Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another Rupert Murdoch Media Outlet Caught Hacking

This time it's Sky News caught illegally hacking into a computer - only they claim this criminal activity was for the "public good":
LONDON — Rupert Murdoch's Sky News channel twice authorized its reporters to hack into computers, a potentially embarrassing revelation that could further dent the media tycoon's hope of acquiring full control over satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Sky News said in a statement that in one case it broke into emails belonging to Anne and John Darwin, the so-called "canoe couple" who became notorious in Britain after the latter faked his own death in a boating accident as part of an elaborate insurance scam.


Sky News said the emails were later handed to police. In a statement Thursday, John Ryley, head of Sky News, said that "we do not take such decisions lightly or frequently" and said the investigation had served the public interest.

But the public interest defense immediately drew skepticism from British legal experts.

David Allen Green, media lawyer at Preiskel & Co., said that there was no such thing as a public interest defense as far as Britain's Computer Misuse Act was concerned.

"It is not possible for the editor of any news organization to authorize criminal acts," said Green, who has frequently criticized Murdoch's News Corp.

The revelation, first reported in Britain's Guardian newspaper, is a further headache for Murdoch, whose international media empire has spent the better part of a year in the spotlight over widespread illegal behavior at his now-defunct News of the World tabloid.

Murdoch's News Corp. owns a 39.1 percent stake in BSkyB, which owns Sky News, and he was forced to abandon a potentially lucrative bid for full control of the broadcaster after the scandal boiled over in July.

His son James stepped down Tuesday as BSkyB's chairman.

The Daily News, which published this story, fails to mention that its new editor is an old Murdoch hack also implicated in hacking.

The News also forgets to mention the bombshell accusations from last week that Murdoch's News Corporation authorized pirates to steal security codes from its TV satellite competitors and share those codes on the Internet in order to ruin the competition (see here and here.)

A rat's nest of corruption, crime and scumminess - that is News Corporation.

And the more journalists - real journalists, not the ones on Murdoch's payroll - keep digging, the more corruption, criminal activity and scumminess they find.

Eventually we will learn that the hacking Murdoch's people at The Sun, The News Of The World, and Sky News did to get stories was also done by NY Post employees.

Since so many of Murdoch's British and Aussie employees who were at The Sun, NOTW, et al. during the Hacking Era eventaully made it to New York to work at either the Post or the Wall Street Journal, it isn't much of a stretch to think they brought News International's shoddy ethics to News Corporation outlets in New York with them.

The only question is, when will these stories come out.

As Michael Wolff noted earlier this week in The Guardian, so far America has been a firewall for Murdoch and these scandals.

All across the world - from Australia to Italy to Israel to Britain - Murdoch has been accused of criminal activity.

And yet, here in America few seem to know about any of this.

Perhaps that's because, as Michael Wolff notes, even though American journalists could buttonhole Murdoch to the pavement if they wanted to, so far they have chosen to let Murdoch and News Corp. off the hook.

We'll see if that changes soon.

As these hacking stories keep breaking, soon even our intrepid American "journalists" (you know, the ones who might have to work for Murdoch someday) are going to have to investigate this story from an American angle.

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