First came the web, and it was a mess. Servers went up everywhere, the net connected them all, pages bloomed like flowers, and no one could find a damn thing.
Then came the search engines. First primitive indexes of dumb keywords, then Google with its rankings of most-linked pages, we were finally able to find the pages we needed, mostly.
The ascendency of Google has meant that, if your goal is to get the most eyeballs possible (as any ad-supported media business’ goal is), then prominent placement in the search engine results became a top priority.
And so, like the goat sacrificers and snake oil salesmen before them, a new breed of con man was born, the Search Engine Optimizer. These scammers claim that they can dance the magic dance that will please the Google Gods and make eyeballs rain down upon you.
Do. Not. Trust. Them.
According to the Guardian, despite the 1688 Bill of Rights, it has been gagged from reporting a question to be asked in parliament later this week. The gag was obtained by Carter-Ruck. Wonder if it is this question:
Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.
Note to Carter-Ruck – Guido’s publishers will only accept service as per the requirements of the Hague Convention. Come to Charlestown, the weather is fantastic…
UPDATE : Apparently Carter-Ruck are trying to suppress this report. Not doing a very good job of it are they?
No one will ever know how Afghans voted in their country’s presidential elections on Aug. 20, 2009. Seven weeks after the polling, the U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) is still trying to separate fraudulent tallies from ballots. In some provinces, many more votes were counted than were cast. E.U. election monitors characterize 1.5 million votes as suspect, which would include up to one-third of the votes cast for incumbent President Hamid Karzai. Once fraud occurs on the scale of what took place in Afghanistan, it is impossible to untangle.
The Guardian has been prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings on legal grounds which appear to call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1688 Bill of Rights.
Today’s published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.
The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.