The government of France has officially forfeited all the liberal cred it's earned over the past 500 years: yesterday, French prosecutors raided the office of an auto magazine, confiscated its computers and files, and arrested a reporter for the crime of publishing a scoop. A scoop about autos, the subject of the magazine! Because in France, freedom of the press must take a back seat to the concerns of the almighty Renault corporation.

Renault complained to the police because the magazine, Auto Plus, "published pictures and details of a new model not due to be launched for another three years." I call that a hell of a scoop. Three years in advance! Such things are criminal matters in France. By contrast, in the greatest country on earth (USA), leaks like this are routine, and it's the company's god damn problem to track down leakers. (Unless you're talking about Apple and the Think Secret blog). Renault says they were just getting a little assistance:

"It kills creativity, you may as well just give our models to the newspapers and our competitors. What's the point of doing any research?" a spokesman said.

"The idea is not to attack Auto Plus but to cut off the sources that feed it, to find the source inhouse."

Interesting interpretation. In that case, police should be raiding Renault and arresting its executives every time an consumer is tricked into buying one of their crappy cars. The idea is not to attack Renault, you see, but to cut off the money that feeds it.


[Reuters, Folio]