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Murdoch Faces Allegations of Sabotage 201

Presto Vivace writes "Neil Chenoweth, of the Australian Financial Review, reports that the BBC program Panorama is making new allegations against News Corp of serious misconduct. This time it involves the NDS division of News Corp, which makes conditional access cards for pay TV. It seems that NDS also ran a sabotage operation, hiring pirates to crack the cards of rival companies and posting the code on The House of Ill Compute (, a web site hosted by NDS. 'ITV Digital collapsed in March 2002 with losses of more than £1 billion, overwhelmed by mass piracy, as well as technical restrictions and expensive sports contracts. Its collapse left Murdoch-controlled BSkyB the dominant pay TV provider in the UK.' Chenoweth reports that James Murdoch has been an advocate for tougher penalties for pirates, 'These are property rights, these are basic property rights,' he said. 'There is no difference from going into a store and stealing a packet of Pringles or a handbag, and stealing something online. Right?'"
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Murdoch Faces Allegations of Sabotage

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @12:16AM (#39481363)
    This guy is basically like Mr. Burns on the Simpsons. What a horrible excuse for a person.
  • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @12:31AM (#39481445)

    Murdoch has enough money to buy plausible deniability.

  • by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @12:37AM (#39481467)
    Yeah, but do you really think this is the only business that does this kind of thing?
    Hint... no... no you shouldnt think that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @12:54AM (#39481539)

    Call me a cynic, but when a wealthy sonofabitch who we all know corrupts the politics of multiple countries and plays dirty is caught at doing something like this, I think it's time for a good chuckle. My only hope is that if he ever really goes down, he'll take a few politicians down with him. He's enough of a scumbag to do it if he ever really loses his sway.

  • by Wrath0fb0b ( 302444 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @01:04AM (#39481579)

    And what about all the nerds that actually did it? It's not like he sat around writing code himself. What about their (existent?) scruples? Did they know who paid them or wonder why? Did they just ignore those questions so long as they could?

    You want to read this as a morality play about how a bad man did something wrong. I want to read it as being about how some pretty smart coders ran pretty sophisticated hacking ring and either be oblivious or indifferent to the fact that they were acting as modern-day thugs smashing up a rival's store.

    It's the old "bad apples" routine -- or as Solzhenitsyn [] put it more eloquently: "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?â

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @01:38AM (#39481697)

    It'll be fucking hilarious if he ends up in jail.

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @01:46AM (#39481719)

    Yeah, but do you really think this is the only business that does this kind of thing?

    It may not be the only business that does this kind of thing, but it certainly seems to be the most visibly blatant at the moment, and that's telling for an organization that controls such a large amount of the media in the areas its malfeasance is being reported in.

    Seeking to crack opponents' tech, not a surprise.

    Hosting a site or forum dedicated to the tech, including security and the like, meh.

    Seeking to create ever-stronger penalties for violations of security, expected.

    Using corporate resources to crack a competitor's technology and intentionally posting the technical information needed to allow others to also crack said technology, while advocating for laws that should theoretically result in essentially a corporate death penalty- that's a surprise.

    Corporations are chartered by the government. Simple solution, revoke their charters when the violations stack on like we've seen with News Corp. Force the assets into auction, require revenues to pay legal damages and then distribute what remains proportionally to those stockholders that weren't also employed in the company and engaging in the wanton illegal activity or directly managing those who were.

    If corporations faced their charters' revocation, and if egregious offenders actually saw this happen from time to time with dramatic losses to stockholders, maybe stockholders and corporate officers would reduce the amount of corruption in their ranks.

  • by Y-Crate ( 540566 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @02:32AM (#39481871)

    And what about all the nerds that actually did it?

    They'll inevitably get hefty prison sentences, while Murdoch goes free with a "please don't do any more bad things until the next time you do bad things" warning.

  • by FoolishOwl ( 1698506 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @02:45AM (#39481911) Journal

    There will probably be some sharp satire on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. MSNBC may make a few snide comments. Other than that, I would guess most media will ignore it. Fox will try to frame it as if Murdoch is the victim.

  • by ravenshrike ( 808508 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @02:47AM (#39481915)

    Murdoch's only god is money. He runs Fox News cause it's a giant market no one else was exploiting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @03:33AM (#39482049)

    I always find comments like this funny. Because really only the American people are impressionable and stupid. No one in the rest of the world could possibly be unintelligent right?

    Don't get me wrong, I can't stand Faux News. But I've known many brilliant people who are just wrong. To go around calling people who don't agree with you stupid isn't helping anything.

  • by lexsird ( 1208192 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @03:35AM (#39482051)

    Let's call it what is is. It's not stupidity, really. It's the results of nationalist propaganda, corporate and capitalist propaganda, a completely shitty education system that undermines the very principles of education, Christianity selling out to politicians, AND jackass propaganda machines like Faux News. Of course, you have ignorance, prejudices, racism, sexism, bigotry and delusions of grandeur, but just calling it "stupid" doesn't do it justice.

    Hmm..looking at that, perhaps you have a point. It could easily be summed up to we have a lot of fucking stupid people. But what can you do?

  • Too big to jail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @03:38AM (#39482063)

    if he ever really goes down, he'll take a few politicians down with him

    And that's his protection, right there. All the politicos in a lot of countries know that if they investigate his companies too deeply they'll uncover such a can of politically interconnected worms that their governments would have to relocate to the nearest jail.

    He's been in so deep for so long that no major party would come out with clean hands, or be able to "cast the first stone". He knows it, they all know it and are just hoping that the media knows it too.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @04:02AM (#39482145)
    That's just where the biggest English speaking market in the world is, so yes, by sheer weight of numbers they are. You could say "more Americans are x" where x could be just about anything, so don't take it personally.
  • by Custard Horse ( 1527495 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @04:35AM (#39482265)

    Sadly I think that it will be swept under the carpet. Murdoch has already replaced the News of the World with a Sunday edition of The Sun so everything is as it was before. The fact that Murdoch also owns the more respectable The Sunday Times means that he has both ends of the market.

    What we really need it for Murdoch's hapless son to be put in the frame for something serious only for him to give evidence against his father and bring the whole lot crashing down - including the politicians and police officers who have been paid off over the years.

  • by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot.spad@co@uk> on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @05:11AM (#39482371) Homepage

    Because there wasn't any collateral damage in the Megaupload case?

  • by Stormthirst ( 66538 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @07:51AM (#39483023)

    Except in corporate America this kind of behaviour is celebrated, not punished. I can hear the politician (Democrat or Republican, though I suspect the Republicans would be loudest) bemoaning how the job creators are being punished for doing what job creators do.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham