back to article NDS says Beeb's Panorama emails were 'manipulated'

TV crypto company NDS says the BBC misled viewers in a Panorama investigation broadcast on Monday. The former Murdoch company, which was acquired by Cisco earlier this month, has released what it says are the original emails. The Beeb alleged that NDS gave a "hacker honeypot" website named Thoic access codes that could be used …


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  1. Thomas 18
    Thumb Down

    "The BBC is obliged by its charter to be impartial"

    That would be why there's a news article about Dr Who every 3 days?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The BBC is obliged by its charter to be impartial"

      I think you're missing the idea of what being impartial is about.

      1. Callum

        Re: "The BBC is obliged by its charter to be impartial"

        speak to anyone in Scotland about the coverage BBC Scotland has of the independence referendum. There have been protests in Scotland outside Pacific Quay because key figures in the BBC Scotland News are, have been, or are married to key figures in the Labour party (which is fiercely anti-independence). See and the last sentence on

        1. Rampant Spaniel

          Re: "The BBC is obliged by its charter to be impartial"

          I wasn't aware of that, thanks for sharing!

          The bbc is a great source of news for non political stories or those from outside the UK. It's a lifeline here in the states, fox is a tragedy. However, within the UK they have always been somewhat left of central. Like the newspapers tend to have their own slant, the bbc had it's slant, the difference was the charter saying they shouldn't. The problem is not so much the reporters as the editors et al who influence the tone.

          Yes they are moderate lefties but be thankful you don't have fox! They're so far right they fell off. There's a clip of Murdoch being interviewed that's a classic, all the 'yes mr chairman'.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Manipulation abominable

    They're... I... they're NOT using OUTLOOK. And it's in some kind of FROGSPEAK! Is that even legal?

  3. Gordon 10 Silver badge


    Both Parents have form in this area

    Panorama the primark stuff.

    And NI well they are just dodgy as hell

    **flips coin**. It's Panorama the smug fucks at the beeb haven't had a good shoeing yet this year.

    1. Cazzo Enorme

      Re: Hmmm

      As I point out in another post, the Primark case shows how big companies try to undermine a mountain of evidence by screaming blue bloody murder about one minor point.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well that's the whole bloody point of having named RFC822 headers isn't it?

    So that it doesn't matter what order they end up in, they're still unambiguous. Duh. NDS are really reaching here.

  5. DaveyDaveDave

    Is it just me, or are both of the images of emails in the article saying the same thing?

    From: Thoic

    Date: Blah

    To: radams@...

    Subject: 4u


    1. Tim Parker


      "Is it just me, or are both of the images of emails in the article saying the same thing?"

      That's exactly how I read it, so it's not just you. The fact that they are in a different order in no way changes any meaning IMO, they are clearly what they state.

    2. Vic

      > saying the same thing?

      not *exactly*. Look at the date field - it has changed.

      But this looks like cockup, not conspiracy.


  6. Velv Silver badge

    Lies, damned lies, and journalist manipulation.

    Perhaps the BBC were manipulated, perhaps the BBC did the manipulation.

    Perhaps NDS have subsequently manipulated the truth and are now manipulating the journalists reporting the story.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Anyone care to explain what in the world causes standardized SMTP headers to be translated to french???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is it perhaps displaying them in French? I'm told that's à la mode in France now. Obviously doing anything with an email (forwarding, replying etc) will put the relevant headers inline, and very little to do with RFCs. As for why exactly, my guess would be it had something to do with Canal Plus.

    2. captain veg

      Translated to French

      They weren't. Unless you consider the key token to be the header, rather than the data that follow it.

      Of course, the user agent can display what the hell it likes -- and they often do. <cough>Outlook</cough>.


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A french email client.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The OS language settings.

      Pretty sure the headers get translated in outlook running on localized versions of windows, just like all the menus and dialogs.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I being thick?

    "NDS says that the BBC reversed the subject line ("4u") and recipient line ("") to give the misleading impression that Adams was forwarding a link to the pirate website, rather than receiving one."

    How is it meisleading when the lines, even if reversed are clearly labelled From, To and Subject?

    Am I missing something?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I being thick?

      I don't get it either, I thought they meant that it should have been "To: 4U" and "Subject:" but that doesn't make sense either.

  9. El Presidente

    Awaits references to


  10. Shagbag

    The BBC used to have a reputation as being reliable and impartial. Now it's joined the rest of the mass media and become another Opinion Factory. I haven't watched BBC News or its current affairs programs for over 5 years now and, with news like this, I can't see any need to go back to them.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What planet does the author live on?

