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U.S. Blogger Breaches Canadian Publication Ban

timothy posted about 9 years ago | from the how-you-like-them-apples dept.

Censorship 735

nnet writes "The Toronto Sun is reporting that a U.S. blogger has been breaching a Canadian publication ban on AdScam. While The Sun hasn't given the URL for the blog itself, in fear of a contempt of court charge, this isn't the first time an American has breached a Canadian publication ban according to the article." The Sun story, though, does give a nice title for which to search, and this quickly yields the story in question.

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The article... (4, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 9 years ago | (#12137208)

April 02, 2005

Canada's Corruption Scandal Breaks Wide Open

A political scandal involving the Public Works Ministry, a government effort called the Sponsorship Program, and allegations of corruption in the ruling Liberal Party has Canada abuzz with rumors of payoffs, Mob ties, and snap elections. For the last two years, Canadian politics has been gripped by the so-called "sponsorship scandal" - tens of millions of dollars in government contracts which were funneled into advertizing firms closely connected with the Liberal government for little or no work, but with shadowy rumours that much of the money found its way back into Liberal coffers. Prime Minister Paul Martin, himself a Liberal, appointed the Gomery Commission to investigate these charges and determine whether to bring charges against government officials for corruption and malfeasance. (See the blog Small Dead Animals for some excellent background on the case.)

Most of the testimony heard by the Commission has been public, but Judge Gomery has decided to create a publication ban on the testimony of three key witnesses: Jean Brault, president of the ad agency Groupaction, Charles Guité, an officer of the Public Works ministry who worked on the Sponsorship Program, and Paul Coffin, president of the ad agency Coffin Communications. The potential damage of their testimony has so unnerved the Liberal Party that they have reportedly started working towards a snap election so that they will not have to face the voters once the facts surface from the record.

And well they might, if Brault's testimony gives any indication of what they will face. 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.

Payoffs And Kickbacks

On Thursday, Jean Brault began his testimony, subject to the publication ban, and revealed a massive pattern of corruption going to the highest levels of the Liberal party and government. Brault testified to hundreds of thousands of dollars of bogus transactions designed to benefit the Liberal Party of Canada over a period from 1994 to 2002.

Most of the illegal campaign contributions involved Brault either hiring "employees" -- who were in fact working full time on Liberal Party activities -- or paying invoices for Liberal Party campaign expenses (which were never declared as such) or making untraceable cash donations to Liberal officials. In exchange for helping the federal Liberals in Quebec, Brault received millions of dollars in federal advertising contracts.

Brault said he met with Jean Carle, a key aide to then Prime Minister Jean Chretien to propose a more direct way of ensuring that Groupaction got a large share of federal advertising dollars in Quebec. Carle referred Brault to federal bureaucrat Charles ("Chuck") Guité and told him that "there was room for everybody." Guité later put together the sponsorship program, in which five Liberal connected firms -- including Groupaction -- were guaranteed a monopoly on government "sponsorship" advertising (e.g. federal
advertising at sporting or cultural events) and related work. The sponsorship program eventually became a huge slush fund into which over $250 million was poured, over $100 million of which was paid in fees and commissions to these five advertising firms, with little or any evidence of work done or value for money.

In exchange for these large contracts for little or no work, Brault kicked back generously to the Liberal Party, putting Liberal organizers on his payroll while they continued to perform party work (including, at one point, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's brother, Gaby Chrétien), paying invoices to other companies for work actually done for the Liberal Party, and giving large donations -- in cash -- to the Liberal Party through Renaud or Liberal Party organizer (and close associate of Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano) Joe Morselli.

Protection Racket?

Towards the later part of the sponsorship program, the friends and associates of Public Works Minister and former ambassador to Denmark Alfonso Gagliano, some of whom have been linked to organized crime, played a larger role in the schemes.

