U.S. Business Tort Liability for the Transnational Republisher of Leaked Corporate Secrets

Amity Journal of Media and Communication Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 68-74, 2011

10 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2011  

Richard J. Peltz-Steele

University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth

Date Written: July 1, 2011

Abstract

Wikileaks, the web enterprise responsible for the unprecedented publication of hundreds of thousands of classified government records, is reshaping fundamental notions of the freedom of information. Meanwhile more than half of records held by Wikileaks are from the private sector, and the organization has promised blockbuster revelations about major commercial players such as big banks and oil companies. This paper examines the potential liability under U.S. business-tort law for Wikileaks as a transnational republisher of leaked corporate secrets. The paper examines the paradigm for criminal liability under the Espionage Act to imagine a construct of civil liability for tortious interference with prospective economic relations, considering key problems of scienter, jurisdiction, and constitutionality. This paper concludes that prospects for civil liability are dim.

Keywords: business torts, espionage, freedom of information, secrecy, tortious interference

JEL Classification: K13, K14, K22, K42, L86, O33, O34, O38, P12

Suggested Citation

Peltz-Steele, Richard J., U.S. Business Tort Liability for the Transnational Republisher of Leaked Corporate Secrets (July 1, 2011). Amity Journal of Media and Communication Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 68-74, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1947129

Richard J. Peltz-Steele (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth ( email )

333 Faunce Corner Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-1252
United States
15089851102 (Phone)

Paper statistics

Downloads
90
Rank
232,071
Abstract Views
562