According to the BIV lawsuit of the week section, Vancouver’s Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. is suing for wrongful disclosure of the company's sensitve information. Information including the company's strategies, plans and dealings. They found a problem with a few people posting their affairs on a forum. Because of this, they seek damages for inducing breach of contract, unlawful interference with its economic interests, breach of confidence, civil conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and fraudulent misrepresentation. Wow...that's a long list I wouldn't want put on me!
Whether it was wrong to do or not I guess depends on the material being posted and the confidence agreement these employees signed (if they are even employees). If the company is getting ready to go belly-up and people are worried about job placement and their next paycheque or if the company is dealing in shady areas, don't we think their questionable tactics should be enquired about? But if it is about where the company is going and the strategies they are using for advancement against their competitors, then shouldn't the perpetrators be found and dealt with?
The innocent bystander in all of this is the forum where it was posted. Forums are a place to share ideas in the open and give each other feedback. If you have valuable information, then it should be shared and linked to. Forums are great places to generate links (providing your content is suitable and not spammy), do some search marketing or chat about SEO. Forum administrators can't always keep up with watching everyones posts. Also, how are they supposed to tell if material is confidential or not. From this alone though, the forum that has this posting is going to get a lot of great traffic!