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Press barred from Gore's RSA speech

As a speaker this year at RSA 2008 conference, I felt I was right to blog the speech. But why all the secrecy in the first place?

A not so subtle reminder in the Working Press Room on Friday morning. Robert Vamosi / CNET Networks
When Al Gore agreed to talk at the end of the RSA 2008 conference, the 2007 Nobel Laureate stipulated in his contract with RSA that no members of the press would be allowed inside the keynote address. Many of my colleagues in the press were put out about this, and rightly so.

Fortunately, this year I was registered as a speaker at RSA 2008, so I didn't have my usual press pass (although the nice guardians at the press room door certainly didn't stop me from going inside).

Since individual attendees at RSA are allowed to blog and to take photographs at the conference, I feel I was within my rights to do so.

After hearing Gore's speech (which is very similiar to the talk he gave at TED and can be viewed in its entirety online), I'm unclear why Gore would want to bar the very people who can best get his message out. Yes, I am sympathetic to Gore's central message. And I understand there are those who do not agree with his point of view (as evidenced by the three protesters). But since nothing new was added here, why all the secrecy?

Or was it all a media stunt?