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The buzz in tech circles is all about Facebook’s Beacon program, an advertising platform that allows the company to send messages to users’ friends about what they are buying on Web sites like Fandango. After 50,000 users signed a petition protesting, and after the media started interviewing privacy lawyers about the company’s liability, Facebook retreated, announcing it would begin to ask user permission first.
But Facebook has another privacy issue to deal with in the much ignored but quickly escalating Connectu v. Facebook lawsuit, a case that’s nominally about whether Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stole the original Facebook code when he was a student at Harvard. The brawl has escalated to summons to compel discovery, motions to seal documents, and even a temporary restraining order.
What’s the restraining order about?
One magazine, 02138, run by Harvard alumni, has been tracking this case closely and has posted embarassing documents from Zuckerberg’s past. His application to Harvard. A possible police report describing damage to a fellow student’s apartment. Even Zuckerberg’s since-removed online diary, where he makes juicy exclamations like “Jessica Alona is a bitch…I’m a little intoxicated, not going to lie” and potentially damaging ones such as “Let the hacking begin.”
These documents were sealed by the court, but not before 02138 took them first. So yesterday, Facebook filed a motion looking to force 02138 to take these documents down from its website. They’re still up there so, if you’re so inclined, read them while you can.
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