Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

A leak-hosting site looks to thaw the chill of censorship

Columbia Journalism Review: “In November, Reuters published a special investigative feature headlined, “How an Indian startup hacked the world.” The story alleged that a hacking-for-hire firm called Appin had stolen secrets from executives, politicians, military officials, and wealthy elites around the globe. (Appin has denied this.) A few weeks later, however, the story was taken down and replaced by an editor’s note saying that it had been “temporarily removed” following an order issued by a district court in New Delhi. The order, Reuters said, was issued amid a court case that was originally brought against the news agency a year earlier. Reuters said that its hacking-for-hire story was based on thousands of documents and interviews with hundreds of people, including cybersecurity firms, adding that it stood by its reporting and planned to appeal. (Reuters did not respond to a request for comment.) According to the Daily Beast and other outlets, the initial lawsuit against Reuters is part of a wider legal battle launched by Rajat Khare, a co-founder of Appin, and law firms including Clare Locke LLP, which boasts on its website about its track record of “killing stories” about its clients. The Daily Beast reported that references to Khare have been removed from a collaborative investigation between London’s Sunday Times and the nonprofit Bureau of Investigative Journalism; a news story published in Luxembourg; and a report from the Swiss national broadcaster. Semafor reported, meanwhile, that Clare Locke sent legal threats to The New Yorker about a story on India’s hack-for-hire industry. (The New Yorker’s story is still online; Khare’s lawyer told Semafor that Khare “does not comment on actual or alleged legal proceedings,” but does “defend himself judicially in all relevant jurisdictions against any attacks that target him and illegitimately damage his reputation.”) Lawfare also edited an article that it had published to remove details taken from the Reuters report. And the Internet Archive, which had hosted a backup copy of the Reuters story, has taken it down. (The story has been replaced with the message: “this URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine.”)”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.