The Word on the Week

O’Brien’s Stick

No one likes to have their business made public. We all instinctively show a preference for privacy when it comes to matters that we consider to be sensitive. Therefore when a USB memory stick finds its way mysteriously onto your desk, with password provided, you would plug it into your computer and see what it had to say.
The content that confronted Denis O’Brien was 339 files, mainly articles that had appeared in the media about his career going back to the Moriarty Tribunal and his links to Michael Lowry. The tone of some of the material which he was able to access was not sympathetic to the business man and the compilation of such a dossier naturally led him to conclude that someone was conspiring to do him down.
Some of the evidence was encrypted so the stick became the subject of a digital forensic investigation. Normally in these investigations the original stick is copied and the copy worked upon but that was not done in this case and the primary piece of evidence has not been kept pristine. In fact O’Brien’s own agent, Coyne, had the stick for 10 days in his office in the Netherlands where the files were accessed, deleted and altered in a way and to a degree that may render the USB stick useless as evidence in a court of law.
The stick was placed in a “radio frequency identification safe” access to which was electronically recorded. Apart from two of Coyne’s associates there is a record of employee number 18883 whose name apparently cannot be divulged. There seems to have been some accidental additions made to the stick which were subsequently deleted in an effort to correct the mistake.
Currently O’Brien has taken a case against Red Flag Consulting in an effort to find out just who instructed them to compile the dossier. At the moment Red Flag, whose principles, according to their internet entry are: ‘We build awareness. We create assess. We deliver advantage’, are not prepared to publically identify their client to O’Brien.
One of the more sober facts the Bible presents us with is that one day all will be revealed. Jesus said, “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light” (St. Mark Chapter 4 verse 22). There is nothing that the light of the Gospel will not reveal. And again, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (St. Matthew Chapter 12 verse 36). None of us have unblemished reputations. In view of the certainty of exposure we join the Psalmist in his plea for mercy (Psalm 130).
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! 2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! 3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. 5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope …. hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.