Sky News boss rebuked over email hacking
LONDON THE judge presiding over an inquiry into British press standards on Monday rebuked the head of Sky News, the influential news channel of Rupert Murdochcontrolled BSkyB, for breaking the law by hacking into emails to generate a story.
Prime Minister David Cameron ordered judge Brian Leveson to examine standards after Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid admitted hacking thousands of phones to produce evermore salacious stories.
BSkyB, the highly profitable satellite broadcaster 39-percent owned by Murdoch, had previously avoided any fall-out from the hacking scandal but its admission this month that it accessed private emails for a story in 2008 on insurance fraud risked dragging the company into the frame.
John Ryley, the head of Sky News, has defended the channel’s actions and said it was acting in the public interest, but Leveson appeared annoyed as Ryley and a barrister in the inquiry discussed whether the action broke the Ofcom broadcasting code.
Ryley had just taken the oath at the high profile media inquiry and had started to explain the 2008 email hacking when Leveson interjected.
“What you were doing wasn’t merely invading somebody’s privacy, it was breaching the criminal law,” Leveson said to Ryley. “It was,” Ryley replied after a pause.