Wow, that’s amazingly brazen, if true. The tough part will be proving it, seems as if News Corporation used the mafia model of having a guy tell a guy to suggest to another guy he might do something illegal…
Part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation empire employed computer hacking to undermine the business of its chief TV rival in Britain, according to evidence due to be broadcast by BBC1’s Panorama programme on Monday .
The allegations stem from apparently incriminating emails the programme-makers have obtained, and on-screen descriptions for the first time from two of the people said to be involved, a German hacker and the operator of a pirate website secretly controlled by a Murdoch company.
The witnesses allege a software company NDS, owned by News Corp, cracked the smart card codes of rival company ONdigital. ONdigital, owned by the ITV companies Granada and Carlton, eventually went under amid a welter of counterfeiting by pirates, leaving the immensely lucrative pay-TV field clear for Sky.
The allegations, if proved, cast further doubt on whether News Corp meets the “fit and proper” test required to run a broadcaster in Britain. It emerged earlier this month that broadcasting regulator Ofcom has set up a unit called Project Apple to establish whether BSkyB, 39.1% owned by News Corp, meets the test.
…James Murdoch, who is deputy chief operating officer of News Corp and chairman of BSkyB, was a non-executive director of NDS when ONdigital was hacked.
(click here to continue reading Questions for News Corp over rival’s collapse | Media | The Guardian.)
and meanwhile, the noose tightens on James Murdoch:
In a continuing effort to distance himself from News Corporation’s embattled British newspaper unit, James Murdoch has stepped down from the board of Times Newspapers Holdings.
The group, established by Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corporation and James’s father, was created to safeguard the editorial independence of The Times of London and The Sunday Times after the media conglomerate bought the British newspapers in 1981, according to public filings with the British government.
James, the youngest son of Rupert Murdoch and once the heir apparent at the $50 billion media company, has over the last several months resigned from a string of corporate boards, both with ties to the British papers and unrelated.
Last week, the auction house Sotheby’s said in a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that James Murdoch would not return to his board position. Earlier this year he gave up his position on the board of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
It remains to be seen whether Mr. Murdoch will hold onto his role as chairman of the British broadcaster BSkyB, of which News Corporation holds a minority stake. The company dropped its $12 billion bid to take over BSkyB last summer when a phone hacking scandal thrust News Corporation under increased government scrutiny.
(click here to continue reading James Murdoch Resigns From Times Newspapers Holdings Board – NYTimes.com.)