Skip to comments.Beat to Quarters (FR mentioned)
Posted on 04/04/2005 11:03:50 AM PDT by prairiebreeze
Captain's Quarters has really stirred up the Canadian blogosphere by carrying details of court testimony on a governmental scandal that is banned from publication in the Great White North. The scandal is about the use of Canadian government money, laundered through a private ad agency, to hire Liberal Party hacks, and is so serious it may catapault the Canadian conservatives into power. This incident marks one more step by the blogosphere into the realm of news generation as opposed to mere commentary. Captain Ed is well aware of this and adds the uncustomary (for a blog) disclaimer:
Thanks to a friend of mine, CQ readers can get a taste of what Brault has already told the Gomery Commission. For obvious reasons, I cannot reveal this person's name or position, but this person is in a position to have the information. Bear in mind that this comes from a single source, so while I have confidence in the information, you should consider the sourcing carefully.
The information seems to be regarded as accurate by Canadian bloggers (who quite bizarrely refer to Captain Ed's post in the third person without discussing it) because it conforms to much that is already known. ('It seems accurate, you know, the post people are referring to here, the one we can't reproduce.') which makes its role in the news cycle doubly interesting. Like the Rathergate and Swiftvets story, the scene seems set for an invisible and unacknowledged meme to exert a powerful influence on mainstream news. One poster at Free Dominion said Canada was about to experience the power of the American blogosphere.
The idea of an 'American blogosphere' is a curious concept. One Canadian poster, who balked at relating what he knew about the Liberal Party scandal on the Free Dominion because of the publication ban, suggested he and his buddies continue their conversation at the FreeRepublic, like they were crossing the border and going from Windsor to Detroit. Whether that made it all nice and legal I'll leave to the lawyers but a certain amount of absurdity suggested itself in the situation.
This highlights the impact that Internet self-publishing has had in breaking down political systems, whether peaceably (as in the case of Canada and the US) or not-so-peaceably as exemplified by Iran. Because the exercise of authority consists largely of information control (rather than physical control) by the State, Internet self-publishing has effectively weakened large areas of state power by weakening those controls. As a practical matter, there is not a judge in the world that can realistically enforce a gag order unless he can a) prevent the source leak or b) force compliance on all continents and seas of the planet earth.
Belmont Club commenter Veseng brings up a proposed San Francisco ordinance which would require the registration of blogs as a way of controlling campaign speech. According to page 4 of the draft ordinance it appears to refer to:
"any communication, including but not limited to any broadcast, cable, satellite, radio, internet, or telephone communcation, and any mailing, flyer, doorhanger, pamphlet, brochure, card, sign, billboard, facsimile, or printed advertisement, that: a) refers to a clearly identified candidate for City elective office or a City elective officer who is the subject of a recall election; and b) is distributed within 9 days prior to an election for the City elective office ..."
San Francisco officials will face the same difficulties (assuming the ordinance passes) that the Canadian judge who issued the gag order encountered. How will San Francisco regulate a blog hosted in say, Canada posting information about a municipal candidate? Part of the problem is that the Internet was designed to provide multiple pathways to information. (It was originally designed as a nuclear-war resistant architecture) As the logical and physical infrastructure grows those pathways multiply. Any serious attempt to control information flows on the Internet will effectively require a redesign so that it can be throttled, the very thing it was intended to prevent. Although they are not strictly comparable, the Internet has become, along with that other military invention, GPS, too valuable to cripple. Entire businesses worth hundreds of billions are now critically dependent on existing Internet protocols and any really effective controls will come at a very high cost.
No one escapes the long arm and eye of the pajamahadeen. No one. Bwahahaha!
The fact that they have to discuss a major issue affecting their own government over here because it would be illegal to do so over there puts the lie to any claim that Canada is a free country. Socialism enslaves.
Bump, accurate observation.
No country is truely free. But Canada has opted to have even less freedom by restricting freedom of speech.
It may not happen this time, but you just watch:
At some point in the future (and this would likely happen if the corrupt Liberals are still in power) when a 'gag order' or 'publication ban' is in place, Canadian ISPs may be directed to block websites like FR or other American websites/blogs/news resources in order to enforce whatever ban is in effect.
There are not that many major Canadian ISPs (compared to the US), and they don't want to incur the wrath of their imperial masters in Ottawa.
Sounds like Canada's subjects need a 'first amendment' -- then maybe they can become Canada's citizens.
... the Pajamahadeen?!!
That is precisely why this - place, for want of a better word - must be defended, fiercely if necessary, for the attacks on it will increase in their desperation as those who would protect corruption realize that their game is threatened.
The San Francisco ordinance is only the beginning. China has suggested that the UN be given control of the Internet. Mainstream journalists in the United States have suggested it be "regulated." I would look for such demands from an insanely regulation-happy EU.
They must be refused. This is not chaos, this is not anarchy, this is FREEDOM.
They would need a 2nd amendment to keep the 1st.
Internet2 is already in the pipeline. Bigger, faster, etc. The powers that think they matter can't win.
>>>> As a practical matter, there is not a judge in the world that can realistically enforce a gag order unless he can a) prevent the source leak or b) force compliance on all continents and seas of the planet earth.>>>>
The present discussion aside, the above quote is EXACTLY why the UN should NEVER be allowed to control the internet, not even as to their current attempt to control who gets URLs.
Thanks for posting this, Prairie. Good work!