Introducing Rules of Engagement

I’d posted a sticky post in front of this blog that reads Please Read This Before Anything Else which links to my Rules of engagement for the use of this blog.
My language or writing may not the best of the world. So these Rules of engagement may be subject to changes from time to time.

And no I didn’t take legal counsel on it (In the US I would, but not in good old Cloggyland)

Several incidents have brought me to formulate these rules.

  • There is that incident of the blog of a ranting Dutch Journalist who had mentioned the name of the employee of a Dutch telecom company too frequently, whereupon a Dutch judge fined him for defamation of the employee. It happens to be one of my most read posts because it contains a reference to nude pictures…
  • The case of the amateur blogger in Sweden who was forced to shut down her blog, because she didn’t have a licence for doing “business” in Sweden, because she was a foreigner without a working permit…
  • In the beginning of 2009, a British Travel Blog got sued by a law firm on behalf of an airline, because the airline didn’t like what was been published about the airline…
  • The case of the Australian blogger who simply wanted to share Australian Immigration procedures and was threatened with fines, because he allegedly was giving immigration law advice which was the sole prerogative of specialized lawyers
  • A Travel blogger has been threatened with legal action by a travel company because he let slip through a comment that could be construed as libelous under Anglo Saxon law. The unfortunate rule of that legal system appears to be that the onus of proof in that case would be on the shoulders of of the blogger, while I would think that it is the person who makes the comment rather than the publisher who is liable.
  • Recently here on Happy Hotelier I got a request to delete a post which originally I had posted on request of the person who now asked me to delete it, basically because a comment pointed to sites that put same person in a lesser shade of daylight. I changed the post after the request.
  • On one of my other blogs I’m faced with a frustrated designer, whose work I’m not publishing (yet maybe), because I want to know more about him. Now he is trying to get attention by frequent comments that sometimes go over my line.
  • I could go on and on with many examples, but the incident that “triggered” me is the one about the Subpoena of Chris Elliott for publishing a TSA security directive to disclose his source.

Update:
There was that attempt by a Nigerian rascal to blow up a flight 253 from Amsterdam Schiphol to Detroit. The Amsterdam airport Schiphol security guys were left with a lot of egg on their faces. Luckily the attempt was stopped by another Dutchman to save his countrymen from the embarrassment. I’ve refrained from posting about it, partly because I missed it and partly because it has been covered so widely in the press that my thoughts wouldn’t add a iot to it.

Now following up on the event the US Transportation Security Administration issued new security directives to all airlines. These were sensitive and therefor prohibited from publication. But Chris and another blogger published them. Then a Kafkaesque theater unfolded.

Here are some links:

Tnootz, a startup as of September 2009 has become a powerhouse of travel news in itself. I had planned a more elaborate post about them, but didn’t find time for it. Therefor instead of a separate post devoted to them I’ll honor them with their links only about this story (they covered it very well imo):

  1. Northwest 253 – How European hubs and airlines differ on comms strategy
  2. After Northwest Airlines terror incident, new TSA restrictions and lots of questions
  3. TSA plays hardball with airline blogger over security directive
  4. Chris Elliott submits objection to DHS subpoena over security directive disclosure
  5. In reversal, DHS withdraws subpoena of journalist Chris Elliott
  6. Did TSA ghost-write @FlyingWithFish tweet? Twitter coercion?
  7. TSA issues new security directives for all flights inbound to the U.S.

Ha! And then laugh with me about the TSA representative who’se notebook was discovered in public place…talking about security…

The latest off course is now that a British Journalist has established the weakness of Amsterdam Schiphol security because he could take an injection needle with him in a plane headed for London, while for the UK as destination Schiphol’s security rules are totally different than those for US bound flights.

My fear is that soon nobody will be able to fly until he or she is thoroughly frisked in the private parts area ….

So now you’re set to read the whole story.

I didn’t feel like a journalist yet, but Den Schaal pointed it out to me loud and clear that I have an obligation to protect my sources…Sorry Den 🙂 .

Update:

I’ve changed the sticky post status in a normal status and replaced it with a widget.

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