At one point, Gagliano associate Tony Mignacca told Brault that if he didn't rehire Renaud (who had left Groupaction to start a new company), he would lose his newly acquired contract with Via Rail -- Canada's state-run passenger rail service. Brault broke down in tears after he recounted this testimony. At a meeting in 2001 with Joe Morselli, Brault said that he arranged to have the meeting in an overheated room in a restaurant -- so that Brault could ask Morselli to take off his coat and ensure that he wasn't carrying a body pack.

This is just the beginning of Brault's testimony. If the Gomery Commission can corroborate Brault, then the reek of corruption goes through all levels of the Liberal party and may explain their ability to out-campaign the Conservatives. After all, they've siphoned off hundreds of millions of government dollars to promote their own party and to guarantee their monopoly on power. They hijacked the Canadian tax base to fund their own campaigns and hide the financial trail.

More will be forthcoming, but it isn't difficult to understand why Liberal politicians have begun to panic already.

Watch out CmdrTaco! (5, Funny)

sulli (195030) | about 9 years ago | (#12137268)

The RCMP will march to Ann Arbor and demand that you delete the above post!

Politely, of course.

Re:Watch out CmdrTaco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137316)

The RCMP joined up with Scientology?

Re:Watch out CmdrTaco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137416)

And the US Secret Service.

Re:Watch out CmdrTaco! (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | about 9 years ago | (#12137347)

Too late.

I'm in Canada, and I'm emailing it to everyone I know.

Fuck it, and fuck everyone who's involved. No wonder there was so much pressure from the former PM to close down the inquiry.

Re:Watch out CmdrTaco! (3, Insightful)

canwaf (240401) | about 9 years ago | (#12137440)

Are you actually dense that the Liberal Government is trying to shut down this inquiery??

If you look at the Hansard from early last year it was clear that the Liberal MAJORITY goverment was pushing for an enquiry while the Conservative Opposition was quite plainly against it. The reason why the publican ban is ordered by Justice Gomery is to allow those involved to have a fair trial, a right given to them by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

You have no right to subvert the law in this case, and I sincerely hope you get charged for subverting a Justice's edict.

Re:Watch out CmdrTaco! (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | about 9 years ago | (#12137525)

Hey, read a newspaper once in a while -

Chretien's lawyers tried to have the Gomery inquiry stopped.

Here's http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNew s/1106682011080_102091211 [www.ctv.ca] one of MANY links.

You have no right to subvert the law in this case, and I sincerely hope you get charged for subverting a Justice's edict.
It was already subverted, asswipe. Once it's out, there's no putting it back in the can.

As for his "fair trial", that can still be done - I'm sure we can find a dozen people who've been living in caves the last 5 years.

Re:The article... (0, Troll)

AppyPappy (64817) | about 9 years ago | (#12137335)

Canada is starting to resemble Orwell's 1984. There are all kinds of things you can't say there now. I thought they were supposed to be "liberal". Do they have the speakers in the streets yet?

Re:The article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137363)

That is nothing compared to the way Australia is run.

Re:The article... (5, Informative)

mopslik (688435) | about 9 years ago | (#12137407)

Canada is starting to resemble Orwell's 1984. There are all kinds of things you can't say there now.

From TFA:

Gomery slapped a ban on Brault's testimony last week to ensure the Montreal ad exec would be able to find an unbiased jury for his fraud trial set for next month.

This thing actually happens fairly often up here. In some cases, it's fairly reasonable. In this case, however, it does seem to be a bit over the top, and a stretch.

A far cry from 1984, though.

Re:The article... (3, Insightful)

gnuman99 (746007) | about 9 years ago | (#12137409)

It is an invetigation! The court can ban publication for X amount of time. This is done all the time in sensitive investigations.

If you want to talk about Orwell's future, start taking about being sent to jail based on "classified information". This is happening right now in Canada, US and other coutries (Iran, North Korea, Syria, etc..).

Re:The article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137415)

They *are* liberal. Thus, there are all kinds of things you can't say there now.

Yes, yes, you meant "classical liberal". But that does not describe those in power in Canada any more than it describes the Left in the US.

