Wednesday, 2 February 2011

An Even Smaller World

Jersey online politics is a very small world. Last week it got even smaller with the sudden loss of the Haut de la Garenne Farce Blog. If you read this you probably used to read that too, but in case anyone didn't, it was a rather unpredictable and uneven blog by a couple of people calling themselves Gazza and Andy, with guest articles by Senators Perchard and le Main and, they claimed, some anonymous others. It occupied a unique and important niche as the only independent right-wing local website known to the little clique of Jersey bloggers and forum posters, apart from a handful of one-or-two-posts-a-year personal blogs. Sometimes it sailed very close to the wind with posting things that seemed to defy copyright and data protection law with the same insolent disregard as they defied good taste, when publishing material aimed at embarrassing people it saw as threats. And it seems that somebody tipped the owners off about trouble brewing, because its disappearance seems to have a link to the latest political bombshell to hit Jersey.

Deputy Sean Power has been obliged to resign as Housing Minister for copying and leaking an email from a former politician that had been forwarded from one fellow States Member to another. Mr Power himself feels that this was merely a pretext to get rid of him, but I think most people would consider such gross invasion of privacy a resigning matter. We must of course take his word that it was not his copy, but another, that found its way onto the internet. However, it is fair to reflect on how unfortunate for him it was that the blog that published the stolen email, to the mortification of its proper recipient, was one he had reputed links with. For it was HdlGFarce Blog. Mr Power's close colleague, Terry le Main was a contributor, and the consensus used to be that if the “anonymous States Member” was not Gazza pretending to false credentials, then they were most likely to be Sean Power. They certainly gave the impression of being a “source close to him” as the cliché goes. Real offence, embarrassment and damage to reputation was caused by the email Mr Power handled without authority being published by the blog he had at least an indirect association with. Even if it was truly coincidental that the blog got hold of the same email, Mr Power was still in an untenable position, and had to go.

Gazza and Andy, of course, are as free to close their blog on a whim any time they please as I am to close this one. But, to be honest, they also seemed about as likely to do so. So one wonders what spooked them. For instance, could it have been a warning on the lines of “Hey, Gazza, Data Protection are looking into that email I gave you, to be sure, and they won't be liking that dating agency thing you're running now, either, if they look. I think you'd better be closing the blog down, so I do, before we get into even more trouble.”? No, we must reject that possibility. Even so, it seems to me that there is grounds for a little doubt about whether Mr Power has told the whole truth in as clear a manner as possible.

PS: HdlGF has now reappeared as a public blog, shorn of illicit material. Welcome back to Gazza and Andy, and thanks to Tony for drawing attention to its reappearence.


Gazza said...

Sorry but this is absolute nonsence and you have heard it from the horses mouth now!

Keep digging....

Gazza :-x

Ugh, It's Him! said...

Which bit is absolute nonsense, Gazza? The conclusion that we must reject the hypothetical scenario?

Anonymous said...

Resign, Resign and never stand again in St Brelade!

The only think to dig for the HDLFB is its grave.

No Popery! No Surrender!

Anonymous said...

Whats the big deal as to who contributes to a blog with a view which you obviously don't like? VFC gets these same people from time to time and all you will end up doing is putting people off from partaking with them.

TonyTheProf said...

The Farce blog has done its usual trick of going offline, carefully removing offending data, and going up again as if nothing has happened.

The posting on Rico which begins:

"Just to get away from the Stuart Syvret Porky Pie Show for a little while, we were recently sent a request in to help Rico find a date"

is a flagrant breach of privacy, Data Protection - posting personal data about an individual, and the rules of one particular dating site.

I saw the posting before it was deleted and it is a descent by the Farce blog from the gutter to the cesspit. They are lucky the police weren't involved.

I don't think "the horses mouth" are where the blog is coming from; but another part of the equine anatomy would be more likely.

Anonymous said...

Gazza noted "We were sent this by a girl who is a registered member. Only girls can view boys and boys can view girls unless you are by-sexual I suppose."

That does not mean it is public domain. That's why you sign up to terms of use, and have passwords for these sites.

Passing on confidential information to a third party is, of course, something that has been in the news recently. It's called complicity. Like receiving stolen goods.

Ugh, It's Him! said...


The big deal is not who contributes, nor even whether I like it (I would never learn anything from only reading things I already agree with). The big deal is that contributing other peoples' confidential material is a bad reflection on the contributor's integrity.

