know the nature of the hack, I don't think people's personal, and private information should be included in these reports. We have refrained from doing so in our coverage on this topic because privacy protection is a fundamental right and corporate financial information that is private, and has been stolen, has no place in the news.

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