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Journalists are also encouraged to be skeptical without being cynical, as per the saying "If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Protecting company confidential info and trade secrets under DTSA (for HR and executives)

Off-the-record material is often valuable and reporters may be eager to use it, so sources wishing to ensure the confidentiality of certain information are generally advised to discuss the "terms of use" before disclosing the information, if possible. Some journalists and news organizations have policies against accepting information "off the record", because they believe it interferes with their ability to report truthfully, or because they suspect it may be intended to mislead them or the public.

The scenario:

Even if writers cannot report certain information directly, they can use "off the record" information to uncover related facts, or to find other sources that are willing to speak on the record. This is especially useful in investigative journalism.

Information about a surprise event or breaking news , whether on or off the record, is known as a "tip-off". Information that leads to the uncovering of more interesting information is called a "lead". The identity of anonymous sources is sometimes revealed to senior editors or a news organization's lawyers, who would be considered bound by the same confidentiality as the journalist. Lawyers are generally protected from subpoena in these cases by attorney—client privilege.

Legal staff may need to give counsel about whether it is advisable to publish certain information, or about court proceedings that may attempt to learn confidential information.

Protecting Confidential Information and Trade Secrets from Defecting Employees

Senior editors are in the loop to prevent reporters from fabricating non-existent anonymous sources and to provide a second opinion about how to use the information obtained, how to or how not to identify sources, and whether other options should be pursued. The use of anonymous sources has always been controversial.

Some news outlets insist that anonymous sources are the only way to obtain certain information, while others prohibit the use of unnamed sources at all times.

But prominent reports based on anonymous sources have sometimes been proved to be incorrect. For instance, much of the O. Simpson reporting from unnamed sources was later deemed inaccurate. When reporting on the original story, the Associated Press noted that "[n]one of the sources was named". After the embarrassment, a news organization will often "clamp down" on the guidelines for using unnamed sources, but those guidelines are often forgotten after the scandal dies down.

Need a intellectual property advice lawyer to assist with your legal matters?

The Project for Excellence in Journalism , a research group, found use of anonymous sources dropped from 29 percent of all articles in to just 7 percent in , [7] following widespread embarrassment of media after the Bush administration claims that Iraq had WMD were found to be without basis. Whether in a formal, sit-down interview setting or an impromptu meeting on the street, some sources request that all or part of the encounter not be captured in an audio or video recording "tape" , but continue speaking to the reporter.


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As long as the interview is not confidential, the reporter may report the information given by the source, even repeating direct quotes perhaps scribbled on a notepad or recalled from memory. This often shows up in broadcasts as "John Brown declined to be interviewed on camera, but said" or simply "a spokesperson said". Some interview subjects are uncomfortable being recorded. Some are afraid that they will be inarticulate and feel like fools if the interview is broadcast.


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  • Blocking access to information may do more harm than good, and is not the solution to prevent future confidential customer information leakage. Instead, focus on training employees and giving them the skills and confidence they need to make security decisions. This is more effective in preventing workplace confidentiality violations.

    Source (journalism) - Wikipedia

    Unfortunately, there are instances where employees have accidentally leaked confidential information. In such cases, the employee should be given the benefit of the doubt. Penalizing or firing such employees may lead to the loss of good talent and even create a negative impact on employee morale. Instead, strive to develop awareness across your organization about the risks of communication and IT leakages.

    President and COO of TitanFile, Tony is a computer scientist, researcher and an ex-Googler with extensive background in information security and team leadership. By clicking the button above, you agree to our privacy policy. Login Blog Status Support. Confidential Information Leaks and Your Employees. What is Information Leakage? Primary causes of information leakages: Information is shared using non-secure tools Employees stealing company information Employees accidentally sharing confidential information Information accidentally sent to wrong recipients Phishing scams TitanFile helps you securely share confidential information.

    The Court granted a five-day interim injunction prohibiting the Defendant from publishing the press release. Although the Defendant had knowledge of the court order, she disregarded the order and proceeded to issue the press release, which was widely disseminated on the internet by numerous news outlets. The Court noted that if the Defendant disagreed with the court order, then the proper route would have been for her to challenge it by appeal or by another proceeding before the courts, not by ignoring its terms.

    The Court found that the Defendant was deserving of significant sanction for, inter alia , the following reasons:. Moreover, the Court found no mitigating factors — the Defendant did not show remorse; she did not apologize; she made no attempt to purge the contempt; she made no effort to stop the press release when she had days to do so; and she refused to provide the names of persons to whom the confidential information was disclosed. The Court determined that a fine was an inappropriate sanction on the facts of this case.

    Typically, incarceration for civil contempt is a sanction of last resort. The Defendant was sentenced 20 days in jail, to be served intermittently over five weekends so as not to jeopardize her employment income as the sole provider for her family. Ceridian Canada Ltd. Stay in touch.