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News Corp. Pays Out For Voicemail Hacking Victims

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the can't-unring-that-bell dept.

The Media 99

New submitter SandmanWAIX sends this excerpt from ABC.net.au: "Rupert Murdoch's media empire has made huge payouts to 37 phone-hacking victims, including actor Jude Law, singer Danii Minogue, and former British deputy prime minister John Prescott, their lawyers said. ... The company has set up a multi-million-pound compensation scheme for victims of phone hacking in a bid to avoid further costly civil lawsuits. ... It has also made a payout of 2 million pounds to the family of murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler, while Mr. Murdoch made a personal donation of 1 million pounds to charities chosen by her family.'"

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Cheaper than going to jail (4, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775478)

Mr. Murdoch made a personal donation of 1 million pounds to charities chosen by her family

... and he gets a tax deduction!

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775821)

Mr. Murdoch made a personal donation of 1 million pounds to charities chosen by her family

... and he gets a tax deduction!

His accountants let him pay tax???

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775975)

Yup, how many voicemail accounts do you think a non-billionaire could hack before spending some serious time in a FPMITAP?
I'm betting it's well under 37.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779137)

... and he gets a tax deduction!

So? You'd prefer companies did not get a deduction for giving to charity?

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779931)

So? You'd prefer companies did not get a deduction for giving to charity?

Yes. Far better for the charity to be able to claim the tax back, as that ensures that it goes to a (presumably) deserving cause.

<sarcasm> After all, we know that the company would otherwise use the tax deduction to give more to charity, right? </sarcasm>

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779959)

Tax deductions are incentives. If it didn't exist, companies would give much less to charity, yes. So I don't see how removing the deduction is a good thing.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780119)

ax deductions are incentives. If it didn't exist, companies would give much less to charity, yes. So I don't see how removing the deduction is a good thing.

It simplifies tax code while allowing the government to rise more taxes, thus better funding social security and foreign aid, thus lessening the need for charity. Everyone wins, except the people looking for loopholes to decrease their overall payout.

Also, in this particular case, Murdoch is basically trying to make himself look good by doing nothing.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (2)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780223)

It simplifies tax code

Hardly. You're talking about 1 provision out of hundreds, if not thousands.

allowing the government to rise more taxes

Many ways to do that without crippling charity donations, which would be the result. Companies would not give to charity *at all* if it was not a tax deduction, and they have many other ways of reducing tax. Charity donations is not the only thing that reduces company tax. They'll just do it another way.

thus better funding social security and foreign aid, thus lessening the need for charity.

Charities do a lot more than is covered by social security. Social security does not run the Make a Wish foundation, or give money to cancer research. Anyway, spending on social security is a matter of government ideology, not money. They could move money from defense to SS if they wanted to. They don't want to. Money is not the issue, the government is not broke.

Everyone wins

No, charities will lose and many will disappear. Companies simply will not give if there is no deduction. Sorry but you're living in a dream world.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780213)

I'd like ALL charity to be non-deductable, and not just corporations but living people as well. I never take a charity deduction, a tax dodge is NOT charity, even if it helps someone.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780265)

I never take a charity deduction

That's easy to say, you probably give $50 here and there, not $thousands. I imagine if you gave $1000 to charity you would like a deduction.

If you remove the tax incentive for charities, large donations from companies would simply dry up. Explain to me why a company would give to charity if it is an expense without any benefit to the company? If you think they would, you're not being realistic.

Sure, individuals would still give their $50 or $100 a year to charities they like, that's a drop in the ocean compared to what companies give currently. If you hamper that, many charities would simply fold.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38782981)

Explain to me why a company would give to charity if it is an expense without any benefit to the company?

Well, for the PR value perhaps, just as they do now?

Why do they get a tax deduction for PR efforts, anyway? Why should I care more for $vicious_multinational just because they donated cash to a worthy cause, cash that is essentially written off by the taxation regime? Good for the worthy cause, thanks, but so what if $vicious_multinational gave it to them? It didn't need it.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38791135)

That's easy to say, you probably give $50 here and there, not $thousands

Well, I don't have $thouands, but I drop fifty in the collection plate every week, plus whatever other needs I can help fill (just helped a young poor couple yesterday). Generosity has its own reward and needs nothing extra. If I took the deducton I would miss out on the greater rewards.

