By B.L. Ochman Although the blog was launched six weeks ago, over the weekend, British media including The Observer picked up on the blog of a former British Intelligence officer, Richard Tomlinson, who spent time in prison for breaking the Official Secrets Act. The papers say that the government is worried that Tomlinson will divulge national security secrets on his blog.
It remains to be seen whether Tomlinson will be squashed like a bug, or whether the blogosphere will come to his defense. In a recent lawsuit, a Maine ad agency, Warren Kremer Paino, sued blogger Lance Dutson who pointed out that they printed an incorrect phone number, leading to a phone sex service, on a state tourism poster. The agency dropped the suit and ran off with its tail between its legs when bloggers and lawyers got on their case.
Granted, there’s a big difference between a litigious ad agency and British national security. But if Tomlinson has a point, and he very well may, then the blogosphere is his best chance to be heard in the international court of public opinion.
In his first post on April 9, Tomlinson wrote:
“I wish blogging had been invented years ago – it would have saved me a lot of aggro and a lot of money in legal fees!
In order to keep me quiet and bash me around so much, they relied on the fact that a little guy like me did not have the financial means to fight back against their injunctions and legal assaults against me. But with a blog, I’m newly empowered – and how I wish I had know about them years ago.”
Yesterday, he wrote:
“The Observer newspaper has spotted this blog, and written an article about it,” he wrote. “It claims that MI6 are worried about a weeny little blog, as if they haven’t got more important things to be doing. Well they needn’t be. If they just allow me to take them to an employment tribunal, I’ll take down the blog entirely.”