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What the spy saga tells us about telecoms

What the spy saga tells us about telecoms

Lebanon is basking in peace and (we hope) profitability. But there are spies among us, and that provides yet another reason for more privatization, argues Katherine Azmeh.

July 25, 2010 4:34 by

Critics contend that Israel may have used agents to manipulate evidence such as phone records, falsely implicating some in the 2005 assassination. Certainly, a spy ring makes an easy scapegoat for nearly any unpopular political and economic mess.

One might argue the same outcome is just as possible with a privatized communications sector: those on the losing end of any political decision would dismiss the unpopular findings by blaming the spies. Perhaps. But a separation of communications and state would have provided the independent oversight from government that might have spared – or at least, lessened – the big investor chill that comes from a scandal in which state-run telecoms are associated with an Israeli spy ring.

So, what’s the lesson for business in all this? While free, competitive press and communications sectors are certainly not fail-safe, they minimize the complex threading of partisan divisions into the lifeblood of business. And that’s just one more in a long list of compelling reasons to keep press and telecoms out of the hands of big government, and securely in the domain of the private sector.

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