If you remove the tax incentive for charities, large donations from companies would simply dry up.

And? There is always someone ready to step up toi the plate, and there are literally billions in grants from non-profits; there's a four inch thick book with small print at the Illinois State Library listing private donors and funding organizations, just in Illinois, with each listing offering millions. I had to research it for work several years ago when they were hosting some multistate shindig, and was amazed at the amounts of cash out there for the needy and greedy.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38791327)

If I took the deducton I would miss out on the greater rewards.

What rewards would you miss out on exactly if you claimed the deduction? If it makes you feel bad, or detracts somewhat from the experience for you (which is perfectly fine and understandable), that is nevertheless hardly the basis on which to recommend the policy for everyone.

there's a four inch thick book with small print at the Illinois State Library listing private donors and funding organizations, just in Illinois, with each listing offering millions.

The doesn't prove anything. Do you really think those private donors, if they were not able to deduct their donations, would give more than a fraction of what they do now? Seriously?

And if you think they would, what exactly makes you think that? Common sense says otherwise.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38793377)

Charity is its own reward, and like I said, a tax dodge isn't charity. The grants were almost all nonprofit organizations set up when some incredibly rich person died; they invest, and put the earning to charity use.

And me, I don't give nearly as much as I should.

Re:Cheaper than going to jail (1)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38794203)

like I said, a tax dodge isn't charity

If you do the math it is. eg:
Earnings = $1m
Tax on that: $300k (30% for arguments sake)
Deducible Donations = $50,000 (given to charity)
Earnings minus Donations = $950k
Tax on that: $285k (ie. down from $300k)

So, after giving $50k to charity, your total tax difference after the deduction is $300k - $285k = $15k. You gave $50k and got back $15k. That's how tax deductions work - you don't get the entire donation back. So you can't say it's not still charity. It just helps reduce the tax bill. It's an incentive. Take it away, and businesses won't give as much.

The grants were almost all nonprofit organizations

A wonderfully ironic example! Non-profits often have tax-exempt status, so they're saving wads of money right there! And they're *required* by law to give away profits (or reinvest them back in the company). If you think getting a tax break "isn't charity", then how is charity doing what you have no choice but to do? The only choice they have is which charity to give it to.

http://minimsft.blogspot.com/ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775508)

Back with a bang is Mini-Microsoft

http://minimsft.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Read what he has to dish out and add your comments.

Jail time (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775522)

Not good enough. He deserves to be in jail along with his son. He shouldn't be allowed to buy his way out.

Re:Jail time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38776003)

This does buy him out of any criminal liability, only civil liability.

Re:Jail time (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776265)

Now he'll just have to spend the money on the prosecutors and politicians to make criminal charges go away. Don't worry, as the public anger about this wanes, everyone will pad their pockets and it will be business as usual.

Re:Jail time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38777385)

I cannot think why the Daily Mirror, formerly edited by former News International's Sun showbiz editor Piers Morgan, is not making more noise on this. No I cannot.

Jail time (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775548)

There is an equiry going on in the UK discussing this and other issues, but the answer is simple: people need to go to jail. Not only is there evidence of illegal activity (accing voicemails and emails), but now it looks like there is evidence of perjury (lying to the enquiry).

There is also evidence of obstruction (destruction of computers). It's quite clear that the illegal activity is at the highest levels of News Corp. People at the highest levels need to go to jail. Paying out this amount of money means nothing to billionaires.

Re:Jail time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775634)

If you can't spell "inquiry", don't post.

Thanks.

Re:Jail time (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775829)

If you're referring to "equiry", yeah, he made a typo one out of the two times he used it. Piss off and die; typos suck, but it's not worth posting about.

If you're referring to "enquiry", that's the correct British spelling. I'm a Yankee myself, so I don't spell it that way, but my mind is not so small it cannot hold two spellings for the same word. Piss off and die in a fire; assholes like you give the rest of us a bad name.

