Archive for piracy

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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