Re:The article... (1)

vitamine73 (818599) | about 9 years ago | (#12137420)

Actually, if you'd RTFA, you will find out *why* there is a publication ban on this particular issue. Here is a clue:

Gomery slapped a ban on Brault's testimony last week to ensure the Montreal ad exec would be able to find an unbiased jury for his fraud trial set for next month.

Re:The article... (1)

s20451 (410424) | about 9 years ago | (#12137472)

Don't worry, you can make any statement you like in Canada so long as it insults Americans. Take her [www.cbc.ca] for example.

Shouldn't this have been posted as AC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137442)

...to prevent the obvious karma whoring?

Re:The article... (1)

charon_1 (562573) | about 9 years ago | (#12137449)

Why is it that when I post a usefull comment giving Amazon links to the Hugo Nominated books here [slashdot.org] I get modded down and called a "Karma Whore", but this guy copy/pastes the article and gets modded up?
Are you modders on crack??

Re:The article... (2, Funny)

MyIS (834233) | about 9 years ago | (#12137543)

Mob ties

The deadly Canadian mafia is not to be meddled with. They will sign you up to furniture catalogues, topple your lawn gnomes and even put flaming bags of poo on your porch! Heh heh[ NO CARRIER ]

(yes, I live in Canada, and yes, I am aware that there is a lot of dangerous mob activity, despite the friendly image of the country)

Publication bans? On events *open to the public?* (3, Interesting)

sulli (195030) | about 9 years ago | (#12137228)

How quaint.

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (5, Insightful)

BurpingWeezer (199436) | about 9 years ago | (#12137283)

The idea was to try to provide the defendant with an unbiased jury.

Quaint indeeed...

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (1)

Altus (1034) | about 9 years ago | (#12137493)



then try a closed trial... put the transcripts in the public eye once your jury has been chosen and can be shown to be reasonably un-biased.

this is just stupid. Here in america we have enough trouble keeping sealed grand jury testimony a secret... take a look at the BALCO investigation and the shit-storm it has generated with the baseball/steroid thing... and thats not even important stuff.

this info needs to be public... if you want it to stay out of the public eye to allow for unbiased jury selection then you must do more to keep it public than tell everyone who comes to the public trial not to talk about it.

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (4, Interesting)

cperciva (102828) | about 9 years ago | (#12137303)

How quaint.

Canada takes quite seriously the concept of making sure that suspects receive a fair trial. When the publication of evidence in advance of the trial would make it impossible for someone to receive a fair trial, a publication ban is entirely reasonable.

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (1)

Florian Weimer (88405) | about 9 years ago | (#12137444)

Canada takes quite seriously the concept of making sure that suspects receive a fair trial.

But apparently they don't go far enough. They clearly see that the jury system has significant problems, but yet they resort to workarounds which are less and less effective, instead of abolishing it.

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (1)

As Seen On TV (857673) | about 9 years ago | (#12137556)

I'm sorry, I'm having a rotten day so I may not be understanding you. Are you seriously suggesting that the jury system should be abolished? What do you suggest it be replaced with?

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137473)

His emphasis was on why the event was *open to the public*, not on whether publication bans are reasonable.

IN related news . . . (3, Funny)

hawk (1151) | about 9 years ago | (#12137520)

. . . Michael Jackson has filed a motion for a really big change in venue . . .

:)

hawk

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137370)

"quaint" indeed, but both Canadian and American courts have had the ability to impose a gag order. A recent US case of breaking the gag order (oddly enough, ALSO involving a government bribery/corruption charge) is whats led to the recent demands of laws to keep journalists from keeping their sources private (odd that the Republicans didn't call for such laws when their administration ousted a CIA agent, but "defy" a republican appointed judge [hamptonroads.com] and all hell breaks loose).

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (4, Informative)

sulli (195030) | about 9 years ago | (#12137388)

There's a difference between imposing a gag order on parties to the legal action and blocking members of the public from speaking about what they witness. In the US, the latter would be an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech, not to mention completely impossible to enforce.

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137426)

In the US, the latter would be an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech

So... how does this [korgwal.com] work then?