Gazza said...

I have no problem putting the Rico dating post back if you like?

Anonymous said...

Things never leave cyperspace

Anonymous said...

There is NOTHING confidential about Rico Sorda's dating advert because he put it online for the world to see. You people need to understand the law a bit more.

Ugh, It's Him! said...

I still think the Rico post was illicit, as well as wrong. The source page was not put online for the world to see, but for a specific and exclusive audience only. It was then copied and published by parties who had neither express nor implicit permission to do so.
For instance, if HdlGFB had remained private permanently, and one of its members emailed me a screengrab to show me what I was missing, and I posted it here with a mocking commentary, then we would be out of order, too.

Anonymous said...

Dating Direct is a public document just like Facebook. If you put something out there its at your risk so maybe people should listen to Emma Martin's for a change!

Ugh, It's Him! said...


"Just like Facebook" You said it. while you have the option to make some or all of your Facebook page public if you choose, or don't bother resetting defaults, in general Facebook material is only open to a selected group of your choosing, e.g. "Friends" or "Friends and friends of friends" So it is private. While it is difficult to defend or remedy abuses of your confidence by your so-called friends, hence the warnings, the "friend" still has no legal or moral right to do so.

If you find it hard to consider the principle in the case of intangible property, try applying it to a physical example. Parking a car unlocked, with the key in, in the middle of town, may be unwise, and will often be a breach of contract with your insurers, but it is not of itself illegal. A stranger taking advantage of your recklessness to take your car for a joyride is still a thief and a criminal, and will have no excuse if caught.

Having conditional and confidential access to something does not transfer the publishing rights to you, just because the copy and paste functions of a modern computer make doing so technically facile.

You may copy and post credited and unedited material from my blog, my MySpace page and my eSnips page, if you so wish; they are public pages and I choose the content accordingly. If you have access to my Facebook page through mutual friends, I forbid you to make unauthorised use of its content. I don't see, however, why that needs spelling out. Private is not public unless the rightful owner chooses to make it so.

Anonymous said...

Before you can search Dating Direct, you have to register (for free) which means you sign the Terms of Use.

This includes not using "the Services other than for the purposes set out in these T&Cs and that any breach of the foregoing constitutes a serious breach of this agreement"

"You may not link to our Site or include it in part or in whole within another external website without our prior written consent"

ah - like the Farce blog then! Maybe I should email Dating Direct with the screen shot?

"You may not copy or otherwise use any Member Content of other Members except insofar as strictly necessary for your own personal, private and non-commercial use of the Services within the scope of these T&Cs."

Seems pretty plain - the girl who passed it to the Farce blog broke the rules.

Anonymous said...

What's a posting concerning a dating site got to do with politics? Has anyone asked Rico if he was bothered about that posting?

Anonymous said...

No publishing to a web site does not make content free of copyright or protection any more than publishing in a magazine or a book.

Ugh, It's Him! said...

The anonymous comment telling a third party to commit an illegal act was rejected as falling inside a broad definition of offensive content.

rico sorda said...

Hi Everyone



Anonymous said...

Surname: Dooley _Power
Forname: Sean Seamus Padraig, Augustine

Extended text: aka Seamus Padraig, Seamus Patrick and Sean Patrick

Will the real slim shady ,please stand up, please stand up , please stand up?

voiceforchildren said...

U I H.

Emille’s Funeral will be held on Wednesday at 10.45 am at the Crematorium followed by a meeting at the Old Magistrates Court  (back of Town Hall) from 1145am.Family, friends and former colleagues are welcome to attend.

Zoompad said...

"I saw the posting before it was deleted and it is a descent by the Farce blog from the gutter to the cesspit. They are lucky the police weren't involved."

Actually the police are involved, because I told Stafford Police that the blog was breaking the law on several counts, and they said they would look at it. Perhaps Stafford Police have actually decided to do something?

Anonymous said...

I thought the Rico post was hilarious. Says he has no political views and doesn't mention blogging as a hobby? Come on! He was caught out and data protection? Your making this up as you go along!

Ugh, It's Him! said...

Amusing or not, it was still wrong.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ugh, but the reason they the " farse blog " stooped so low is because the only way to deal with a person using facts as Rico does, is to try and discredit it them by getting personal and trying to pull out some little story that might appeal to multitude.

My brother did the internet dating game and met his is special lady. Its only lasted six years so far. Go for it Rico.