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Sky News admits hacking emails of 'canoe man' John Darwin

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Sky News admits hacking emails of 'canoe man' John Darwin

Post by Guest on 05.04.12 14:52

Sky News admits hacking emails of 'canoe man' John Darwin


Sky News has admitted senior executives authorised a journalist to hack into the emails of John Darwin, the "canoe man" accused of faking his own death in 2002.









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The exclusive story regarding John Darwin with his wife Anne broke on December 3, 2007 by Sky News Photo: Sky/PA



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Clockwise from far left: John Darwin; with his wife, Anne; his sons, Anthony and Mark Photo: PA/GETTY












By James Orr

2:07PM BST 05 Apr 2012





The broadcaster revealed a member of staff was cleared to carry out the hacking, a breach of the Computer Misuse Act, on two separate occasions that it believed were "in the public interest".


Gerard Tubb, the broadcaster's northern England correspondent, accessed the emails when Darwin’s wife, Anne, was due to stand trial for deception in July 2008.


He also accessed the email accounts of a suspected paedeophile in an investigation that did not lead to any material being published or broadcast, it has been reported.


Both instances of hacking were approved by Simon Cole, the managing editor of Sky News, it was reported.


Sky is part-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The broadcaster's parent company, BSkyB, is currently being investigated by the communications regulator, Ofcom, in the wake of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.



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James Murdoch, the former executive chairman of News International, stepped down as News Corporation's chairman on Wednesday.

Yesterday, John Ryley, the head of Sky News, said in a statement that the broadcaster had "authorised a journalist to access the emails of individuals suspected of criminal activity" and the hacking in both cases was "justified and in the public interest".

Mr Ryley claimed the broadcaster's decisions required "finely balanced judgment" and they were "subjected to the proper editorial controls".

Darwin, from Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, was declared dead after vanishing at sea in his canoe in March 2002. His wife, Anne, cashed in his insurance and pension schemes and moved to Panama.

But the couple’s conspiracy was exposed in 2007 after Darwin turned up at a London police station claiming to be missing and suffering from amnesia.

Darwin pleaded guilty to seven charges of deception while his wife faced six charges of deception and nine of money laundering.

He was later sentenced to six years and three months in prison and was released on licence from Moorland open prison in Doncaster, in January last year. His wife received six and a half years and was freed in March 2011.

Sky News said Mr Tubb had discovered that John Darwin used the identity of a friend, John Jones.

According to the broadcaster, Mr Tubb then conducted a web search to reveal a Yahoo email account in the name John Jones and later sought permission to access the emails.

Shortly after, Mr Tubb produced a story for Sky's news channel and website in which he quoted from emails which had been written by Darwin to his wife and to a lawyer.

The basis of the story was that Darwin was being forced to return to Britain as changes to visa regulations meant he could no longer stay in Panama.

Intercepting emails is an offence under the Computer Misuse Act, and there is no public interest defence written in law.

Mr Ryley said: "Sky News is committed to the highest editorial standards. Like other news organisations, we are acutely aware of the tensions that can arise between the law and responsible investigative journalism.

"On two occasions, we have authorised a journalist to access the email of individuals suspected of criminal activity. In the 2008 case of Anne Darwin, Sky News met with Cleveland Police and provided them with emails offering new information relevant to Mrs Darwin’s defence. Material provided by Sky News was used in the successful prosecution and the police made clear after the trial that this information was pivotal to the case.

"We stand by these actions as editorially justified and in the public interest. We do not take such decisions lightly or frequently."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/9188402/Sky-News-admits-hacking-emails-of-canoe-man-John-Darwin.html
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Re: Sky News admits hacking emails of 'canoe man' John Darwin

Post by Guest on 05.04.12 14:57

[snipped from article]

The broadcaster revealed a member of staff was cleared to carry out the hacking, a breach of the Computer Misuse Act, on two separate occasions that it believed were "in the public interest".


Gerard Tubb, the broadcaster's northern England correspondent, accessed the emails when Darwin’s wife, Anne, was due to stand trial for deception in July 2008.


He also accessed the email accounts of a suspected paedeophile in an investigation that did not lead to any material being published or broadcast, it has been reported.


Both instances of hacking were approved by Simon Cole, the managing editor of Sky News, it was reported.



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Re: Sky News admits hacking emails of 'canoe man' John Darwin

Post by tiny on 05.04.12 15:15

Well there,s still hope they hacked into the mccanns as well.
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Re: Sky News admits hacking emails of 'canoe man' John Darwin

Post by delly55 on 05.04.12 18:59

Just wondered if anyone had seen this? Julian Assange makes comparisons about negative press coverage and quotes Team McCann as an example! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17626346 wft Apols if it's already been posted somewhere else!

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Re: Sky News admits hacking emails of 'canoe man' John Darwin

Post by aiyoyo on 06.04.12 13:37

delly55 wrote:Just wondered if anyone had seen this? Julian Assange makes comparisons about negative press coverage and quotes Team McCann as an example! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17626346 wft Apols if it's already been posted somewhere else!

Assange must be dead desperate and clutching at straws if he's jumping onto mccanns bandwagon!

Didnt wikileaks do an mccanns-skpetic article? Why the U-turn?

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Re: Sky News admits hacking emails of 'canoe man' John Darwin

Post by tigger on 06.04.12 13:39

aiyoyo wrote:
delly55 wrote:Just wondered if anyone had seen this? Julian Assange makes comparisons about negative press coverage and quotes Team McCann as an example! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17626346 wft Apols if it's already been posted somewhere else!

Assange must be dead desperate and clutching at straws if he's jumping onto mccanns bandwagon!

Didnt wikileaks do an mccanns-skpetic article? Why the U-turn?


Perhaps he'll be given a 'get out of jail free' card?

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Re: Sky News admits hacking emails of 'canoe man' John Darwin

Post by Guest on 23.04.12 11:07

23 April 2012 Last updated at 10:55

Ofcom to probe Sky email hacking


Ofcom has launched an investigation into the hacking of private email accounts by Sky News.

It comes after Sky admitted earlier this month it accessed the accounts of "canoe man" John Darwin and his wife Anne; and a suspected paedophile.

At the time Sky defended its actions as being in the public interest and said it was "responsible journalism".

The head of Sky News, John Ryley, is due to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry later.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: "Ofcom is investigating the fairness and privacy issues raised by Sky News' statement that it had accessed without prior authorisation private email accounts during the course of its news investigations. We will make the outcome known in due course."

Ofcom's broadcasting code includes a clause - Rule 8.1 - which states that: "Any infringement of privacy in programmes, or in connection with obtaining material included in programmes, must be warranted."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17810479
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