Marvel Security Consultant Threatens Site Over Source of Leak
An independent security consultant claiming to work for Marvel has sent a threatening letter to a site looking for the source of leaked information about the new Marvel movies coming out, even before the publishing giant had made an official announcement.
For those who don’t know, the San Diego Comic Con, the largest comic book and general nerd convention in the world, took place in San Diego, California from July 12th to July 15th. On the third day, during a panel discussion which included Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Phase Two” plans were revealed (that’s not a joke, they actually called it “phase two”). What was interesting was that their second big movie in 2014, after Iron Man 3, would be Guardians of the Galaxy, with one of the featured characters being Rocket Raccoon.
In late June, however, a few weeks before the announcement, Latino Review caught wind of the plans and began reporting on them. Marvel is reportedly saying that the leak was completely unauthorized and they’re trying to find out who did it. Latino Review reported receiving a very passive-aggressive email regarding the leak, and replied with a challenge to Marvel: “Maybe send us a more realistically written form letter and we’ll start to care.”
Sent by an “independent security consultant” who claims to have worked for Marvel since 1982, the letter accuses the Latino Review editors of disseminating “confidential, non-public information concerning Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy.” We have included the full text of the letter below so that you, dear readers, can judge for yourselves.
My name is [redacted] and I am an independent security consultant working for Marvel. I have worked as a security consultant for Marvel since 1982. I am currently conducting an investigation on Marvel’s behalf regarding the dissemination of confidential, non-public information concerning Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy. The executives at Marvel are extremely upset regarding the release of this information and they have instructed me to find you and ascertain how you received it. My goal is to accomplish this in a quiet manner. I do not want to see you or anyone else get into trouble nor do I want to see anyone’s career be tarnished because of this. However I am very confident that through your efforts and mine, we will be able to work through this together. I personally feel that you did not have any malicious intent when you posted your spoilers on the fanboy website. Like many fans out there, you just wanted to be the first one to post something on the internet. I get it, however the Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy information was confidential and you did not have Marvel’s consent to post it. That was illegal!
If you provide me with your source, I will make it worth your effort. I want to work with you. As I stated above, I do not want to see you or anyone else get into trouble. That would be a lose-lose for everyone. I would hope that you are now realizing that this is a very serious matter and the consequences will be quite severe if I do not find out how you obtained the Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy information.
My goal is to ascertain how you got the Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy information and make this go away. All information you provide will remain confidential, even your identity. Your source will never know. Let’s work together and make this happen before it is too late. To date, everyone I have worked with has not suffered any consequences. I do not want to see this situation get blown out of proportion. However if we do not work together, I will have no choice but to take this investigation to the next level and I will not stop until this investigation is completed.
Please get back to me with your thoughts and let me know how you would like to proceed. It is my goal to bring this matter to closure as quickly and quietly as possible. Thank you for your time and please get back to me as soon as possible.
If you would like to talk, you can reach me at [redacted]
What this consultant doesn’t seem to understand is that this is how reporting works; a reporter hears something from Person A, then goes to Person B and Person C to make sure that the claim made by Person A is legitimate. Latino Review doesn’t have to reveal their sources, either; first, if they just started handing out their sources, no one would ever work with them again (as anyone with a mild understanding of journalism knows), and second, a disclaimer is attached to the bottom of the email saying “Nothing contained in this e-mail shall (a) be considered a legally binding agreement, amendment or modification of any agreement with Marvel,” meaning that Latino Review, and any other site that may have received this email, can just ignore it.
It’s possible that this consultant may not realize that Latino Review is a journalistic site as opposed to a competing studio or a site looking to use its content for advertising, etc. There is a legal precedent, though, set by tech websites who posted leaked designs for new Apple products; it turns out that the courts said yes, those sites can protect their sources just like any other journalistic organization. Should Marvel pursue this, if they are indeed behind this email, trying to beat a legal precedent set when Apple lost a case is going to be a difficult task, to say the least.