Rupert Murdoch’s in more hot water, and this new scandal is a doozy. Via the Australian Financial Review:
A secret unit within Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation promoted a wave of high-tech piracy in Australia that damaged Austar, Optus and Foxtel at a time when News was moving to take control of the Australian pay TV industry.
The piracy cost the Australian pay TV companies up to $50 million a year and helped cripple the finances of Austar, which Foxtel is now in the process of acquiring.
A four-year investigation by The Australian Financial Review has revealed a global trail of corporate dirty tricks directed against competitors by a secretive group of former policemen and intelligence officers within News Corp known as Operational Security.
Their actions devastated News’s competitors, and the resulting waves of high-tech piracy assisted News to bid for pay TV businesses at reduced prices – including DirecTV in the US, Telepiu in Italy and Austar.
Were those the magic words? “In the U.S.”?
Of course, News Corp has categorically denied any involvement. You know, kind of like they’ve done in the past.
[D]ocuments uncovered by the Financial Review reveal that NDS [a News Corp subsidiary, News Datacom Systems] encouraged and facilitated piracy by hackers not only of its competitors but also of companies, such as Foxtel, for whom NDS provided pay TV smart cards. The documents show NDS sabotaged business rivals, fabricated legal actions and obtained telephone records illegally.
The words “handcuffs” and “Rupert” keep circling round and round my brain. I don’t know why, they just do.
While News has consistently denied any role in fostering pay TV piracy, the Adams emails contradict court testimony given by Operational Security officers as well as statements by News lawyers in the past three weeks.
The article is lengthy and filled with details, so please link over. Meantime, I’ll wrap up with this quote:
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