Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Liberal Sponsorship Scandal Testimony Goes Public

I worked on a coop for Public Works and Government Services of Canada back when details of the sponsorship scandal was first breaking free. We would receive e-mails every now and then talking about how the affected part of PWGSC comprised a very small percentage of PWGSC operations. The e-mails would tell us what we could say to other people to explain the situation, things like that. I have no recollection, really. But it was interesting to see the lack of transparency, I'll admit. A political scandal breaking lose across the nation and government employees in the accused ministry department receiving infrequent e-mails and little information about what really was happening. I didn't think too much of it at the time, as I had no idea whether the scandal itself was truly significant (ok, there were millions involved, but it still seemed all so far from me).

Now the Gomery Inquiry has been really interesting. Chretien was hilarious bringing out his golf balls. The tide was slightly in favour of the Liberals, with big questions about Gomery's objectivity, Chretien's articulate passion, etc. But now this happens. Whoah. And then some blogger in the states gets whiff of what was said and published it online before the ban is lifted. And I'm too busy pulling all-nighters for my papers to notice. Bleh.

I'm not going to say anything, post anything, or link anything because of what I read here:
Canada's attorney general is investigating the legality of the U.S. blog posting. Government lawyers may charge Canadian Web publishers with contempt of court if they reproduce some of the Adscam testimony or perhaps even link to Morrissey's blog, the Toronto Sun reported.
There's no use me getting in trouble for something that will become officially public so soon. But this does raise interesting questions about bloggers. An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal discussed the issues of blogging, and how there are no rules. True news professionals need to be held to a code of ethics, which includes things like obeying publication bans. But bloggers have been prone to ignore that paradigm of thought. See Think Secret for an example of one website that would hate the idea; these guys are battling a lawsuit from Apple over product information they published. The lawsuit is testing big laws and there's a battle over whether bloggers should be afforded the same privileges as professional journalists, especially considering how some indie journalist blog rival professional journalists. It was bloggers that led to Dan Rather's resignation at CBS, for example (just google for "Rathergate" for more information).

This publication ban being broken is possibly even more significant than Apple's battle with Think Secret because the ban was broken outside of Canada. I remember similar things happening before (I can't for the life of me remember what they were, I think it was information about Robert Pickton), but this one deals with airtight stuff from the federal government. I must get back to my papers and whatnot, but the implications of this American blogger's actions are going to be amazing. We're watching history in the making, folks. Dang, I wish I could write about this. Bleh, stupid papers. And stupid publication ban. Go google.

Will this be the catalyst that causes my election prediction to come true? Incredible.

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