Friday, March 30, 2012

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Faces New Accusations of Illegal Activity in Australia

Does Anyone See a Pattern Here?

The News Corp. is a world wide conglomerate that owns, among other things Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.  It is a news organization dominated by Conservatives and an organization whose sees its mission as the promotion of Conservative positions using the news media to do so.  In an environment of a free press, it has every right to do so.

But as a business the News Corp. does not live up to a very high standard.  Its actions in Britain involved cell phone hacking of a young murder victim and here family, and the charges of massive payoffs of police for information.  The company has paid hundreds of millions to settle claims against it.  Some of its senior staff in Britain have been charged with crimes.

So it is no surprise that in Australia the company has come under suspicion for illegal activity in trying to monopolize markets in that country.

The report came a day after a BBC documentary made similar accusations against NDS Group in Britain, saying that it had paid a consultant to “crack” and publish on a pirate Web site the smart-card codes of a pay service that was started by ITV, the country’s free broadcaster. News Corporation has denied the claims made in the BBC program, “Panorama.”

The new e-mails, which the newspaper said had come from the hard drive of Ray Adams, a former commander in the Metropolitan Police in London who served as head of operational security for NDS Group in Europe from 1996 to 2002, appeared to show that a secret unit within the company called “Operational Security” promoted a wave of high-tech piracy that damaged the News Corporation rivals Austar and Optus at a time when the company was positioning itself to be the dominant player in the Australian pay TV industry.

Now News Corp. has denied all of this

News Corporation
, which has been roiled by accusations of phone hacking at its British newspapers, including the now-defunct News of the World, hit back at the report in a statement by its Australian wing.

“The story is full of factual inaccuracies, flawed references, fanciful conclusions and baseless accusations which have been disproved in overseas courts,” News Ltd. said in a statement.

And normally this Forum and others should give the benefit of the doubt to anyone or any organization accused for doing what the News Corp. is accused of doing.  But in this case given the history of the News Corp. the accusations are so consistent with what is already known about the organization that it is almost impossible to give Mr. Murdoch and his minions that benefit.  And if any group is arrogant enough to document illegal and unethical activities in e-mails, well, News Corp. would certainly be the one to do so.

In fact, all of this just makes everyone wonder what else the company has done that is ethically and legally questionable.  And that suspicion is only enhanced by listening to the moral pontificators of Fox News.

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