Sunday, April 03, 2005

Whose side are we on?

The effect of blogs on information flow deserves some consideration. I'm hesitant to put this up, but here's a breaking "news" story from Cynical Nation (hat tip, with reservations).
Terror scare in London?
(posted by Barry N. Johnson)

This hasn't hit the news yet, but my brother-in-law is sitting on a plane in Heathrow Airport as we speak, and there is apparently some action going on. It seems his plane was stormed by agents with machine guns, who seized a Middle Eastern passenger from my brother-in-law's row and removed him from the plane.

This is happening as I type this. The wonders of modern technology. More to follow, no doubt....

UPDATE: The flight in question is British Airways flight 0215, from London to Boston.

UPDATE: Multiple passengers were removed from the plane by force. My brother-in-law is now off the plane as well, but he has been herded into some special area at Heathrow....

If the story is to be believed, then it's pretty clear there is some kind of a media clamp-down going on. Heathrow's official site claims (as of five minutes ago) that the flight is boarding, and there's nothing in the mainstream news about it. So the question is, are we in the blogosphere working against law enforcement by "breaking" this kind of thing? If the suspects taken off the plane hours ago at Heathrow are part of a larger terrorist attack, then perhaps the reason for the media silence is to avoid tipping off other operatives who may not yet have boarded their planes or arrived at their targets. Self-censorship is tricky business, but it's worth thinking about.


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