France And Ireland Remind Us Of Two More Reasons To Be Proud And Grateful To Be An American…

News Item:

France sought to keep a computer hack of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign emails from influencing the outcome of the presidential election, with the electoral commission warning on Saturday that it may be a criminal offence to republish the data. Macron’s team said a “massive” hack had dumped emails, documents and campaign financing information online just before campaigning ended on Friday and France entered a quiet period, effectively forbidding politicians from commenting on the leak.

Polls have been predicting that Macron, a former investment banker and economy minister, is on course for a comfortable win over far-right leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s election, with the last surveys showing his lead widening to around 62 percent to 38.

…The election commission, which supervises the electoral process, warned social and traditional media not to publish the hacked emails lest they influence the vote outcome…

“On the eve of the most important election for our institutions, the commission calls on everyone present on internet sites and social networks, primarily the media, but also all citizens, to show responsibility and not to pass on this content, so as not to distort the sincerity of the ballot,” the commission said in a statement on Saturday.

“The commission stresses that publication or republication of these data…could be a criminal offence,” it said.

That’s right: withholding information from the voters because they can’t be trusted to be fair and discerning about what is relevant to their vote and what isn’t is to preserve “the sincerity of the ballot.” This is how they reason in countries without guaranteed freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Florian Philippot, deputy leader of Le Pen’s National Front party, tweeted “Will Macronleaks teach us something that investigative journalism has deliberately kept silent?” Good question.

Asks Althouse,

“What if you knew there was one document, relevant to the decision, but unfair — because there’s no time for the candidate to respond, no time to get at what is true — one document, and no one was saying what was in it, only telling you not to look at it, but all you needed to do was click and you’d see it? Would you look?”

What? What spineless, toadying, future totalitarian boot-lick wouldn’t look? I’ll decide what information is reliable, thanks, not the government. Ann just described about 75% of the political news stories in the Age of the Democratic Operative News Media. The good news: in her blog poll, 94% said that they would look, because they would trust themselves.

I was pondering this story as I learned that actor comic Stephen Fry, the best Jeeves ever, was being “investigated” by Irish police for blasphemy after he called God an ‘utter maniac’ who is ‘mean-minded and stupid’ on television.

And this, my friends, is why I react with disdain when a commenter here, or a pundit, cites as a reason why the United States should have different policies, laws or traditions because “we’re the only Western country/First World nation that doesn’t have X.”

The kind of thinking and values illustrated by these two stories shows why the determination of what is “right” in other cultures is not authority of any kind to be used as persuasion that the United States should have a different approach than it does.

See: health care, capital punishment; gun control, contingent fees for lawyers, et al.

23 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Research and Scholarship, Rights, U.S. Society

23 responses to “France And Ireland Remind Us Of Two More Reasons To Be Proud And Grateful To Be An American…

  1. Chris marschner

    Your second to last paragraph pretty much summed up one time tested parenting statement when confronted by the child’s argument “that all the other kids are doing it”,

    If everyone jumped off a cliff would you want to do it too?

  2. Mike

    It’s a good thing for Mr. Fry that the Bible supports his conjecture.

    I like Stephen Fry’s work. So for those who haven’t seen his show with Hugh Laurie “A Bit of Fry and Laurie” you’re missing out, and you should watch it.

  3. Wayne

    Oh, oh Jack. Typo found: “for blasphemy” twice! God is watching.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    On the plus side, this isn’t working at all

    m.slashdot.org/story/325895

    Side question, is it ethical for them to be distributing the information anyway using this method (or any other)?

  5. If the French are too stupid to protect themselves, they should be overrun and taken over. Natural consequences. Open borders in a free nation is an invitation to invasion, every time it has been tried

  6. Spartan

    France has strong data privacy laws that apply to email data. Those laws do not exist in the US. It may be illegal to disseminate this data — but international data privacy is not my expertise.

    • dragin_dragon

      International data privacy is, in this day and age (satellites, Wi-Fi, etc.), almost impossible to achieve. The absolute best computer security systems are stand-alones, which sort of defeats the purpose. Best way to approach it; if there’s something you don’t want universally known, don’t put it out there in any way.

      • Bingo. Unfortunately.

        A better password than “password” is also a good idea…

        • dragin_dragon

          No kidding. I had a buddy once, who used 1234 as his ATM pin.

        • I have a fun internet quiz for you:

          1) First teacher’s name
          2) First pet’s name
          3) First best friend’s name
          4) Mother’s maiden name.

          and just for giggles and on an unrelated topic, your bank account number please…

          • dragin_dragon

            Thus taking care of:
            A) Many passwords (Add ‘Birthday’ and you’d get MOST of them);
            B) All security questions (Personally, I try to find the most arcane one I can, but most folks elect ‘easy to remember’), and;
            C) All of your ready cash.

  7. Wait wait wait wait…

    The Irish have a government?

  8. So the French establishment interfered with the French election…

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