When Michael Lynn, a former research analyst with Internet Security Systems,
quit his job at ISS before disclosing a flaw in Cisco’s router operating system (used worldwide) at Black Hat Briefings, a conference for computer security professionals, he put himself in the middle of a complex legal case.
An Insider’s View of Ciscogate by Lynn’s lawyer (via Rob Hyndman) gives an impressionistic and very personal account of what happens when a major company like Cisco gets upset and issues civil legal proceedings with possible criminal consequences.
What did Cisco claim?
"First, ISS was claiming copyright in the presentation that Mike had given on Wednesday morning. Second, Cisco was claiming copyright in the decompiled machine code that Mike obtained from the Cisco binaries and had included in his slides. And finally, Cisco was claiming trade secret in the information Mike had obtained by decompiling and studying Cisco source code. The complaint (.pdf) also alleged that Mike had breached his nondisclosure agreement with ISS."