From March 15th all journalists born before 1972 working in Poland will have to sign a declaration that they did not spy for the Polish People’s Republic. That includes me: Polish law has a very wide definition of journalism and the bill makes no distinction between Poles and foreigners. Nor does it make any attempt to account for the dispersed nature of the internet: Shane Barry is also supposed to state that he was not nor never was a member of the co– wooops, got a bit carried away there — to state that he never spied for the communists. (I’m relying on Kontrateksty for this information.) If you send in a comment to me you will have to sign the declaration too.
Taking a leaf from the Irish anti-smoking ban, the Polish government is getting people’s employers to do its dirty work. It is the responsibility of your employer to make sure you own up to not having been a spy. The courts will have the power to impose sanctions on publishers – including striking the publication of the national register (whatever and wherever that is) – if its writers don’t sign up. The mighty legal department of Three Monkeys Online is – like the Polish government – on red alert.