    "The BBC is obliged by its charter to be impartial"

    It breaches that charter every week. Perhaps it doesn't if you live in the BBC's heartland - London - but it certainly does outside England. Hell even tory heartlands like Leicestershire are getting the message.

    The BBC is is in no way shape or form "impartial" and nor is that a condition of its charter. There's a load of guff about promoting the union/monarchy/UK though.

    I await the inevitable downvotes from English people who charmingly still believe the BBC.

  12. Crisp Silver badge

    Why the pirate reference?

    They seem to be trying to make out Piracy(tm) is responsible for OnDigitials downfall. If they can prove it, it might just be the first case where piracy has caused the collapse of a media company.

  13. cs94njw

    Trust Panorama as far as I could throw them.... and I really wish I could throw them further.

  14. JimC Silver badge

    Panorama has a lot of form

    in manipulating the evidence to suit the story, so it would be ironic if it had been enhanced before it got to them, but lets face it, there is no good guy in this fight...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Right. Any particular reason?

    2. Dan 10

      Re: Panorama has a lot of form

      Years ago my dad was a nurse in a secure hospital for mentally ill adults. He was informed that Panorama were doing a documentary and would be having a look round with cameras etc. When they turned up, they took one look at the nice thick carpet in the lounge, full size snooker table, the walls full of books, big TV, patients with keys to their own rooms (security approach was perimeter lockdown), duvets on the beds, and a patient racing a radio control car round the place, and turned their noses up. "Have you got a bare concrete room with doors that bang?" My dad refused to allow them to remain on the ward, and good on him.

  15. Andrew Jones 2

    OK - the programme did infer the email was sent TO Lee rather than from Lee. But..... why would Lee be sending anyone at NDS a link to the software used to make pirate ONdigital cards? If NDS are as squeaky clean about the whole thing as they claim to be.......

    1. ed2020

      @Andrew Jones 2

      Imply, not infer. It's not difficult.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because NDS specialise in Digital Rights Management in television and it is necessary for them to keep track of the what the pirates are doing in that area. It is called research.

  16. Nev Silver badge

    Sue, Grabbit & Runne...

    If NDS are so sure of their squeeky-cleanness, they should take the BBC to court.....

  17. John Styles

    A gold star to all the commenters...

    ... who pasted in their standard #include <IhatetheBBC> rants without actually reading the article.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On complaints that the beeb is biased.

    I've always been convinced they're from people whose world-view is so skewed that anything impartial would appear "biased" to them, and the only thing they would regard as "unbiased" would be if it completely parroted their own personal biases.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On complaints that the beeb is biased.

      They are simply not Guardian readers.

      The BBC spends 20 to 30 times as much on jobs adverts in the Guardian as it does in any other newspaper. As a result its staff are mainly of the same political persuasion as Guardian readers. In fact its staff are mainly Guardian readers.

      If you doubt the 20 to 30 times figure then go hunt down and look at the BBC FOI disclosure logs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On complaints that the beeb is biased.

        "20 to 30 times as much on jobs adverts in [paper X] as it does in any other newspaper."

        There was a time when I used to look at the Torygraph for specific kinds of job adverts but that didn't make me any more sympathetic to the Torygraph philosophy.

        How many bank chairmen and other such does the BBC have on its Board?

        How many trade union leaders does the BBC have on its Board?

        What does that tell you?

      2. Jim Morrow

        Media company advertises in outlet read by media luvvies - shock! horror!

        Correlation does not imply causation.

        The Grauniad used to have a very good media section. This attracted lots of job adverts from employers in that sector because that bit of the paper was read by almost all media luvvies. (They'd read that bit of the Grauniad for professional reasons, not because they were aligned with the paper's risible champagne socialist and sandals politics.) So you'd expect media companies to advertise in the (best?) outlet for attracting candidates whenever they were recruiting.

        I think this still explains why the Grauniad gets lots of job adverts for teachers and social workers: the paper's cornered those markets. Just like how El Reg makes a lot of dosh from IT job adverts.

        FWIW I read those adverts in spite of Andrew Orlowski's articles, not because of them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On complaints that the beeb is biased.

      Well, I think you're totally wrong and unable to see that because of your skewed position.

