Issue #1: The hexadecimal sequence, 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0, which unlocks DVDs, has been leaked onto the internet. By the time of this posting, there are 20,700 results found in Google. Whose problem is it? Ultimately the problem belongs to the company that created a copy-protection scheme with this kind of vulnerability.
Issue #2: Is it illegal to post this number? Though the number posted to Digg became the most popular post in the site’s history, the Digg owners decided to take the post down because they were told it was illegal. I find it really hard to imagine that posting a number like this can be illegal. This is not a personal medical record or information obtained with an NDA, this is a single password, a private industry secret that they let out of the bag.
Issue #3: Did Digg take the post down because of tight advertising relationships with the businesses that would suffer from the posting, including their own?
Whatever the answers may be, I have a great deal of admiration for the Digg team for managing a closed site in such an open way. I can only imagine they are put in these kinds of quandaries on a daily basis, trying to keep to a democratic mission while maintaining personal control.
I would suggest that Digg has a social responsibility to their own mission to end all advertising on the site. They should just get rid of all of it and move to a PBS style model if they are ready to take the next step towards boosting the integrity of their information system. This is not a rejection of advertising in general for the world, just for this kind of site. Of course they should really do whatever they want because it’s theirs, an impotant reality check for eveyone that believes in community. It will be interesting to see how they continue to deal with the daily dilemmas.