Jeroen Vader, the Dutch owner of text storage site Pastebin, maintains a delicate balancing act. His site is the go-to place for hackers, especially those from Anonymous, to host text files obtained in raids — information that is often personal to some degree. Now, in an interview with BBC News, Vader says he is taking steps to make such personal data more difficult to post. Pastebin is apparently "looking to hire some extra people soon to monitor more of the website's content, not just the items that are reported," in order to determine what should be taken down. He even admits that his own personal information has showed up online, although "luckily the information was posted on Pastebin so I was able to remove it quickly."
However, Vader is quick to defend his site, and even some of the more sensitive information posted there, from criticism."Often articles contain a lot of information," he says, "and part of that can be a person's details. This does not mean straight away that it should be removed. Reading all those items, and determining which ones are hurtful, and which ones aren't, requires a lot of time." He also doesn't seem to be trying to downplay Pastebin's association with hacking. "The term hacker has received a lot of negative press over the years, but often that isn't fair at all. I think it is very important that people have access to sites like Pastebin, because it offers them total freedom of speech."