Government Arrogance Attempts To Censor Press And Undo The Internet

The manipulation of the LIBOR rate is a huge story that I have yet to fully comprehend. But the UK is taking it seriously enough to investigate the claims and consider prosecution. Since the LIBOR scandal is immensely important to people in finance, naturally the Wall Street Journal has investigated and reported on what is going on for their readers.

None of that is surprising.

In the course of its investigation, the WSJ found out who is likely to be prosecuted for being a participant in the fraud. Naturally these people are not to be considered guilty as of yet. They have not been tried and have not had an opportunity to defend themselves. We don’t know for sure if they will even need to do so. The WSJ knows that it can’t predict the future with a hundred percent accuracy. It is simply trying to give readers the best information possible.

The UK government does not approve of this. According to TechDirt:

The UK's issue broad injunctions that try to silence the press from naming names of people accused of crimes. Given that, a court apparently ordered the Wall Street Journal to remove the names of bankers the WSJ had noted were expected to be named as being involved in the criminal manipulation of the LIBOR rate…

Except, as the Journal notes, it had already published the story out on the wire, and while it took down its own web story, and is protesting the injunction, it's not at all difficult to find other stories that published the names

Additionally, the WSJ has no way of “recalling” the hard copies they have sold and circulated. Those are still in England with the names printed in non-removable ink on the pages.

So what exactly does the government hope to accomplish by this “injunction.” Did the court seriously think that it can actually keep anyone from learning the information who wants it? Yet it went ahead and made the ruling anyway as if it mattered what it did or said.

That’s what is scary about power, whether on that side of the Atlantic or this: Those who wield it lose the ability to perceive their own limits. Ironically, rather than enhancing their power and prestige, the make themselves appear as fools.

Maybe this is a post about Obamacare , too.

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