22 March 2009

Why Barclays Are Barking

The little brouhaha concerning the Guardian and Barclays Bank is a wonderful object lesson in how the Internet changes everything. Once those super-secret documents were put up for even a few seconds, the game was over: taking them down from the Guardian afterwards really is the proverbial closing of the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Inevitably, a copy has made its way to Wikileaks; inevitably that link is being exposed all over the place, which has led to the site being overloaded (do make a donation if you can: I've given my widow's mite). Barclays Bank can apply for as many injunctions as they like, the judge can - and probably will - huff and puff as much as he/she likes, but the game's over: this stuff is out.

And quite right too: these documents either show the bank engaged in something dodgy, in which case they should be published, or they don't, in which case there's no problem in them being public anyway, since the bank is asking for serious scads of public dosh, and is effectively being part-nationalised.

But even if it weren't, it would be folly to try to keep them secret now: it would only ensure that even more people write about them, and point to them, and maybe even read them. The rules have changed.


Anonymous said...

The Wikileak site is down thanks to the machinations of the US judiciary. However the Barclays papers can be got here:-


Glyn Moody said...

Thanks for the link.

What is the US doing, then?