Re:Jail time (2)

shilly (142940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775953)

There *used* to be a time when people were educated enough to know the difference between enquiry and inquiry. I shan't attempt to teach you; I shall merely point out that it is not about US vs UK usage; and that the correct term in this instance is inquiry:
  http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/ [levesoninquiry.org.uk]

Re:Jail time (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38778449)

Giving a link to an article that uses the word with an "i" is not supporting evidence for you being correct. An article is a generous term considering it is really just a news blurb by an anonymous author. You just searched for the first article using the spelling of the word you find correct.

So we are to believe this anonymous author used the word with an "i" and that all of the sudden means this is not about the spelling of a word, but that each word means something different?

Both terms essentially mean the same thing, with most dictionaries claiming they are equivalent and noting the US or UK usage.

Now if you want to claim education here, please provide a more comprehensive etymology of both words for us. In other words, please provide a stronger case why there is a difference and you are oh-so-so smart and lament about times past in which people were somehow more intelligent and educated.

Re:Jail time (2)

buglista (1967502) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779417)

First hit for "inquiry vs enquiry uk": http://www.future-perfect.co.uk/grammartips/grammar-tip-enquiry-inquiry.asp [future-perfect.co.uk]

An enquiry is when I enquire about why my broadband is down. An inquiry is when a judge (or similar) is having a formal dig into something, like Leveson is now.

I don't expect .usians to know this - or even really .ukians - but do allow for the possibility that your "inquiry" is not our "inquiry". Or if you don't allow for that possibility, please do not start talking about pants.

Re:Jail time (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779657)

I allow for the possibility that terms can be spelled and used differently in different cultures which is why I thought the snobbish and condescending post needed to be responded to. I did not find the spelling of a word to be indicative of an uneducated mind, when that spelling is thought to be a variant by most people.

All of that being said, I simply must start talking about the pants. You put it in bold. Enquiring minds need to know. What is it about the pants?

Re:Jail time (1)

buglista (1967502) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785109)

pants is underwear over here, where as it's trousers over there - often with hilarious consequences.

Re:Jail time (1)

shilly (142940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38795067)

What. The. Fuckety. Fuck?

The link is not to an article, numpty-boy. The link is to the official website of the Leveson Inquiry. You know, the thing you are commenting on in such a spectacularly stupid fashion?

I think it would be reasonable to assume that if Mr Justice Leveson calls it an inquiry, that's how it should be referred to.

I hope you're feeling mortified now, but frankly I really doubt it. It would require too much brainpower.

Re:Jail time (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38853717)

LMAO.

Sorry for the late reply. I had to spend a couple of days laughing over you and "Numpty Boy". It's just funny to say. I love it.

I hope you're feeling mortified now, but frankly I really doubt it. It would require too much brainpower.

Noooo... being mortified in the fashion you suggest requires one to be British. Your doubts are well founded as I am not British, and therefore, cannot be mortified. I guess your premise is correct though, as ignorance and shame are probably mutually exclusive.

You know, the thing you are commenting on in such a spectacularly stupid fashion?

Spectacularly? Really? Funny we were having civil discourse (relatively I guess) before you had to bring out the multi-comment insult missiles.

I will admit to being impressive on many an occasion, this is true, I cannot deny it, it is my cross to bear. Lavish? Dramatic? Unduly lengthy? Didn't seem so at the time.....

Back to the business at hand and the generous amusement you have provided me...

The link is to the official website of the Leveson Inquiry.........I think it would be reasonable to assume that if Mr Justice Leveson calls it an inquiry, that's how it should be referred to.

So we are justified calling another Numpty Boy, spectacularly stupid, and phenomenally stupid for daring to challenge a Lord Justice of the British Empire? Are you going to just leave this with your fallacious appeal to authority, aka Argumentum ad Verecundiam, or are you going to provide actual etymology of the words and state your case with the intelligence you find so lacking in the rest of your society?

Assuming you are British, I would think you would be the one mortified now...... if not, I blame ignorance on your part.

Of course being American I can understand the fallacious appeal to authority. After all, look who we elected President for 8 years and how many of us blindly believed everything he said? I just find it strange you giving so much intellectual authority to a British Lord Justice of all people.