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137532)

In the US, the latter would be an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech

Ever since the Republicans came into power, the constitution just ain't what it used to be [turnto10.com]. So tell me, which side of the legal battle was Taricani on, or wasn't he a member of the public?

Free speech here appears to just cost $85,000 and the incarceration of a 55 year old heart transplant recipient. [portlandphoenix.com] God bless the USA, she needs it.

For what its worth, I'm proud of this man. I'm happy that our country still has people who have the guts to stand up against a corrupt government doing corrupt things, without resorting to incoherent ranting or threats of violence.

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (5, Interesting)

Garin (26873) | about 9 years ago | (#12137417)

Yes, a publication ban on an event open to the public. Not quaint, but rather an indication of the vast differences between Canada and the US.

Here in Canada, a fair amount of the law relies on common sense and good will. The intent of these publication bans is to ensure the accused gets a fair trial. This is essentially the judge saying to the press, "Look, if the whole world hears this testimony before the trial gets fully underway and everything can be put into a proper context, it will be really hard to get a reasonably impartial jury so this person gets a fair trial." They know very well that it's impossible to guarantee it won't come out, but Canadian journalists typically respect it.

What's more important? Having one newspaper scoop another in an attempt to splash the headlines with more sensationalism? Or having an accused person get a fair trial?

Note that this isn't censorship or a closed trial or any of that nonsense. You can physically go down and sit in the courtroom if you really want to (and lots of the public do). Sometimes conflicting rights have to be balanced, and most Canadians that I know feel that, in this case, the right of the accused to receive a fair trial outweigh the rights of media to publish this stuff immediately.

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (4, Informative)

plumpy (277) | about 9 years ago | (#12137511)

A publication ban is the VERY DEFINITION OF CENSORSHIP. People have morphed the word and try to apply it to all kinds of other things (like a bookstore refusing to carry a book), but if the GOVERNMENT is BANNING PUBLICATION of something based on the CONTENT, then that is censorship.

You can make cases for why it's important and a good thing, and you can argue about that if you want, but I don't see how you can possibly claim that this isn't censorship.

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (1)

Garin (26873) | about 9 years ago | (#12137541)

Sure, ok, maybe I wrote too quickly. It's a form of censorship then.

Re:Publication bans? On events *open to the public (5, Informative)

elsilver (85140) | about 9 years ago | (#12137500)

OK, so, here's a little background.

There is currently a royal inquiry going on into some mishandling of federal advertisement contracts. A royal inquiry is similar to congressional hearings in the US, except this one is not lead by congressmen, but by a retired judge. When finished he gets to report back to parliament on his findings.

Now, some of the people subpeonaed to give testimony at the inquiry are also being charged with crimes related to the events under discussion. They will go to court in the next several months on those charges.

The publication ban was put in place to ensure things that these people say at the inquiry will not affect their chances of a fair jury trial. (Compare this to the baseball hearings where they players wanted immunity for their testimony, for many of the same reasons.) The ban will be ended after the jury has been sequestered, at which all that was said during the ban can be made public.

Note that this is only a publication ban -- it doesn't prevent people from actually going to the hearings to hear for themselves; it just attempts to limit what the jury pool will hear outside of the court case.

Publication bans are common in Canada, and typically have a similar duration and purpose -- to prevent the jury on high profile cases from getting the "facts" of the case from anywhere but the courtroom. The media typically fight the ban, and often win certain relaxations on the ban (you can report the events, but not identify the person giving testimony, etc.). In this case, Judge Gomery has said the media can ask at the end of each day what of that day's testimony can be released.

I'm generally in favour of such time limited bans, since they are designed to help ensure a fair trial. However, it looks like maintaining such bans is getting more and more difficult in the era of the Internet. Other cases where Canadian publication bans have been breached by American organizations include the Air India case (IIRC), and the Paul Bernardo case.

E.

Which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137231)

After reading the first few paragraphs it starts out with an American website and then says canadian website. Which one is it? And if its an American website, then well tough luck canada.

Role reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137237)

Let's do what Americans do and declare him in our jurisdiction. Then prosecute him.

Re:Role reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137325)

We don't have an army to invade them if they don't comply.

About the best we could do is have the Snowbirds distract them while the Mounties slip in on their stealth horses.

Re:Role reversal (1)

ravind (701403) | about 9 years ago | (#12137403)

You don't need an army. Just a few well trained agents to slip across the border and kidnap him. Learn something from the Israelis.

While it most likely will cause a huge stink, the point is it can be done without an army.

Only on /. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137551)

Only on /. could this be spun around and turned into an anti-American story. Had the roles been reversed, he would be lauded a hero. Since he's an American, it doesn't matter that he's circumventing a gag order in another country on secret court proceedings (that doesn't make you a tad nervous that they want secret trials?). American, therefore, he's the bad guy.

So, should we be mad? (2, Insightful)

The Pope's Corpse (872831) | about 9 years ago | (#12137255)

Wouldn't this be akin to publishing grand jury testimony on the web? Or any other secret testimony? It is against the law to do such a thing.

Having been under a grand jury gag order... (1)

HBI (604924) | about 9 years ago | (#12137530)

The gag order applies to the jurors and the witnesses and is clearly stated to those testifying on their subpoena. Don't know about the jury, but probably similar there. The gag lasted for 3 months, and I was sent two renewals for an additional 3 months, for a total of 9 months of having to keep my mouth shut about some criminal insurance fraud.

The press would never be allowed into a closed grand jury session. How silly. Might as well put a bumpersticker with your credit card number and expiration date on your car too while you are at it there, Judge.

Bloggers as Journalists (4, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 9 years ago | (#12137264)

If bloggers wish to be afforded the privileges and protections held by mainstream journalists (the ones not named Jayson Blair or Mary Mapes), they should follow the same ethical standards.

Re:Bloggers as Journalists (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137317)

And WHO exactly said bloggers wanted to be treated as journalists? Most bloggers are 15 years old emo kids telling the whole world what they ate in the morning...

Re:Bloggers as Journalists (2, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | about 9 years ago | (#12137331)

What defines the difference between a blogger and a journalist? The fact a journalist is hired by a company? Why trust a company over an individual? In this case, people wouldn't have known if all we had for news were "mainstream journalists."

Mainstream journalists work for businesses. Their only incentive to be truthful is business and reputation. For bloggers, it's mostly just reputation.

Re:Bloggers as Journalists (1)

s20451 (410424) | about 9 years ago | (#12137411)

Mainstream journalists work for businesses. Their only incentive to be truthful is business and reputation. For bloggers, it's mostly just reputation.

From your post, we can conclude that bloggers have half as much incentive to be truthful, which sounds about right.

Re:Bloggers as Journalists (1, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about 9 years ago | (#12137461)

Or more so, since they don't have the financial resources to get themselves heard and have to rely solely on reputation, not a parent company.

Re:Bloggers as Journalists (1)

wfberg (24378) | about 9 years ago | (#12137487)

If bloggers wish to be afforded the privileges and protections held by mainstream journalists (the ones not named Jayson Blair or Mary Mapes), they should follow the same ethical standards.

If flesh-and-blood reporters felt too ethical to report the story, no publication ban would be needed. The publication ban is there to prevent journalists from reporting on it. Evidently, there are journalists who want to. Is there in fact any evidence that this story wasn't in some way written up or leaked by a flesh-and-blood journalist?

Seeing as how the story is on sworn testimony about corrupt politicians, this would be, morally, a good time to err on the side of freedom of speech.

Unless you prefer journalists, and bloggers alike, not ever questioning authority. Even if the authorities happen to be corrupt politicians. That seems to be all the rage these days, so perhaps you really mean it.

I now how to enforce the publication ban! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137267)

Get the site linked on Slashdot!

Re:I now how to enforce the publication ban! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137361)

Erm...know, I meant know...yeah.

But since when do spelling and grammar count for enniething on Slashdot?

Re:I now how to enforce the publication ban! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137535)

I now how to enforce the publication ban!

How now, brown cow?

How could they shut him down? (1)

bonch (38532) | about 9 years ago | (#12137274)

What power would the Canadian government have over an American website? I highly doubt the US government would bother cooperating. All they could do is go after the Canadian news site that promoted it, but it's too late now...the info is out there.

Re:How could they shut him down? (3, Informative)

gordguide (307383) | about 9 years ago | (#12137467)

They can't. However, what they can do is simply bar journalists from the hearing, or one particular journalist if they find out who it is. That's what they normally do if someone outside of jurisdiction breaks a ban on publication.

They can also charge his "buddy" who presumably sits at the hearing room, which, last time I checked, was still on Canadian soil.

The blogger is safe; his source might dry up pretty soon though.

Most of the testimony has been public and not subject to a ban; there isn't much that isn't known from any newspaper and I didn't see anything in the blogger's post that hasn't been reported elsewhere in the public press in Canada. Not really sure what the "secret" is; I didn't see any.

They Judge must have his reasons, he is widely believed to be hostile to the Liberals and it was that Judge that none the less ordered the ban. I just didn't see any evidence of anything new in the blog entry. Typically the ban is in place to avoid prejudicing a trial jury if charges are a likely outcome of the testimony.

What's funny... (0, Offtopic)

Otter (3800) | about 9 years ago | (#12137278)

...is how Slashdot, the ur-weblog, is always two or three days behind on these stories because they always wait to link to a print publication's online arm.

At least an American did it in the US (1, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 9 years ago | (#12137287)

If the tables were turned and a Canadian started disclosing "sensitive" information that the US media was generally discouraged (can't ban b/c of 1st amendment) from disseminating, the scene would likely be much uglier with talks of extradition. At most, this guy will have to avoid going to Canada for a while, for fear of being arrested in contempt of court.

Re:At least an American did it in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137359)

the hell you cant ban publication in the US.

its calleda gag order and has very legit purposes when dealing with trials.

Oh, no, the sky has fallen, boo frickin' hoo! (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 9 years ago | (#12137288)

Imagine that... The internet actually getting used for one of its single most useful potentials - Preserving true and absolute freedom of speech.

Guess what? Canadian gag-orders don't apply in the US (and vice-versa). US cryptography export restrictions don't apply from Norway. Just about any of the BS Sharia laws don't apply outside the Middle East. Pretty much nothing applies in Vanuatu.


Welcome to the dawn of a new era. Wake up, world leaders, and smell the coffee - Doesn't it smell so deliciously like your obsolescence? Your petty little regional fiefdoms no longer exist. If the entire planet doesn't agree with you, you lose.

Re:Oh, no, the sky has fallen, boo frickin' hoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137377)

This isn't about restricting freedom of speech - there isn't any. It's about delaying it to ensure amongst other things that the judicial process is fair. I personally think that the US system of cameras in court-rooms, etc, is flawed. We don't *need* to know about it until a verdict is reached.

Re:Oh, no, the sky has fallen, boo frickin' hoo! (3, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#12137466)

This is not about freedom of speach , this is about a fair trial , because this info has been leaked now this man(who may very well be guilty or not i do not know ) has now some obviously very persuave arguments against him out in the open ready to be editorialised and scurtinised .Now i agree with freedom but when that freedom hurts someone else i think we have a responsiblity to hold back .
"The information, I gather, is very, very damaging and very prejudicial," Shanoff said.

if this gets out this can cause alot of problems. Now i agree you cant stop change , but you must learn to use it responsibly.
The sky may not have falen for most of us , but the person on trial has just potentialy had their life ruined(i repeat i do not know much about this case , so maybe they deserve it) so perhaps this is not a legal issue , but the person who posted the blog should not have done this right now (the person who leaked it should definantly be nailed to the wall though) from an ethics standpoint , If bloggers want to be seen as journalists then ethics should really be important.

The gag order does not apply , but the blogger must of known about it and for this reason is in the USA.There is perhaps no legal issue , but the ethics are definantly in question here

Re:Oh, no, the sky has fallen, boo frickin' hoo! (0)

genglish (528950) | about 9 years ago | (#12137497)

If the entire planet doesn't agree with you, you lose.

