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back to article Sky News hack of Canoe Man's email in public interest, Ofcom says

Sky News hacked into Yahoo! email accounts owned by John and Anne Darwin and broadcast their contents to the world - but Ofcom reckons that's OK, thanks to the unique nature of the case. John Darwin is better known as the "Canoe Man", who faked his own death so his wife could collect his life insurance and they could both enjoy …

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See no need for any new snooping laws, the police and MI5 just need to get the TV or newspapers to do the hacking for them

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Rol
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Am I wrong in thinking evidence obtained illegally is inadmissible in court, or have I been watching too many American court room dramas?

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Yes, and yes.

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Rol
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Thanks for the enlightenment Credas.

Perhaps a new updated series of Crown Court is in order then.

Followed by a 21st century take on Porridge.

They might serve the British public a great service in dispelling the myths of our legal system and life after?

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As I understand it, illegally obtained evidence is inadmissible only if it was illegally obtained by the government or it's agents. If it is obtained by a private party and handed over to the government, then it is admissible. The private party can be criminally charged by the government or sued by the defendant.

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Holmes

Well even legal (warrant targeted at a specific person, as opposed to world) tapped evidence isn't even admissible in UK courts right now (something successive governments have tried to change.

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Sources of evidence

Illegally obtained by official government/law enforcement personnel = inadmissable

Illegally obtained by anyone else = admissable.

Of course if evidence is anonymously handed to the police, they are not required to try and identify the anonymous source or how that person obtained the evidence. Apart from personal ethics there's nothing to stop police from illegally obtaining evidence and then anonymously submitting it another officer.

As for Sky News not being prosecuted. One presumes they had some compelling reason to believe they would find the information that they did find, and as is said in the article while public interest is not an actual legal defense for the crime in question, prosecuting them for it would be little different from prosecuting someone for breaking into a house where they believed a murder/assault was taking place even if they were right and saved a life.

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Sky News brought to you by the owners of the former NOTW

There is no reason why any court or regulatory body could or should condone a private company or individual hacking another's email or tapping their phone no matter what the outcome.

The next thing is we will find them hacking anyone they like then publishing the results under the argument 'Oh we thought they were doing something wrong.' So that will make it ok!

At minimum they should be in court for breaking the law and fined enough to discourage them from using this instance as a reason to go fishing.

Ofcom is way out of order!

Maybe someone has a lifetime Satbox card now.

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Sauce for the goose....

So when the newspapers hacked all those politicians who were thieving lil ***** & all those celebs who were abusing the law to kee ptheir dirty laundry hidden it was perfectly legal to spread it all over the world was it ofcom??

Because I think you might find that the levenson inquiry disagrees with you that count & doesnt think that such things are in the 'public interest'

oh wait i forgot, justice in UK PLC is only for the well heeled & powerful, so its ok to spread the contents of this guys email all over the world because he cant afford the lawyers. Two wrongs dont make a right & gee that looks like sauce to put on the gander :P

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Facism 1 Integrity 0

OFCOM is only a regulator in that it manages Corporate abuse.

"For my friends I interpret, for my enemies I enforce"

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If *I* were John Darwin...

If *I* were John Darwin, the very first that I would have done with the money, is get my wife a huge bouquet of plastic surgery and orthodontics. (Because jilting a confederate and co-conspirator is never a wise course of action.)

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Re: If *I* were John Darwin...

But telling your co-conspirator with whom you've had a "very close loving relationship" that you think they're unattractive is?

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How can they condone yet another abuse of privacy by NewsCorp

Unbelievable. This is blatant condoning of an abuse of privacy no different than that of the Phone Hacking by the newspaper staff of the News of World!!!

Strange that they are turning a blind eye to it and claiming it to be in public interest in this case! This hacking of an email shows that all parts of News Corp run by Rupert Murdoch do not think twice above crossing the line both morally or legally to get a story.

It is time for these companies to be held accountable fully at the top level. Murdoch needs to be thrust into a courtroom and held responsible for the actions of his employee's! He needs learn that there are lines that should never be crossed.

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Happy

Re: How can they condone yet another abuse of privacy by NewsCorp

@aj. You seem irked. Let me cheer you up a little.

http://www.private-eye.co.uk/covers.php?showme=1293

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Anonymous Coward

So that's modern justice then?

This judgement seems to indicate that all is well with breaking the law provided you find a good enough excuse, which I ought to remember the next time I get a speeding ticket.

Not acceptable in any way, shape or form.

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And how many hacks have retrieved nothing?

And how many email accounts have they hacked that have revealed nothing because the victims are completely innocent? Is there a public interest to hack Sky's own email, or only of it proves fruitful?

If anyone has suspicions of wrong-doing, then they should get a warrant. This is how the law works, and Sky should be fined.

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If you do nothing wrong you have nothing to fear

If you don't do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from...the police.

If you don't do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from...the NSA / GCHQ eavesdroppers.

If you don't do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from...the private detective hired by your wife / boss / local council.

If you don't do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from...the Satellite TV company hacking into your e-mail account or even using your new-fangled TV's hidden camera to record you while you watch.

If you don't do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from...the electronic meter in your understairs cupboard.

Man if any of these catch me with my pants down in front of a girly magazine or using boiling too many kettles or doing one of the myriad of other moral or legal offences you and I are completely unaware of, we're toast.

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Anonymous Coward

Hacking acceptable says toothless regulator ..

"Sky News hacked into Yahoo! email accounts owned by John and Anne Darwin and broadcast their contents to the world - but Ofcom reckons that's OK, thanks to the unique nature of the case."

If the Darwins had hacked Sky News email they'd be looking at felony hacking charges.

`On 5 April 2012, Mr John Ryley2, Head of Sky News, issued a press statement in which he revealed that Sky News had authorised a journalist, Mr Gerard Tubb, to “access the email of individuals suspected of criminal activity”'.

I hadn't realized that SKY NEWS had precedence over the DPP in the UK ..

"The programme also showed some of this email correspondence on a computer screen and, although whole messages could not be read, parts of the detail of the emails could be seen"

Sounds like they were running a screen-capture app, which would require hacking one or more computers, which is a bit different than accessing an email account.

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Contamination of evidence

Given the press hacked this account, what value is any claimed "evidence" which could have been planted there in order to sell a story ? Can't see why the culprits of this false dissappearance aren't given carte blanche in connection with the plausible deniability of any mailbox contents by this.

Journalists who interfere with the proper investigation of crime need locking up in my view.

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WTF?

So, lemme get this straight...

...because I live on the left side of the Pond, and don't quite understand the Crown's variant of Justice.

So, In order to break into someone's private papers and effects, you need either a warrant signed by a judge, or you need to be a large Corporation, who slathers money around to drooling politicians like a pusher dispenses crack to his ho's.

Is that the way it works in the UK?

Really??? Well, that's not really so much different than it is here, then. Glad I got that straightened out.

(Course, now we're all equally fucked....)

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Trollface

I wonder what's in Rupert Murdochs email account?

Aw come on! How can that not be in the public interest? You know he's got to be up to something!

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So many of yuou seem to be struggling to understand this, when it's really quite easy.

If you're famous, or in a public position then it's not OK for a news organisation to hack anything of yours.

If you're not one of those you're fair game.

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At the time - who were Sky using for their email backend - was it Yahoo by any chance?

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