By all means, if Justice Leveson says it, it must simply be correct. I mean he is a Lord Justice right? No we need look no further than that. We can dump the rest of history like a Sheriff's sale, and when future generations inquire about the correct usage of the word and its history we will just refer them to the Great Lord Justice Sir Brian Henry Leveson. He used the word, and redefined it for the rest of humanity in perpetuity.

I guess I must apologize now. It's not your fault. It's the 1000+ years your people have had to kiss the asses of Lords and other nobles like that, so no wonder you suffer so greatly from a common logical fallacy.

Cheers,

Numpty Boy.

Re:Jail time (1)

shilly (142940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38796395)

I can't quite get over this priceless comment: "An article is a generous term considering it is really just a news blurb by an anonymous author."

It makes me wonder...are you unable to read? Is your comprehension worse than that of my five-year old? How can you have failed to notice:
- the large photo of Mr Justice Leveson
- the words underneath saying: "This is the official site of the Leveson Inquiry. It aims to provide the latest information on the Inquiry, including details of hearings and evidence, to the public and interested parties."

Really really stupid of you. Phenomenally dumb.

Re:Jail time (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780235)

There *used* to be a time when people were educated enough to know the difference between enquiry and inquiry.

Really? When was that? In my six decades I've never seen many non-ignorant people, even though lately they're having trouble with "lose" and "loose", and even brain-dead crap like they're, there, and their, let alone affect and effect.

Hmm, maybe you're right.

Re:Jail time (1)

shilly (142940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811901)

RAH certainly thought there'd been a decline....

Re:Jail time (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775993)

If you're referring to "enquiry", that's the correct British spelling.

Correct perhaps, but Lord Leveson would apparently disagree. [levesoninquiry.org.uk] In my experience Britons tend to use enquire for the verb, as in "may I enquire" and inquiry for... well, inquiries. It's another one of those things where there isn't a common usage much less an unwritten rule, rather like "fettle". For some people fettling refers to making or fixing, for others only one is acceptable and for some it has a specific, technical meaning.

Re:Jail time (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776395)

While both words effectively mean the same thing, their usage does differ slightly. Enquiry is normally used when one person is asking another a question, for example if you phone up a Customer Services line you make an Enquiry . Inquiry when there are many people involved (on either side) and is more official in tone. Inquiry would be related to Investigation (indeed, they share the same suffix). A person Enquires, The police Inquire.

But again, it's not a hard and fast rule. Both are acceptable in either case.

In this case however, the official title is an Inquiry.

Re:Jail time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38776589)

Y'all uppity people suck.
Either you are asking or you are investigating.

Re:Jail time (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#38777955)

It's another one of those things where there isn't a common usage much less an unwritten rule

Enquiry = A question, most commonly used in the context of an individual asking for information from an organisation.
Inquiry = A formal investigation.
Both terms are in common usage here in Oz, OTOH I have never heard of "fettling".

Re:Jail time (2)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775690)

And serious corruption in the Met police (in the UK the Met handles some serious crimes that the FBI does in the USA - they are not just the London local police force)

Re:Jail time (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776973)

Equine action could work. England hasn't drawn an quartered anybody in a while...

For a very tiny value of huge. (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775550)

Huge!

Re:For a very tiny value of huge. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38778223)

Yeah, "multi million" divided by 37 isn't an awful lot to a Murdoch.

Mr. Murdoch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775558)

....while Mr. Murdoch made a personal donation of 1 million pounds to charities chosen by her family.

Not good enough.

I would have demanded that Mr. Murdoch give free ads and endorse the Alliance for Green Socialism and the Alliance for Workers' Liberty.

If this happened in the States, I would have demanded that he order Fox and Friends to say nothing bad about the Democrats or Obama, just bite the fucking bullet and hire strippers instead of pseudo intellectual failed models, and hire Jesse Ventura to SMACK down Hannity while screaming "Ron Reagan was not a conservative, you big fat dumb-ass!!!"

That's FOX UNDO UNDO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775568)

That's FOX UNDO UNDO!

A weak start (3, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775606)

The rest needs to be resolved by severe criminal penalties, jail time and the requirement that the Murdoch empire be broken up. News Corp should also lose all of its broadcast licenses world-wide.

Re:A weak start (2)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776891)

News Corp should also lose all of its broadcast licenses world-wide.

