Sunday, October 12, 2008

Criminal heroes

I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for criminals who expose government malfeasance. In recent news we have two good cases of this: the first are the Somali pirates who unknowingly tried to ransom (and seem to be succeeding) off a ship transporting weaponry from the Ukrainian government to probably rebels from South Sudan, in contravention of an agreement that ended (but apparently not for long) the decades long Sudanese civil war.

The second example of the noble criminal (I guess the pirates weren't actually that noble – they didn't realize they'd be exposing such a scandal) is the kid who hacked into Sarah Palin's e-mail account. Unfortunately, he's been arrested and is in the process of being indicted by a grand jury, but without his adept hacking (well, more like Google fu), the world would never know that Sarah Palin kept a secret e-mail account, which she used to communicate with people about government matters in contravention of laws that require that all written communication about government matters be archived (and released at some point). Since Palin never told anybody about the account, obviously she wasn't planning on turning over the e-mail contents at any point. Or at least so thought an Alaska judge when he ordered Palin to recover and save all of the e-mails kept in these previously-secret accounts.

1 comment:

Libertarian Girl said...

I don't buy that the kid is a hero. He didn't want to expose any government malfeasance, only brag about his antics on a message board.

He didn't find anything in her email account worthy of note, and it's her other Yahoo account, gov.sarah, that people think she might have been conducting state business with. I'm a strict advocate of transparency in government, but I don't think that government officials should not be allowed to email other government officials about non-government business from private email accounts. Otherwise, it's just too Big Brother. We may as well require them to be wired so people can listen to the transcripts of their daily conversations.

If it's discussing government business, an argument can be made for requiring it to be public record, but that wasn't what was done here.