For those of you who think that media and information are free and uncontroled, guess again. Lately I have been seeing more and more incidents of large corporations hiding information, and even telling other people to hide it for them. I think this is plain wrong, and the guys involved should have been fired or punished otherwise.
If you have information which is of interest to the public, and somebody is making you sign a paper with which he can force you to shut up, you should think twice (and then not do it). Not because of the money, not because of the information itself, but for the sheer principle. Information should not be controled in that way. By anyone. It is dangerous.
- Blackhat Conference 2005: Cisco orders tearing Michael Lynn’s slides on leaks in Cisco’s IOS out of the handouts.
- June 2006: Microsoft is censoring Chinese blogs
- July 2007: India is censoring certain blogs
- Blackhat Conference 2007: Thomas Dullien (known as Halvar Flake), was denied access to the US because he carried his presentation and some slides with him.
- Blackhat Conference 2007: HID Global prevents Chris Paget to do a presentation on the security flaws in RFID
- Blackhat Conference 2008: Apple prevents Charles Edge from doing a presentation on a zero-day exploit in Apple’s filevault by having him sign a non-disclosure agreement.
- 2008: The search results in China are still censored by Microsoft, Yahoo and Google.
- 2008: India and China are not the only ones, judging this wikipedia page…
When do these people realize that witholding information is only postponing the inevitable fact that people are going to hear about the stuff they are trying to hide? Are they really thinking that people all over the world, connected in all kinds of different ways, aren’t going to notice what you are doing?
Ofcourse, they are doing a pretty darn good job so far, but it will break down eventually. Small are the minds of people who fear free flow of information.