Uh ... isn't most of the planet pissed at America right now?

isn't it obvious? (4, Funny)

to_kallon (778547) | about 9 years ago | (#12137289)

Charles Guité, an officer of the Public Works ministry who worked on the Sponsorship Program

i misread this as "charles guilté" and was immediately confused as to how he'd not already been convicted.

Censoring blogs (1)

Paladin144 (676391) | about 9 years ago | (#12137300)

Good luck to all of the people who think they can censor blogs and the internet. I sincerely believe you'll be successful. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must return to my quest to single-handedly gather all of the water in the world and store it in my basement.

My perspective (4, Interesting)

Ron Harwood (136613) | about 9 years ago | (#12137308)

Disclaimer: I'm Canadian.

Yes, there is a publication ban. However, Canadian courts have no jurisdiction outside of Canada's borders. Just as US courts have no pull inside of Canada's borders.

If there was a publication ban on a case in the states - Canadians could feel free to ignore it.

However, if this is a Canadian posting on a US blog site... he should be prepared to spend some time in jail.

at best heresay... (3, Interesting)

Ubergrendle (531719) | about 9 years ago | (#12137310)

...more likely, 'attention whore'.

The gist of the article is "i know a guy who told me what the secret testimony was". Most likely Gomery banned the publication of this information on the basis that it was unsubstantiated in court, and could be damaging to the Liberals even if untrue. For Slashdotters not familiar with the case, Gomery has been exceedingly level handed and fair and in fact if anything is more likely biased against the Liberals than not.

If all of this DOES turn out to be true I wouldn't be surprised, given that the advertisement scandal gets deeper and deeper every day, but I don't think this blogger amounts to much.

Before everyone starts yelling "too bad Canadians don't have the 4th amendment!" blah blah blah, just ask yourself how you'll feel when the next multiple-murderer gets off in the US due to jury tampering because of a Canadian publication.

Re:at best heresay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137545)

RTFA before posting! It says the transcript will be released after the trial starts. They just want an impartial jury.

Makes you wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137311)

Either the bloggers are journalists/publishers and subject to the ban, or as Apple would like, they are not journalists/publishers - in which case they would not be subject to a publication ban. I wish they would just decide one way or the other

Never thought... (4, Insightful)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | about 9 years ago | (#12137312)

Never thought I'd say this, but thank you Americans for making my country free, it's sincerely appreciated.

There's way more to this liberal scandal than we're supposed to know. I understand the necessity for short-term publication bans when a trial is in progress, but anything pertinent to discovering the truth about something (hence a trial) should really be accessible when it comes to public office.

-Matt

Re:Never thought... (1)

pbailey (225135) | about 9 years ago | (#12137405)

Yeah, nice to see the information getting out onto the net. I'm Canadian too, and I found it hugely irritating that they suddenly closed the lid on this when it was finally getting to the interesting bits. Way to go blogger! The Canadian public wants and deserves to know what is happening. It was millions of our tax dollars that were involved after all. Sometimes I think the gov forgets where the money comes from!

Re:Never thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137454)

Hopefully yall can return the favor when our politicians try to make blogging about politics "too close to an election" against the law.

the sky is falling (1)

jbellis (142590) | about 9 years ago | (#12137329)

no, not because of TFA, but because a /. editor actually did some of that new-fangled, whadayacallit, editing. I think I need to lie down.

American Blogger is Guilty (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137342)

The person who violated the court order to write about this is guilty of writing about something that nobody important gives a shit about.

Invade! (2, Funny)

alta (1263) | about 9 years ago | (#12137343)

I'm not going to bother reading it, because it's long, confusing and boring. I'm going to give my stock answer to anything involving Canada, simply because once again, it holds true...

Lets' invade!!!Someone tell bush that they are the REAL target.

Speaking of corruption scandals... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137354)

How would a far-right-wing US blog get ahold of material from a Canadian deposition?

calling all mirrors! (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | about 9 years ago | (#12137358)

Assuming this guy is being specifically targeted, what would happen if the site, well, *magically* was duplicated around the net? Hmm...

