Finding a Laptop in the Trash is Not the Same as Hacking

From the department of hackneyed plot twists comes today’s New York Times story about Goldman fall guy Fabrice Tourre.

Turns out the Grey Lady had long term access to Fab’s emails. Was it through some crack investigative reporting?

Nope, turns out an artist found his laptop in the trash and, after seeing Fab’s name in the paper, started handing the correspondence over to The NYT.

This led Felix Salmon to ask the question: does this constitute hacking by The New York Times?

It’s a big black eye for Goldman, which likes to be known for running a tight ship, that secure emails were streaming into a laptop left for dead in a “garbage area”.

But, since all The Times did was to work off materials passed to them by a source, and since all this source did was to open up a laptop they found in the trash, the answer seems to be no.

Salmon tries to compare this to News Corps. recent hacking debacle, or to a reporter finding a key and using it to enter someone’s office. But it’s more like a source found an unlocked briefcase and after reading the contents, tipped a reporter.

Admittedly the whole thing has an air of misdirection that is setting the heads at Zero Hedge wild, but, but there is nothing to suggest hacking in the narrative as it stands.

Finding a Laptop in the Trash is Not the Same as Hacking