That would be too much like actual justice. Corporations have the rights of citizens but none of the actual responsibilities if they break the law.

Re:A weak start (1, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#38777977)

Put a 100K people out of work because a few executives broke the law, yeah that's actual justice!

Re:A weak start (2)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38778049)

Put a 100K people out of work because a few executives broke the law, yeah that's actual justice!

If you believe in the free market, then believe another news organization would form to take their place. That's the problem with treating corporations like people. If you want to give them collective rights, then the people who work there have to accept collective responsibility.

Your way they get the rights, but no consequences.

Re:A weak start (2)

Renraku (518261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779673)

But the very problem with corporations is that they want to be treated like people when it benefits them, and they want to be faceless hoards when it benefits them. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

We have to decide, now, what a corporation is. We need strict definitions. We need to decide if we want to pierce the corporate veil and go after the people that ordered it, the people that carried it out, the whole corporation, upper management, or any combination of the above. If we do nothing, the corporations will continue to expand their powers. Before long, we won't be able to do anything at all, because they'll own the government.

Re:A weak start (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783317)

Before long, we won't be able to do anything at all, because they'll own the government.

Thank you. You just reminded me of a painting I saw about twenty years ago and completely lost track of. I think it was called "The Death of Sisyphus", but I can't find it to verify.

It was a painting of a man being held down on a bed on his back by one woman, while another woman prepared to take a knife to his throat. Both women show no emotion whatever, concentrating only on the job at hand. The man is wide-eyed with horror, knowing he's about to meet his doom.

Seems a fitting end for News Corp.

Re:A weak start (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38789679)

But the very problem with corporations is that they want to be treated like people when it benefits them, and they want to be faceless hoards when it benefits them. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

We have to decide, now, what a corporation is. We need strict definitions. We need to decide if we want to pierce the corporate veil and go after the people that ordered it, the people that carried it out, the whole corporation, upper management, or any combination of the above. If we do nothing, the corporations will continue to expand their powers. Before long, we won't be able to do anything at all, because they'll own the government.

No, if they can find any proof that individuals did something wrong, the fact that they were working for a corporation doesn't protect them.

Re:A weak start (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#38780169)

If you believe in the free market, then believe another news organization would form to take their place.

Free market would work a lot better if people stopped having semireligious faith in it. "Believe in the free market and everything will work out" is similar kind of statement than "believe in a shipping firm and you don't need insurance".

That's the problem with treating corporations like people. If you want to give them collective rights, then the people who work there have to accept collective responsibility.

The people who work in a corporation do not have any collective rights related to it. The people who own it do. Unless you're talking about some kind of commune, these are not the same group.

Of course, this also leads to an easy solution: remove ownership and all control of the company from its current owners and put the stocks on sale. And fire the top-level execs.

And this is the same company that runs FoxNews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775622)

What does that tell you? What do you think their coverage will be?

I'd refuse the money in exchange for them publishing an on-air apology on my terms.

Re:And this is the same company that runs FoxNews (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38778195)

And publicly admitting guilt. One thing about corporate out of court settlements is the "no admission of guilt" they get the victims to sign. No, for once I want to see a corporation that settles admit their wrong.

Nice start. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775680)

Now, take the Murdochs and the rest of the officers of the company, put em in prison for life after taking away all of their money. Also take all money from the corporation as well. Disperse it in equal parts to the people of the country the corporation is registered in.

Bleed em dry, let em rot in prison for life.

Re:Nice start. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776317)

Now, take the Murdochs and the rest of the officers of the company, put em in prison for life after taking away all of their money. Also take all money from the corporation as well. Disperse it in equal parts to the people of the country the corporation is registered in.

Bleed em dry, let em rot in prison for life.

Yes, because that type of action by governments has always worked out so well in the past. It's truly astounding how those "slippery slopes" apparently only go in one direction in your mind.

Re:Nice start. (2)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776907)

It's truly astounding how those "slippery slopes" apparently only go in one direction in your mind.

The world would be a better place without the Murdoch media empire. I'm for risking the slippery slope long enough to put that box of snakes out of business.

Re:Nice start. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38781667)

It's truly astounding how those "slippery slopes" apparently only go in one direction in your mind.

