Final Word from Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who gets the oil is of course one of the main points of interestin the battle for Libya, but who gets control of the data flowwill also be key in defining the post-Gaddafi era. Just ask BorisVostrý of Harvard Capital how important the StB files werein determining the biggest winners of the Velvet Revolution.Paranoid Czechs who are already preparing for the next revolutionand don't want to turn over their personal data to thefuture Vostrý's will be in a quandary in the coming days. Theywill be required by law to return a 2011 census form that priesinto all areas of their life, and they will need to decide whetherto trust the assurances that so much information in one placeis "protected by applicable laws." For some rich people, the Kč10,000 fine for noncompliance might be an acceptable cost ofanonymity, just like the fees they pay for offshore companies.But what if they then end up on a special list of noncompliers,which turns out to be even more dangerous than if they hadjust filled out the census form in the first place?

Glossary of difficult words

quandary - a state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation;

Vostrý’s - sometimes in English an apostrophe is used merely for clarity and not to indicate possession; for example, "he received all A's in school";

to pry - to inquire too closely into a person’s private affairs;

noncompliance - failure to act in accordance with a wish or command;

noncomplier/noncompliant - someone who refuses to do what is asked or required of him.


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