      Trouble is from your point of view you aren't skewed and from my point of view I'm not. So who is right? I can't think of a reliable method of polling to find the true mean: all we have are local up and down votes and that isn't exactly representative of the general population.

    3. AdamWill

      Re: On complaints that the beeb is biased.

      you want to see the difference between the BBC and a national broadcaster which actually is comically biased, come to Canada.

      the CBC's anti-Tory bias is so blindingly obvious I'm not sure they're even pretending to hide it any more. And this is from someone who can't stand the bloody Tories either.

  19. Cazzo Enorme

    When faced with significant evidence of wrongdoing, the PR savvy wrongdoer tries to find one minor detail they can argue has been portrayed incorrectly. Then they go on a PR offensive, claiming that this undermines the entire allegations. There is actually a sector of the PR industry who will do this damage limitation (or "reputation management") for you.

    The other option is an injunction, as per Trafigura.

  20. Chad H.


    Ondigital werent cracking the codes, they were just buying them?

    1. Anonymous Freetard

      Re: So....

      Aussie Press AFR where the real story is, says the timestamp on the original Ondigital/SECA hack is the same as the one on the hack carried out for "research" purposes for NDS in Haifa by Kommerling, der Deutsche HackMeister. It appears they had to visit UK universities to access ion beam? microscopes to do the reverse engineering.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the BBC took an opportunity to knife a NI company in the back?

    and the BBC either doing shoddy journalism or telling porkies?

    I'm shocked..shocked I tell you. Well maybe not that shocked.

    BBC never miss an opportunity to stick it to the 'der eeeevilllll torrrrieeeeesss'. And NI as former fast friends of same. Move along...this is not the BBC bias your looking for.....

    Any BBC expose's on the Scott trust and Guardian Media Group screwing the tapxpayer out of £100m in tax? or Livingstones £250,000 tax scam? or the Roland Rudd dinner list Ed Milliband chowdown scandal? er nope. Now surely thats odd?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    everything in moderation

    What's the point in allowing comments on Orlowski columns if they have to be pre-moderated and there aren't any moderators in the house?

    Or do they have to be approved by Mr Orlowski himself?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: everything in moderation

      Moderator here. I am hungover. Sorry.


      1. AdamWill

        Re: everything in moderation

        Liar. You're not sorry.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I am hungover"

    OK, you have my sympathy, I'm having a bad day too.

    Meanwhile it appears to be OK to make laughable and unsupported accusations that the BBC is left wing [1], but specific rebuttal of that claim in at least one not-well-enough-known case, posted in a courteous manner and supported by facts, doesn't get through?

    [1] Maybe it is in comparison with Fox.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "I am hungover"

      It's probably being held for legal reasons until a higher-up yays or nays it - sorry!


  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tax dodging? Let's talk about tax dodging.

    "Any BBC expose's on the Scott trust and Guardian Media Group screwing the tapxpayer out of £100m in tax? "

    The BBC don't do coverage of tax dodging unless it is risk free and suits them. Coverage of 'benefits scrounging' is much safer and much lower risk.

    A "senior independent director" on the BBC Board is Marcus Agius (BBC salary: £50K/year).

    When he's not working at the BBC, Marcus is Chairman of Barclays PLC.

    Barclays PLC is widely accepted to be one of the UK's biggest tax dodgers and facilitators of tax dodging for others.

    In 2009 when Barclays recorded profits of £11bn, Barclays paid £100K of UK corporation tax.

    Barclays also took out a Trafigura-style superinjunction banning the Guardian from reporting much of their tax-dodging exploits.

    Barclays tax-dodging exploits were reported in every major media outlet (including the Daily Mail and the Sun, which barely class as newspapers). Barclays tax-dodging exploits were NOT reported on the BBC. Why might that be? Peston can't have missed it, surely?

    Good job there's no chance of an appearance of conflict of interest, let alone an actual conflict of interest, between BBC news about Barclays and having the Chairman of Barclays on the BBC board.

  25. Jojo

    BBC denies emails were manipulated - impossible to know

    One thing that is absolutely clear is that unless the BBC stole the source laptop themselves and kept it under lock & key, there is absolutely no way they can know if these emails were manipulated or not.

    They can only trust the word of the thief who stole the laptop, a thief who was engaged for the sole purpose of industrial espionage against NDS. Someone who was also enough of a hacker to get past any security Ray Adams had on his laptop. Really not the best of sources.

    Of course, this undeniable fact does not stop the BBC spokesman from categorically denying the NDS claims.

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