The world would be a better place without the Murdoch media empire. I'm for risking the slippery slope long enough to put that box of snakes out of business.

Well, I for one am truly tired of these motherfucking snakes in my motherfucking country.

Re:Nice start. (2)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38782107)

Be careful, that's the way it starts. As culture evolves, one group after another becomes the target, and you don't undo the prejudice against previous targets, you just add to it.

That's why it's called a slippery slope. First, it's hard to get back up it. Second, once you get moving it's hard to slow down.

We have laws in place for these things, they should be applied in this case. That's what civilized people do.

Re:Nice start. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784353)

It's truly astounding how those "slippery slopes" apparently only go in one direction in your mind.

I'm for risking the slippery slope long enough to put that box of snakes out of business.

Well I'm not. There is no "long enough" as actions like this tend to continually grow. Who decides who deserves their property seized and are imprisoned anyhow?

The following quotation seems quite relevant:

First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

-Martin Niemoller

Re:Nice start. (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784545)

In all the talk about slippery slopes, can we please keep in mind we're talking about ongoing criminal activity here. This was pervasive, ongoing and sanctioned by the highest levels in management. All those laws about illegal access to computer networks and using bogus credentials to gain access to network services...a lot of those would apply to this case.

I'm not sure why thumping News Corp, or any other corporation, for criminal activity is any kind of slippery slope.

Re:Nice start. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785817)

Now, take the Murdochs and the rest of the officers of the company, put em in prison for life after taking away all of their money. Also take all money from the corporation as well. Disperse it in equal parts to the people of the country the corporation is registered in. Bleed em dry, let em rot in prison for life.

I'm not sure why thumping News Corp, or any other corporation, for criminal activity is any kind of slippery slope.

Prosecuting someone for criminal activity to the fullest extent of the law is one thing. That is not at all what the original post I responded to was looking to do. Seizing the assets of an individual and/or corporation entirely and putting them in prison for life is a completely different matter. What was done was awful to say the least, however there are much worst crimes committed everyday that don't have maximum penalties even close to what the original post is looking for. If some unknown person was caught committing a similar crime I'd be surprised if they would get 10 years in prison.

Re:Nice start. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38790119)

So you're equating the Murdoch empire with a repressed minority being liquidated by an evil fascist government? You need a reality check.

Re:Nice start. (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783595)

Yes, because that type of action by governments has always worked out so well in the past.

What's the gov't have to do with this? This is society and righteous indignation, kind of like Atticus Finch shooting a rabid dog. That's a perfectly acceptable thing for a gov't to be doing.

"News Corp., that is unacceptable behaviour. Eat lead."

Re:Nice start. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785851)

Yes, because that type of action by governments has always worked out so well in the past.

What's the gov't have to do with this? This is society and righteous indignation, kind of like Atticus Finch shooting a rabid dog. That's a perfectly acceptable thing for a gov't to be doing.

"News Corp., that is unacceptable behaviour. Eat lead."

Apparently we have much different ideas of what "society" is.

Re:Nice start. (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38786215)

Apparently we have much different ideas of what "society" is.

Apparently. I believe rabinous dogs should be put out of their misery (shot on sight). Are you suggesting the rabies virus should be left alone with its right to exist as just yet another living entity?

News Corp./Murdochs are doing bad stuff. They're not acting like a news provider I'd like to support, if they're hacking into dead children's cell-phones just to sell more newspapers. I think Rupert has displayed an egregious lack of morality/civility, over the course of years if not decades, just to make cash. I'm a libertarian capitalist, and that kind of behaviour offends me, to the bone!

You disagree?

Re:Nice start. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38805591)

Apparently we have much different ideas of what "society" is.

Apparently. I believe rabinous dogs should be put out of their misery (shot on sight). Are you suggesting the rabies virus should be left alone with its right to exist as just yet another living entity?

WTF does a rabid canine have to do with this? That's an insane leap of logic. It makes about as much sense as me saying someone who doesn't agree with my point of view is like a cow with mad cow disease. They both must be shot on site. You wouldn't serve an infected steak to your family would you?

