O'Brien: Corporate secrecy under the microscope after Twitter leaks

O'Brien: Corporate secrecy under the microscope after Twitter leaks
O'Brien: Corporate secrecy under the microscope after Twitter leaks

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By Chris O'Brien
Mercury News Columnist

The publication of internal documents about Twitter that were filched by 
a hacker caused fans across Silicon Valley to express their outrage =E2=80=94 
before they hunkered down to read them.

For all the controversy, my own gut reaction after reading the notes and 
financial projections: "Is that it?" These were the great trade secrets 
that the valley fretted could undermine Twitter's future and send it 
plunging off a cliff? Hardly.

After covering Silicon Valley for more than a decade, I remain astounded 
by how companies of all sizes remain obsessed with secrecy. We live in 
an age of growing transparency. Yet companies are desperately pushing 
back against the information age they are enabling. Apparently, openness 
and sharing is good for everyone but them.

Let's be clear. Companies of any size, even large publicly traded 
companies, are required to share only the tiniest, thinnest bits of 
information about themselves. Anytime they are asked to make the 
slightest concession toward more disclosure, expect whining, followed by 

Twitter didn't ask to be hacked, and certainly didn't deserve it. But 
whatever internal anxieties it caused, the resulting revelations would 
hardly quicken anyone's pulse.


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