James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

Blogs

DRM: is there a lesson in cricket's PR disaster ?

  • Comments 2
  • Likes

I think the world of the people I'm working with at the moment, and of my previous manager too. But it wasn't always so. Some of the people I worked with in the past showed me the that anything you say in e-mail can be used in evidence against you: I learnt the value of digital rights management the hard way.

In the roughly 20 years I've been working, I've made 2 offers to walk away from jobs. I think a legal agreement still covers one, and the other was on the second day of a job when it appeared that in taking the job I'd created a huge conflict of interest issue: it turned out to be a storm in a teacup; but it seemed for a while as if the only honorable course was to walk away.

Last week's Cricket match between England and Pakistan ended in chaos and people blamed the umpire. Having some idea what it feels like I would have gone the Umpires' manager (Doug Cowie) and said "You can't really fire me. However a lot of people would rather I wasn't here. I can't afford to lose my income. Can we do a deal?". He did so, by e-mail which has now come to light. Cowie forwarded the mail to his boss, the Chief Executive (wouldn't most people ?). Both of them decided Hair's offer was the wrong course.

As the offer could be relevant to Pakistan's defence in the disciplinary case that will follow, the ICC's lawyers told them to disclose the mail and they went public rather than see it leak - now the media are reporting Umpire Darrell Hair offered to quit in exchange for $500,000 (£266,000), the International Cricket Council has said. as if he were seeking a bribe. 

I've been wondering if Umpire Hair had used DRM on his mail would it have gone public in the same damaging way ? 

[Addendum] He is trying to put his point of view . I was thinking in the Gina Ford saga about "History is written by the winners". Usually we mean that history is written afterwards and the losers don't get a say. In a world dominated by PR it works the other way. Those who control the story come out on top. Any referee or umpire gets criticism: Hair can shrug that off. People have implied he is a racist and he should be able to persuade impartial observers that he isn't. This e-mail has meant that his integrity has been called into question. No-one can endure negative press for ever.

Comments
  • What effect would DRM have had on the email?

    If the recipient can display the email on their screen, they can presumably either take a screenshot or if necessary a digital photo of the screen showing the email.  They can then pass this on to whomever they wish.

    IMHO the press would have loved the story even more if it was "umpire sends ENCRYPTED SECRET email demanding $$$,$$$ payoff"



  • DRM is not an absolute guarantee. Outlook disables the Print screen key , but what it would have done is prevent Doug Cowie's forwarding of the mail to Malcolm Speed. If Cowie and Speed had talked about it instead of a mail thread starting ... who knows ...

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment