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Big businesses download Facebook user torrent

When we reported (opens in new tab) that the details of 100 million Facebook users' accounts had been published by enterprising coder Ron Bowes, the reaction in some quarters - including, notably, that of the social network itself - was, "So what? It was already in the public domain."

But a neatly-packaged address book of more than a fifth of the social networking site's users has proved an irresistible temptation.

And according to a post (opens in new tab) today on tech blog Gizmodo, the list of downloaders itching to get their sticky fingers on those names reads like a Who's Who of big business.

One enterprising Gizmodo reader used the application Peer Block (opens in new tab) to log the IP addresses of other users who were downloading the torrent, and identify which organisations they came from.

Step forward, among others: Apple, the BBC, Bertelsmann Media, Boeing, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Disney, Duracell, Ernst & Young, Fujitsu, Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel, Lockheed-Martin, Lucasfilm, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Novell, Nvidia, Pepsi Cola, Procter and Gamble, Sega, Siemens AG, Sony, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Time Warner, Viacom and Vodafone.

Of course, the fact that a download is being requested by a particular company's computer doesn't mean that it's an officially-sanctioned download by that organisation. But it might be.

And, just for good measure, our friends from the United Nations and the Church of Scientology have been getting in on the act.

It seems Facebook really is bringing the world together. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.