Friday, March 17, 2006

In Hong Kong, Big Brother turns into Big Crook

Due to increasingly popular disclosure legislation in the US data security breaches are almost starting to look like an American problem (see Every minute a sucker is born, with a one in two chance of being robbed of his identity).

But of course life is more cruel than that. Earlier this week a serious incident was reported in Hong Kong, where 20,000 confidential police complaints appeared on the Net, apparently because somone wanted to work on them from home. But it does look like Hong Kongers have more of a sense of humour about it. After the breach came to light the website containing the complaints was swiftly taken offline, and with Google's help even removed from the Google cache.

But on Tuesday a poster in a local newsgroup, using the alias "Big Crook", pointed out that the complaints file was still doing the rounds on BitTorrent having been downloaded more than 200,000 times.

"Big Crook" is a familair alias in Hong Kong: it used to belong to Chan Nai-ming, who was convicted of copyright infringement last November for sharing movies on the BitTorrent network.

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