How they'll shut it down. (1)

Patrick Mannion (782290) | about 9 years ago | (#12137373)

Pierre will make a nice call to John at a field office, John will the procede to gather a SWAT sqaud and storm the house and glefully grab computers with no intent of caring for them and then take them away.

Attention jackasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137381)

from TFA
---
Perreault warned that even if Brault's testimony has been outed by a U.S. website, it doesn't mean it's now public information.

"Anyone who takes that information and diffuses it is liable to be charged with contempt of court," Perreault said.

"Anybody who reproduces it is at risk."
---

show a little respect for Canadian law, if you don't mind.

I Thought This Blogger Looked Reputable... (0, Troll)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | about 9 years ago | (#12137382)

...but then I noticed the advertisements on the side. One of them boasts of "the ultra Left-slanted stories on TV [and] in the newspapers. Another advertises a T-shirt featuring a photo of George W. Bush framed by the message "Take That Hippy - Four More Years." Yet another proclaims, "Iraq's chances of thriving are much better than most of the media would have us believe."

As much as I would like to think that this guy is a gung-ho promoter of free speech, read in between the lines. He's a neocon, or at least a neocon sympathizer, which makes anything he says highly suspect.

Re:I Thought This Blogger Looked Reputable... (4, Insightful)

eericson (103272) | about 9 years ago | (#12137544)

So, you're saying that because his political beliefs differ from yours anything he says is suspect?

Re:I Thought This Blogger Looked Reputable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137547)

I could tell that by reading the first paragraph. Notice how many times he uses the world "liberal" and how he uses it.

Jury bias (2, Insightful)

Paul Townend (185536) | about 9 years ago | (#12137384)

But surely the reason for the ban in the first place was so that the jury pool will remain unbiased... it's not as though the testimony is "secret" - journalists have been allowed in. If the prosecution's case collapsed because of this, would it really be something to be proud of?

Laws (1)

Himring (646324) | about 9 years ago | (#12137401)

Laws to free speech are like grammar to language: it come after the fact in an attempt to control that which naturally occurred without it....

Abohrrent Press Vacuum (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 9 years ago | (#12137413)

With press gags, Canada's government discards its own protection: competing debate of the case in a free press. So the blogger becomes the only voice presenting the story to most of the public. The need to violate the gag selects people whose version of the story is is more antigovernment. So the gag prevents people who respect (or fear) the government from providing the accurate picture which can come only from multiple independent reporters. This tawdry little conflict illustrates how free, independent press, competing to tell the story most completely, is the most essential part of a functioning free people with a government that serves them more than it serves itself. Press control is a dangerous game, because tiny leaks multiply the power of the leaked info to completely occupy the info vacuum.

Re:Abohrrent Press Vacuum (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | about 9 years ago | (#12137481)

I don't like the way that Canada does press bans on court proceedings, but the thing to keep in mind is that the bans are temporary, and it all comes out after the trial is over.

Change of Venue? (4, Funny)

Ironsides (739422) | about 9 years ago | (#12137423)

"The information, I gather, is very, very damaging and very prejudicial," he said. "If it's accessed by large numbers of people in Montreal where the trial will take place it could have a prejudicial effect."

There is an easy solution to this. Have a change of venue to someplace where they haven't been paying much attention to the news. I recomend somewhere in the Northwest Territories.

Re:Change of Venue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137552)

Have a change of venue to someplace where they haven't been paying much attention to the news

I thought for sure you were going to suggest just about anywhere in the US of A.

yawn... it's just a right winger having... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137435)

...a hissy fit. No news here. At the end of this story, we'll see that the right winger is smearing more lies on the internet trying to spread the right wing mental affliction over the border. Fortunately, most Canadians have common sense and decency and will completely ignore this crap. The less intelligent Canadians emigrate to the U.S.

Moving (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12137558)

Thats it! Ive had it with these polititions! Im moving to the USA.

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