Tuesday, April 10, 2007, 4/10/2007 08:02:00 AM

Wal-Mart Gag Order on Former Security Officer

We've reported in the past on the tough corporate stance taken by Wal-Mart concerning trade secrets and other corporate security issues. Now comes the story, reported here in the Baltimore Sun, of former Wal-Mart security operative, Bruce Gabbard, fired last month for intercepting messages between Wal-Mart employees and newspaper reporters. An Arkansas state court judge has issued an order to keep him from talking the press.

Last week, Gabbard talked to reporters from the Wall Street Journal, outlining the his internal group's activities which included sending an undercover operative to spy on protest groups and hacking into the Web sites of activist investors.

Orders forbidding discussions with the press are generally disfavored by courts as unconstitutional prior restraints on speech in violation of the First Amendment. We'll see if this one holds up.

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