Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blog Releases Data On Crimes Committed By Murdoch Reporters

The Murdoch papers are always pushing accountability for teachers - how about some accountability for the crimes committed by Murdoch reporters?

Today some of the criminal hackers working in the British wing of Murdoch's company got a little light shone onto their activities:

The names of three dozen British journalists allegedly involved with a shady private investigator were leaked Tuesday to the Internet, posing another potential embarrassment for the U.K.'s scandal-tarred media.

Paul Staines, who blogs under the name Guido Fawkes, published what he said were more than 1,000 recorded transactions between staffers at Rupert Murdoch's British papers and freelance detective Steve Whittamore, who was convicted of trading in illegally obtained information.

In a blog post, Staines said he wanted to expose the "industrial scale criminality" perpetrated by Britain's press, accusing newspaper companies of refusing to name names because they "do not wish to report their own crimes."

Whittamore worked with hundreds of reporters, bending or breaking the law to keep his clients supplied with unlisted numbers, vehicle registration records and other confidential information. Whittamore was convicted in 2005, but did not go to prison and none of the journalists who were named in his files were ever punished.

Interest in Whittamore and his associates has been revived by Britain's phone hacking scandal, which erupted last year after it emerged that Murdoch's News of the World tabloid routinely hacked into the phones of celebrities and others in the news and bribed officials to win scoops.

The hacking scandal has rocked Britain's establishment, leading to a slew of arrests, lawsuits, settlements and high-profile resignations. Murdoch has since closed the News of the World and a judge-led inquiry could yet propose sweeping changes to the way Britain's press is regulated.

Several British media organizations -- including the Guardian, The Independent and ITV News -- have run stories based on the documents recovered from Whittamore's office, but so far none have identified the journalists involved.

Staines did so Tuesday, publishing a spreadsheet naming 35 journalists from Murdoch's News International, the British newspaper division of his global News Corp. media empire.

The Guido Fawkes blog, whose name is a reference to the 17th-century Catholic who tried to blow up Parliament, only published a small subset of the more than 300 reporters named in Whittamore's files, but it includes several people at the heart of the hacking scandal.

Among them: former Murdoch protege Rebekah Brooks (under her maiden name); former News of the World Chief Reporter Neville Thurlbeck (whose name is misspelt in the file); and the scandal's first whistleblower, Sean Hoare, who has since died.


Being in Whittamore's files isn't necessarily evidence of wrongdoing -- some of his searches could have been carried out by checking voter rolls or county court records.

However many tasks -- such as police records or vehicle registration searches -- could have been against the law. And if journalists knew how Whittamore was getting his information, they could have been prosecuted alongside him.

The Guido Fawkes post is here.

The Operation Motorman Blue Book of Murdoch reporters is here.

Murdoch's papers are always hawking "accountability" for teachers and schools and government employees and the like.

When it comes to accountability for the behavior of their own employees as well as for the culture of criminality put into place by Rupert Murdoch, they're not so much in favor of that.

But in the interest of both fairness and accountability, it is excellent that the Guido Fawkes blog published this information.

The criminal hackers at the NY Post wrote an editorial today decrying a move by New York politicians to limit access to teacher evaluations by the media, asking in effect, "Why don't teachers want their evaluations public? What do they have to hide?"

The same could certainly said for the Murdoch-owned News Corporation itself which has been embroiled in so many scandals and revelations of criminal activity this past year - from hacking to bribery to TV piracy - that it's hard to keep track.

Today we got a spreadsheet from Guido Fawkes that helps with that task.


  1. In summary, lets not let ourselves be bullied by medias owned by Murdoch and his Thugs, as has happened in the past. News Corp has a lot of explaining to do over its many criminal behaviours.
    Leave the teaching of our grand children (our future) to the honest, fair, hard working, creative teachers in this world.
    Rupert Murdoch is a global criminal and a hypocrite.

  2. And with the news that suits will be filed in the U.S. against Murdoch and News Corp., he just may get his comeuppance.

    Here's hoping.

    There is no way that News Corp. can stand up to scrutiny if an independent investigation is taken of them.

    So far, the Obama DOJ has slow-walked their investigation.

    But now that Mark Lewis is filing three separate suits against News Corp. charging hacking of American citizens on American soil, that is going to change soon.


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