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What’s in a mail?

Well, dear readers, I hope you enjoyed the brief respite from the Baugur affair, because herewith continues our reporting of one of the most titillating soap operas in Icelandic history:

Yesterday an attorney working for Jónína Benediktsdóttir, accompanied by a representative from the Reykjavík District Magistrate, turned up at Fréttablaðið to confiscate all of Jónína’s correspondence that the paper had obtained and, unfortunately for JB, already published. Of course, as documented in previous posts, those particular ‘black widow’ emails are currently causing serious trouble for a lot of prominent individuals in this community.

The whole issue of the stolen emails has opened up a Pandora’s box; namely, is it ethical for a newspaper to publish information that has been obtained through illegal or immoral means? Predictably, Morgunblaðið went on a rampage early in the week, accusing Fréttablaðið of all sorts of nasty things and generally taking the moral high ground by claiming it had had all sorts of information about the matter in the past, but had refrained from publishing it because they considered it morally wrong. [Not to mention uncomfortable for a lot of people that Mbl supports, presumably.]

Sadly, as with a lot of things that come from the Mbl editor and others involved these days, their attempts at defence are feeble at best. Their claims and assertions have a tendency to contradict other claims and assertions they make or have made in the past. Case in point: no sooner had Mbl gone overboard in claiming that it would never publish personal emails without consent, than individuals surfaced to claim that the paper had, indeed, done just that. The most prominent of those is the former leader of the opposition, who has gone on to describe in detail how Mbl published correspondence from him, even after he had expressly requested that it not do so.

Meanwhile, the Journalists’ Union has issued a statement in which they denounce the confiscation of the documents, calling it an attack on the constitutional freedom of the press. Journalists must not and should not have their freedom restricted to publish documents that affect the greater good of the general public. Meanwhile, Fréttablaðið’s attorneys are working overtime to have the ruling overturned. Whatever happens, one thing is sure: this certainly poses a lot of timely and interesting questions about freedom of the press vs. an individual’s right to privacy. Not to mention just what type of information is safe to send via email.

THE WEATHER IS…
Very fall-like. The remaining leaves on the trees outside my window have turned yellow and will blow away very soon I should think. This morning was the first in days and days in which there was not that annoying and freezing-cold wind from the north. It was absolutely still; however, the wind has picked up a little now, and it has also started to rain. Time for a little trek outdoors nonetheless, however; cabin fever setting in. Temps at the moment are 4°C. And since it’s the first day of October, I think I’ll rather arbitrarily switch to giving you sunrise/sunset times, just for fun. So – sunrise this morning was at 07.36 and sunset will be at 18.57.

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