Heartland, Gleick, and the Law

The Columbia Journalism Review talks to *gasp* actual lawyers in an attempt to answer the legal questions surrounding the Gleick/Heartland document leak.

Comments:

  1. The legal case against Gleick seems to boil down to "meh".

    But where is CJR coming from in saying this: "Gleick is an expert on water and climate science, so one should really judge his actions in the context of scientific integrity guidelines. "

    Really? I can assure CJR that no scientific integrity guidelines talk about how to interact with pseudo-thinktanks trying to lie to the public about your scientific field.

  2. The article wasn't particularly helpful because it focused on the aspects of lying in journalism. I don't know how we can judge Gleick or the activities of groups like Anonymous except in the context of the powerful concentration of influence and secrecy of the day coupled with the abject failure of opposition politics.

    I think these are forces driving people to guerrilla tactics. Certainly Anonymous bears more than passing resemblance to an insurgency. It maintains the initiative, resorts to subterfuge, employs what are essentially hit and run tactics and then tries to vanish without trace. It can sustain significant losses and defeats because, like any insurgency, it prevails in the end by surviving.

    It is healthy, in the context of society, for nefarious outfits like Heartland and Stratfor to operate under the powerful fear of having their activities exposed. That said, those who act, like Gleick, are embarking on a largely thankless albeit invaluable task for which they have to bear the consequences.

    • What does Stratfor have to do with it?

      Stratfor is a subscription based research service - an expensive magazine basically.

      Heartland is at best a lobbying organization posing as a charity, and seems to specialize in honesty-challenged clients.

    • I'd suggest you should have a look at the joint Anonymous-Wikileaks Stratfor document dump. Anonymous hacked about 5.5 million Stratfor e-mails that have been distributed by Wiki to 50 various organizations including McClatchey Newspapers. Stratfor apparently calls itself the "shadow CIA."

      • Sorry, I am not going to read 5.5 M emails, and I already know how selected emails can be wilfully misinterpreted.

        Stratfor has exposed its product on the web. It's basically an international relations magazine.

        You may object to journalism for the elite: I think it's comparable to the ridiculous copyright enforcement on science journals. It's not a business model I care for, but I don't see Stratfor as doing anything but being paid to do research. Unlike Elsevier, at least they produce their own work. So far, I don't see any sign that Stratfor is in the business of manipulating the democratic process like, ahem, some so-called nonprofit think tanks.

    • MT, saying that Stratfor's "product" is "basically an international relations magazine", is like saying that the CIA's product is the CIA World Factbook. That's ridiculous.

      If what Anonymous and Wikileaks say is correct, then the international relations magazine is only something that Stratfor does on the 'side', and the actual finished products of its core business are the confidential intelligence reports it produces on specific target people.

      -- frank

    • It appears MT has neither read any of this information nor is he interested in anything contrary to his established opinion. He does come off sounding both uninformed and a tad silly.


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