Rodney Hide on Sony and Hacking

Rodney Hide gives the NZ Herald editors a little lesson in freedom of speech.

But were they reading it?

George Clooney called it correctly: “We know that to give in to these criminals now will open the door for any group that would threaten freedom of expression, privacy and personal liberty.”

What’s next? The tyrant wanting to dictate news? The hackers’ success will only embolden them and others. What happens if news networks come under fire because of how they report news?

What is it about free speech that makes it so easy to toss away? We don’t give in when hostages are under threat. Why give in when they aren’t?

It’s not the first time. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 ordering Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses.

Muslim fanatics in 2006 rioted and attacked diplomatic missions and killed dozens in the wake of a Danish newspaper publishing offensive cartoons.

There was a great hullabaloo in each case and each instance produced precisely the chilling effect that the oppressors desired.

Newspapers and publishers don’t need the grief. Authors don’t want to become targets. Our freedom to reason and debate is bit by bit eroded.  

We don’t have to agree with the movie, the book, the cartoons to defend and to stand up for them. Free speech is not saying only what is politically acceptable or what we agree with. It is about being offensive and controversial. It means standing up for people to have the right to say things we disagree with.

That’s what makes reason and debate possible and ultimately the progress of our ideas and knowledge.

My mother taught me the right response to Kim Jong Un. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. And likewise the message for the rest of us: there’s a big principle at stake.

Rodney is dead right…the NZ Herald in particular should be re-visiting their behaviour over Dirty Politics.

I’ll repeat the line that is most relevant to the NZ Herald, to Giovanni Tiso, to Russel Norman, to anyone defending criminal hackers and their shills.

Free speech is not saying only what is politically acceptable or what we agree with. It is about being offensive and controversial. It means standing up for people to have the right to say things we disagree with.

That’s what makes reason and debate possible and ultimately the progress of our ideas and knowledge.

They won;t listen though, they will continue to want to shut people down they don;t agree with, even if they resort to criminal actions.

 

– Herald on Sunday

 


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  • peterwn

    Here is an interesting one. A controversial book was published last year (I cannot remember the title) and there were threats of boycotting bookshops that stocked it. Unity Books decided not to stock it on the grounds any boycott would be financially crippling to the business. Yet Unity Books hosted the book launch of ‘Dirty Politics’ recognising that the sort of people opposed to it would not go round boycotting bookshops that stock it.

    • Odd Ball

      The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

    • exactchange

      Breaking Silence: The Kahui Case. The Macsyna King story by Ian Wishart. Not a good look for Unity Books and other bookshops who would not sell it. .

  • Jonathon Stone

    Something the opposition should take heed of too – the claim to champion these freedoms (for themselves) while actively trying to suppress the same freedoms in people and parties who disagree with them.

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire

    • OneTrack

      Voltaire is not a part of the left wing in New Zealand 2014. Their goal is to suppress anything they don’t approve of. The PM talking to a NZ citizen (Whale) – Not allowed.

  • Mad Captain

    As long as Dirty Politics suits their agenda the Herald will never revisit their position on the subject. Besides, how much of the whole sorry saga is their own creation?

  • albungy

    There are probably many of your contributors who don’t want their names revealed as this is a great forum to voice your real inner thoughts on any matter without fear of retribution and appreciate that we can do it anonymously and most of us would be horrified if all our names and “private” information was released. Your moderators keep us safe from abuse and no one has the right to steal what is essentially private information given in confidence to you. You will win in the end when the thief is exposed I am sure and lets see who starts running for cover when it becomes public knowledge.

  • Geordie

    It is hard to believe that the PM would do anything remotely important as the PM by txt. However some of his phone calls and face to face meetings would be, and therefore a diary note would be made to summarise the conversation. So following their logic, every conversation the PM has should be recorded and then kept in the archives. So someone needs to ask Andrea Vance if she wants to include all the PM’s conversations as well, and if she believes that, then shouldn’t all MPs should be included? Those archive people are going to be very busy!

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