Twitter issued what sounded like veiled legal threats toward TechCrunch after the business blog published a internal company documents obtained by a hacker. Those threats are now significantly less veiled.

Asked about a possible lawsuit against TechCrunch at a Fortune event, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wouldn't rule it out:

"I don't know," he said. "I don't want to comment too much on any ongoing investigation type stuff."

Given the ample legal precedents for Arrington's actions, one would have thought Twitter executives would have surrendered the possibility of suing the publication in the 10 days since TechCrunch first published hacked documents, in full consultation with Twitter.

If the aggrieved microblogging startup is going to try and set a new legal precedent, perhaps that for the best; a legal victory for Arrington would serve as a lesson to his critics, if nothing else.

(Pic: Biz Stone, by HubSpot)