by Roger Pynn
Pity the PR team at Shell. Their brand has been hijacked. Their creative has been stolen. Their message has been distorted. There’s hardly anything they can do about it.
Julian Assange hasn’t been in custody because of his leaks. These guys likely won’t be either … unless someone accuses them of other crimes, as with Assange, because there seems to be little corporate or government appetite for fighting people who steal intellectual property these days, or those who smear your reputation.
Assange, who worked on a book on Internet subversion with an academic, was described by his co-author as “quite interested in the concept of ethics, concepts of justice, what governments should and shouldn’t do.”
What do you think? Should there be any protection for the Shells of the world? Have they been wronged? Does disagreeing with a large, well-funded organization give protest groups a free pass to commit assault with a digital weapon?
An equally interesting question would be, given the potential to be mugged this way, how will communicators find safe information highways to deliver their messages if not via the Internet? And, who will own the responsibility for scrubbing every message to prevent it from becoming another victim of intellectual terrorism?