Sunday 1 April 2012

The Week in Hackgate 26/03/12 to 01/04/12

A busy week started with Rupert Murdoch turning on his former Tory friends, with him first hitting out at the Tories over their lack of trust and calling for an independent inquiry into the lobbying row.  Of course, he might have been grumpy over Monday night's Panorama episode, Murdoch's TV Pirates, which despite his lawyers best attempts covered attempts by the News Corp owned NDS's attempts to crack the smart cards used by their rival ONDigital, which contributed to their eventual downfall, and the temporary unemployment of one of Britain's best loved figures (not Johnny Vegas) until tea came along.  This didn't sound a million miles away from what occured at Floorgraphics around the same time, but no doubt this is just a co-incidence, and not an indication of a pattern of behaviour, and nothing the Ofcom News Corp team would be interested in.

In the US PBS's Frontline series helped Americans catch up with the Hackgate scandal, while the Australian Financial Review came across NDS's Ray Adams' private emails, and asked the world to help dig through them.  Something Awful forum members uncovered emails about hiring hackers and dodgy bank accounts, and there's sure to be more to be found.  Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said of the latest allegations “These are serious allegations, and any allegations of criminal activity should be referred to the Australian Federal Police for investigation”.  Tom Watson MP advocated an investigation of News Corp Australia, and everyone crossed their fingers in anticipation.

ITN decided to have a close look at Operation Motorman with the help of the Hacked Off campagin, and produced a number of articles and reported that among many news organisations the Daily Mail had a particular preference for the services of dodgy PI Steve Whittamore.  Oddly they also posted an article with the URL, which I'm surprised they published.

Guido Fawkes reported that the Murdochs would appear at the Leveson Inquiry, while Kit Malthouse told the Leveson Inquiry phone hacking was very expensive to investigate, especially as there's so many paedos that need catching, almost as if he wanted there to be no phone hacking investigation for some reason.

A couple of other interesting stories were the mysterious case of the NotW reporter that never existed, and Rupert Murdoch's Twitter account making him look like a silly goose.

As if the week couldn't get any worse Channel 4 News revealed that police officers had been deleting intelligence reports from the national police computer on the orders of criminal gangs in a secret 2008 Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) report passed to the Leveson Inquiry.

All in all a very busy week, showing that the Hackgate scandal still has plenty left to shock and surprise.

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