We're finally moving into an endgame, with the Leveson inquiry into the scandal also coming to a close. It looks like James Murdoch will get away with his implausible responses to the House of Commons committee, although his career is a wreck for the time being. The empire has been split down the middle. The trials of these very prominent figures will drag on during the period running up to the next British election, and the Prime Minister will be repeatedly dragged into the proceedings, if by name only.
What a horrendous mess. We'll have to await the outcome of the trials, but it will be good to know that justice has finally been done to the late Milly Dowler and her family.
Please bear in mind the differences in privacy laws in various jurisdictions. In the U.S., hacking into that cellphone would be a crime. In the U.K. it's perfectly legal. Murdock's minions set off a firestorm that may eventually bring about the downfall of the current government and cause changes that will make their original behavior illegal, but they were completely within applicable statutes when they broke into that phone. After all, when you're a crusading journalist, the end justifies the means. Doesn't it? ; -)
Power and arrogance breeds this foolish belief that they cannot lose or be held accountable. That's where this company went wrong; they knew the risks, but thought themselves too powerful to ever go down (The Roman Empire, the Titanic come to mind).
The scandal continues to extend its reach to the highest levels of British politics. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, is now answering questions about his own communications with the Murdochs about the BSkyB bid. There seem to be more emails waiting to be disclosed. In an extraordinary scene today, the Speaker of the House compelled the Prime Minister to attend an "urgent question" session. This isn't over yet.
The coverage by electronic and print media, as Kim mentions too, is really the thing to be observed. The usage of timeline and other features that were previously specific to social networks, show that how journalism whether it be on internet or on TV or print media, has adopted them as it now feels that news over social media is becoming its competitor and news channels are finding their competitors in the form of common people who share the news on social networks thereby eliminating the need to turn on the TV.
Agree with being dumbfounded by the sheer arrogance involved here. One would assume that by using technology to ferret out secrets, Murdoch et al would be aware that they too could be the subject of technological/digital exposure. That they thought not apparently is really mind boggling and speaks to a sense they must have that they are exempt from the rules that govern mere mortals.
The new UltraViolet online DRM model has people upset, but the question we should ask ourselves is whether we want a flexible model to harmonize content owner and content consumer rights, or a one-takes-all model that probably results in less online content.
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