Archive for journalistic hacks

Secret recordings of Rupert Murdoch and Sun staff: "We will hit back."

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Rupie was caught on tape, and Gawker has video and more details here:

ExaroNews a British investigative web site, has just published the full transcript of a secretly recorded meeting between media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the staff of The Sun, a U.K. tabloid owned by News Corp., in which Murdoch admitted that he was aware for decades that journalists from his newspapers had been bribing both police and public officials. [...]

The Sun staffers were irate over Murdoch's decision to supply mass internal communications to the police "that had betrayed confidential sources, some of whom were public officials who received no payment for information," reports ExaroNews.

This little chat happened in a boardroom at The Sun's headquarters in East London. Here's a snippet (bolding is Gawker's):

Murdoch acknowledges that illegal newsgathering practices were a long-standing part of the culture (emphasis added):

"I guarantee you that [medical support] will continue. And I will do everything in my power to give you total support, even if you’re convicted and get six months or whatever. I think it’s just outrageous, but—and I don’t know of anybody, or anything, that did anything that wasn’t being done across Fleet Street and wasn’t the culture. And we’re being picked on. I think that it was the old right-wing establishment, [Lord] Puttnam, or worse, the left-wing get-even crowd of Gordon Brown. There was a sort of—we got caught with dirty hands, I guess, with the News of the World, and everybody piled in. It was a get-even time for things that were done with The Sun over the last 40 years, 38 years, whatever it is."

Aww, poor wittle tings. They were being "picked on."

Watch and read more here.

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The conspiracy widens: More than 800 potential new Rupert Murdoch phone hacking victims have now been identified

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twitter profile Tom WatsonLink

Only a few days ago I posted that Rupert Murdoch was hit by 600 fresh claims of phone hacking.

Make that 800 and counting.

The Guardian has previously reported:

The revelations come at the worst possible time for David Cameron as he prepares to battle in parliament to protect the newspaper industry from what he fears is excessive state-backed regulation.

According to the BBC, the Sun apologized in the High Court for retrieving personal information on a stolen cell phone belonging to a Labour MP. Via Liberal Conspiracy, this tweet from their post titled, Why it’s significant the Sun admits hacking a Labour MP’s stolen phone:

Hi @rupertmurdoch Do you remember saying this on 26/4/12? “editors are all responsible for their papers. I certainly hold them..for that.”

— tom_watson (@tom_watson) March 18, 2013

I think [MP] Tom Watson is also thinking the same thing.

Here's the latest, via The Independent:

More than 800 potential new phone-hacking victims have been identified, the High Court will hear today, after a tabloid "supergrass" helped police secure fresh evidence.

Officers believe they have discovered evidence of a widespread but previously unknown conspiracy centred on the News of the World features desk, indicating that phone-hacking was deeply ingrained throughout Rupert Murdoch's tabloid empire.

The development threatens to reignite the debate surrounding press misconduct on the day that MPs vote on rival plans to implement the regulatory proposals of Lord Justice Leveson.

So far 2,500 people whose phones may have been hacked have been notified, and that number could rise "due to the scale of the additional conspiracy." New claims against News International are expected to pour in.

Information on how much money has already been paid out and to whom is here.

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Rupert Murdoch hit by 600 fresh claims of phone hacking

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Looks like Rupie is sinking lower and lower (if that's even possible), because he's in deeper hot water than he has been (if that's even possible).  The Guardian is reporting that there are around 600-- count 'em, 600!-- new allegations of phone-hacking incidents at Rupert Murdoch's defunct, defiled, and disgraced News of the World.

Detectives are examining an estimated 600 fresh allegations of phone-hacking incidents at Rupert Murdoch's now closed News of the World on the back of fresh evidence obtained by the Metropolitan police from a suspect turned supergrass.

Further details are expected to emerge on Monday morning at the high court during a hearing relating to the existing litigation by hacking victims against Murdoch's News International (NI) – hours before MPs are due to vote on joint Labour and Liberal Democrat amendments that would introduce a backstop law to stiffen regulation of the press.

Sources say Scotland Yard detectives believe they can identify as many as 600 new incidents after obtaining the phone records of an insider who is now being lined up as a crown witness.

Recently there was a slew of new arrests, and now this.

The revelations come at the worst possible time for David Cameron as he prepares to battle in parliament to protect the newspaper industry from what he fears is excessive state-backed regulation.

Is there a good time for Cameron? Or Rupert for that matter...

H/t: @samuelpeepses

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Report: News Corp. evidence points to cover-up in phone-hacking scandal

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Today's Quickie, or as I like to call this one, "Moment of Duh":

It's been awhile since the News Corp. hacking scandal got any real attention, so just for old time's sake, here's a quick update via Bloomberg:

News Corp. (NWSA)’s testimony about how a phone-hacking scandal was handled points to a possible cover-up at multiple levels within the organization, according to the findings of an inquiry into media ethics.

Judge Brian Leveson collected evidence from newspaper owners, reporters and people who counted themselves victims of bad behavior by U.K. media. His report today called for the formation of an independent media regulator, backed by legislation, that would have the power to impose fines of as much as 1 million pounds ($1.6 million).

News Corp.’s managers showed a lack of curiosity and urgency in sharing information about claims that reporters had been hacking into voice mails for stories, Leveson said.

$1.6 million is but a drop in the enormous Murdoch bucket.

There's more at the link.

That was today's Quickie. Will you still respect me in the morning?

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Sen. Jay Rockefeller asks UK for evidence linking News Corp. scandal to Americans

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We already know that Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to run his global empire. We also know that the Murdoch family and their employees continue to be in deeper and deeper doo-doo across the pond.

But they'd be in really deep doo-doo if the scandal finds its way to the United States. The Hill:

[Sen. Jay] Rockefeller sent a letter to Lord Justice Brian Leveson, the House of Lords member leading the investigation of News Corp. in the United Kingdom, and asked whether "any of the evidence you are reviewing … suggests unethical … and sometimes illegal business practices occurred in the United States or involved U.S. citizens." [...]

"I am concerned about the possibility that some of these undisclosed victims are U.S. citizens," he said, "and the possibility that telephone networks under the jurisdiction of U.S. laws were used to intercept their voice mail messages."

"Equally more disturbing," he said, are allegations that News Corp. journalists paid police and other public officials for information.

Illegal phone hacking and bribery in the U.S. would be a majorly humungous problem for Murdoch. As I recall, a guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann a few months ago said that if the investigation were to spread to our shores, Rupie's Fox TV empire would be in jeopardy, expanding his legal woes exponentially, and would dwarf the current ClusterFox involving British newspapers by comparison.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits U.S. citizens and U.S.-based corporations, which some of News Corporation's subsidiaries are, from paying bribes to foreign officials.

In fact, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has asked the Federal Communications Commission to revoke licenses for the 27 U.S. stations owned by Fox.

Tick... tick... tick...

bomb GIF Animation

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Quickie: Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person..."

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Today's Quickie:

This is my favorite sentence of the day:

Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to exercise stewardship of a major international company, a committee of MPs has concluded, in a report highly critical of the mogul and his son James's role in the News of the World phone-hacking affair.

Rupie's not a fit person, period.

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?

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The Australian Financial Review: Corporate espionage and piracy by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp!

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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:

On May 5, Andy Coulthurst, a British hacker working for Operational Security, emailed Gutman: “Hacking Irdeto is SO EASY! All you need is . . .” and he rattled off the details.

H/t: @KateDoak

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