Zuckerberg hacked into journalists’ email?

The renowned Facebook co-founder has been accused three years ago of stealing the source code and the business plan for the social network from some Harvard colleagues and for sabotaging their efforts by delaying the development of their site so that Facebook could be the first one to see the light.

Since then, ConnectU (or HarvardConnection, as it was originally named) founders have agreed on a settlement of $65 million in exchange of dropping the charges. But, Business Insider nosed around a little, and discovered that besides purportedly stealing the idea for the site, two other charges could be laid at his door.

The first one is that back in 2004, using a string of failed login attempts on Facebook he accessed at least two email accounts belonging to journalists of the Crimson, the Harvard’s student newspaper, who were at the time writing a piece about the similarities of Facebook and ConnectU.

The other one is that he hacked into ConnectU’s site and set privacy settings of some users’s profiles to invisible, made an uncomplimentary bogus profile for one of the founders and deactivated some 20 accounts – all in a bid to lessen the usefulness of the rival social network.

While nobody is doubting that Zuckerberg has accomplished incredible things since then, this is one thing that could definitely come back to haunt him. It is unclear if there is evidence of these actions that is hard enough to stand up in court The Business Insider investigated the story for two years, interviewed a lot of people and, apparently, got hold of damning IMs and emails, but formal charges are yet to be filed.

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