Sky News admits hacking emails but says it was 'in the public interest'
Sky News, the British satellite broadcaster, said today that it had hacked into email accounts belonging to members of the public on two separate occasions, but that it had done so in the public interest.
The broadcaster admitted it had accessed the emails of John Darwin, the man who faked his death in a canoeing accident in 2002.
The company also admitted to accessing the emails of a man suspected of being a paedophile, and his wife, although no information was forthcoming from that investigation.
BSkyB, which is 39 per cent owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, said information that it had discovered in accessing Darwin’s emails was used in his subsequent prosecution.
Darwin faked his death in a canoeing accident in a bid to claim hundreds of thousands of pounds from insurance policies and pensions.
The couple had managed to convince their two children, police, a coroner, and financial institutions that John Darwin had died in canoeing accident.
The Darwins, who are from Seaton Carew near Hartlepool went to jail in 2008 for the insurance swindle.
A former Sky News managing editor, Simon Cole, had reportedly agreed that Gerard Tubb, the North of England correspondent, could hack into an email account used by Darwin.
But Sky News said their actions were in the public interest and amounted to responsible journalism.
John Ryley, the head of Sky News, said in a statement: “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.
“They require finely balanced judgment based on individual circumstances and must always be subjected to the proper editorial controls.”
Today’s revelations come at a particularly sensitive time for Sky News, which is a subsidiary of BSkyB.
Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator is currently determining whether or not News Corp and James Murdoch are 'fit and proper' owners of a broadcasting licence.
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
- < Previous
- Next >