Trafficking Ilegally Acquired Information

If I'd knowingly be buying stolen goods I'd be breaking the law and I would end up in prison if law enforcement would find about it. And even if I'd be buying stolen goods unknowingly the goods would still be confiscated from me and returned to the rightful owner without any compensation (I'd have to sue the person who sold me the stolen goods to get my money back). And if I'd be making profits utilizing the stolen goods, their rightful owner could sue me and request his share of profits.

What if we would apply the same principle to information? This caught my interest in the light of recent events when illegal taping by some students resulted in a suicide of a headmaster. The information about the sexual act between the headmaster and the mathematics professors was clearly acquired in illegal manner by breaking the privacy laws. Facebook and other social networks helped the perpetrators spread the illegally acquired content and earned some bucks along the way through advertising. Media companies earned some more bucks by selling advertising next to the stories about the poor headmaster and his mistress. So quite some people made money out of the information that was acquired illegally! That doesn't feel right to me and I think there should be a possibility in the law that would make this people return the money they got by trafficking illegally acquired information.

Information is definitely of different nature as physical goods are. In a way this post also builds upon the information present in the illegally acquired video tape (and brings me profit eventually), but I strive to have the incident reported in a similar way as a news article would report on crime involving stolen goods. So I'm definitely not advocating a new sly way of censorship, but I'd like to prevent some people to earn dirty money by exploiting information which originated in crime.