News Corp./Murdochs are doing bad stuff. They're not acting like a news provider I'd like to support, if they're hacking into dead children's cell-phones just to sell more newspapers.

I agree, they are not acting like a company I'd like to support either. That means I don't support them by... Not purchasing their products. It doesn't mean that they should be shot on site, or be stripped of all worldly possessions and imprisoned for life. I find what they did appalling. I find what you are suggesting full-on-bat-shit-crazy. It still doesn't make me feel that you should be shot. I simply do not agree with you.

I think Rupert has displayed an egregious lack of morality/civility, over the course of years if not decades, just to make cash. I'm a libertarian capitalist, and that kind of behaviour offends me, to the bone!

You disagree?

I find what has been done in this case to be disgusting, and am offended to the bone as well. It still does not make me wish to suspend my civility or my morality. However I find murderers, rapists, and child molesters to be much more deserving of the actions you suggest than anyone involved in this case. Should everyone involved in this be punished? You bet your ass. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Am I willing to take civilization back to the dark ages? Hell no.

Re:Nice start. (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811087)

WTF does a rabid canine have to do with this?

I believe that was a reply relating to the scene in "To Kill a Mockingbird" where Atticus shoots a rabid dog walking down the street.

Perhaps it was a bit of a non sequitur. I have a bad habit of speaking/writing metaphorically, and lots of people (like yourself) take it literally. I can be pretty good at insane leaps of logic. :-(

My mistake. I don't really have a vigilante bone in my body and certainly am not advocating the Murdochs be hunted down like rabid dogs. I'd be satisfied seeing them pushing a shopping cart containing the last of their worldly possessions.

Re:Nice start. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811763)

No worries, I've been known to do the same. That's one of the unfortunate things about /. and the internet in general. It's very difficult to show implied emotion/meaning in type. It makes it even harder when a thread can go on for hours or days in what would amount to a 30 second conversation.

To Kill a Mockingbird was a great book(and a decent movie) by the way. Atticus was one hell of a character for all fathers to aspire to be.

Re:Nice start. (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812377)

To Kill a Mockingbird was a great book(and a decent movie) by the way.

If you never have, I strongly recommend reading the Wikipedia article. [wikipedia.org]

I think I've read and re-read that book more than any other. Why Harper Lee didn't write more astonishes me. Perhaps she just knew there was no way to top it. Quit while you're ahead, I guess.

Re:Nice start. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38789691)

Stop with the anti-government paranoia. There are worse things than governments, and the Murdoch empire os one of them.

Absolute joke (5, Insightful)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38775714)

This so-called compensation fund doesn't even figure as pocket change to News Corp. Murdoch is a multi billionnaire ($7.6bn at FYE 2011 according to Forbes). That's his /cash/ worth, not counting his liquable assets. If he gave a Dollar out of his own pocket to every man, woman and child on Earth he would STILL BE A BILLIONNAIRE.

This is in the same league as Microsoft "complying" with compensation orders from the courts in the US by issuing *vouchers for discounts on its own software*.

The consumer is still getting bent over and dryfucked, but legally.

Re:Absolute joke (2)

vencs (1937504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776091)

While the act is a mere eyewash, complaining Mr. Murdoch still being a bn'aire is not sound in judgement.
For example, his transferring of all his $s to all the poor in the world does not make him clean.
This is a purely legal/political move which would give them at least some sort of bragging rights
on their vast broadcasting arena to change peoples' perception (even by a bit) to their benefit.

Re:Absolute joke (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779151)

In this case he only pays a percentage of the fine even though he is the root cause of the computer network hacking (a phone network is a computer network and that is a criminal offence in all countries concerned). How come a whole bunch of innocent investors get to bear the brunt of the fine and penalties.

Why isn't the investment team specifically targeted, why aren't their assets specifically targeted, why aren't they in jail awaiting arrest.

Just compare what is going on with Mega-upload (which mass media is currently waging a huge guilty by accusation marketing event) which is basically a civil action distorted into a criminal action versus News Corporation (which mass media is largely silent on by basis of cartel like collusion) which is basically a criminal action distorted into a civil action.

Just what the hell is going on, a completely public display of bias in the courts and criminal prosecution, one prosecution feed by mass media and another prosecution being whittled down to nothing by mass media. It would seem all mass media organisation need to be broken up for criminal corruption and collusion.

