Thursday, April 12, 2012

After Hackersgate, Britain's biggest media cover-up

QUOTE from blogger Guido Fawkes aka Paul Staines: Operation Motorman uncovered industrial scale criminality and hundreds of suspects' names. Currently in Britain the newspapers are neither naming nor shaming because the criminal enterprises are the newspapers themselves, who understandably do not wish to report their own crimes. Their silence is a matter of self-preservation.

QUOTE: In the wake of the News of the World scandal last year David Cameron appointed Lord Justice Leveson to
inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International, other newspaper organisations and, as appropriate, other organisations within the media, and by those responsible for holding personal data.
QUOTE: Leveson has the evidence required to initiate criminal actions and civil actions by thousands of victims of crimes committed by newspaper journalists. Guido challenged Leveson to his face to publish the evidence, thus allowing the victims of industrial scale illegal invasions of privacy to get justice. Leveson claimed it was difficult nine years on. Guido understands that there have been two applications to Leveson to release the Operation Motorman files. The applications, heard in private, were refused.

Remember, the Australian subsidiary News Limited owned The Fiji Times until last year - the very paper at the heart of Fiji's George Speight putsch coverage controversy in 2000. It was forced to divest ownership to local Motibhai Group under the terms of the Media Industry Development Decree 2010.

Journalist with links to sleuth named on net

Associated Press report in the New Zealand Herald:

The names of three dozen British journalists allegedly involved with a shady private investigator have been leaked to the internet, posing another potential embarrassment for the British media.

Paul Staines, who blogs under the name Guido Fawkes, published what he said were more than 1000 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.

Several British media organisations - including The Guardian, The Independent and ITV News - have run stories based on the documents recovered from Whittamore's office, but so far no one has identified the journalists involved.

Staines did so yesterday, publishing a spreadsheet naming 35 journalists from Murdoch's News International.

The Guido Fawkes blog 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.

A spokesman for Brooks did not immediately return a call and an email seeking comment. Thurlbeck declined comment, as did News International spokeswoman Daisy Dunlop.

The Information Commissioner's Office - which investigated Whittamore - declined to authenticate the spreadsheet, but in a statement his organisation said authorities had been mulling whether to release the information before it appeared online.

But even if wrongdoing could now be proven, the limitation period attached to Britain's Data Protection Act means that prosecution of the journalists is not likely.


flyhalf said...

Yes, its quite a farce that Britain has a history of double standards on media integrity.

2 distinct cases of journalism being used for ulterior motives:

We have Press TV being banned in the UK.

Then we have another icon like Al Jazeera, which has been reported to have become a tool in Foreign Policy of the Qatar Government in complicitly staging news items in Libya and Syria; as former employees reveal.

What other news organizations in New Zealand, Australia, US are also guilty of yellow journalism?

My take: all of Main Stream Media (MSM).

flash in a pan said...

Guardian newspaper columnist sucker punches Julian Assange on his new show launch on Russia Today and interviewed Hezbollah's head honcho.

Wasn't the Guardian the same rag that used Wiki Leaks material and edited them as well?

How the tables have turned.

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