Re:Absolute joke (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779353)

I'm sorry, are we not aware of the consolidation of global mass media to a pretty much a monolithic group of fewer than two dozen mega-corporations? Add to the fact that print, video, recording and film media have their unified consortia and you're surprised that they march in lock step? Its all the same people. You hear what they want, when they want, and nobody talks about whatever they want to remain out of the public eye or ear. The internet is the last rodeo in town and you best believe they're going after it like their lives depend on it. Checkmate in 4 moves... WAKE UP!!!

Didn't read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775743)

/. seems to be page loading faster

Where Are We? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775767)

I'd have a much higher opinion of my fellow vigilantes if instead of launching DDOS attacks against sites that the public never visit* they obtained incriminating evidence against their targets. They are supposed to be hackers, aren't they? Why aren't I hearing about leaked emails detailing how Murdoch himself knew about these crimes or how the *AA have been screwing over the people they claim to represent?

*Bringing down the RIAA site seems completely pointless when Joe Public would never see it anyway.

Only Britain? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775775)

We only hear about this phone hacking scandal happening in Britain, but why not anywhere else? It's at least imaginable that other News Corp operations were going by the same playbook. Or that if it was so technically easy that even News Corp reporters could do it, couldn't something similar have been done by someone else in other countries, but we just don't know about it yet?

Re:Only Britain? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776193)

They were in bed with the police in the UK. They might have liked the idea elsewhere, but you need to find a police force that will knowingly go along with it, and that might be harder to find.

They're in bed with the government in the US (1)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38777277)

Newscorp has hired many presidential candidates and former GOP congressmen. They've donated millions to republican causes. It won't get investigated in the US.

Re:Only Britain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38776465)

We only hear about this phone hacking scandal happening in Britain, but why not anywhere else?

Maybe I'm being too cynical, but might it have something to do with Murdoch owning Fox? He doesn't own Sky yet and it looks now as though he never will (thank God).

Murdoch is a swine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38775789)

Actually, that insults pigs to call Murdoch a swine.

Let me say instead that Murdoch is a subhuman piece of shit.

Re:Murdoch is a swine (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779369)

I beg your pardon, feces form the base of fertilizing thousands of fields around the world!!! Shit serves a useful purpose. I challenge you to find a single useful purpose for Mr. Murdoch! Now if you were to plow his sorry ass into a rice paddy, then I would wholeheartedly agree on calling him shit.

Voice mail Service Phone slaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38776075)

I only wonder if that 3rd party voice mail service added to my AT&T bill without my permission is somehow linked?
No wonder they can't stop 3rd party from adding bullshit to your bill.

Murdoch is such a hypocrite (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38776105)

Murdoch: Baww people are stealing my IP!!!
The people: What about the "IP" you stole from those peoples voice mail? Shouldn't you be jailed for that longer than a few anons who ran LOIC and got a year in the fed pen?
Murdoch: Uh, no. *buys way out of trouble*

I think it would be awesome if some of his victims came after him using IP laws, and try to get the same conspiracy laws applied to him that are being thrown at the megaupload crowd right now.

John Prescott and State Secrets (2)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38776493)

One of the points mentioned in the news coverage over here was that John Prescott had high security clearance in his position as deputy prime minister, so the "hackers" could have gained access to significant secrets. Am I the only one that finds this worrying? Why was The Right Honourable Bumbling Hypocrite of Hull given any access to supposedly secure information when he wasn't even capable of setting a pin on his voicemail?! Why would anyone else leave such information in voicemail anyway? I'm hoping this is just Prescott's camp trying to big up him and the charges against Murdoch rather than a sign of how shite our intelligence services are...

Re:John Prescott and State Secrets (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38777357)

One of the points mentioned in the news coverage over here was that John Prescott had high security clearance in his position as deputy prime minister, so the "hackers" could have gained access to significant secrets. Am I the only one that finds this worrying? Why was The Right Honourable Bumbling Hypocrite of Hull given any access to supposedly secure information when he wasn't even capable of setting a pin on his voicemail?! Why would anyone else leave such information in voicemail anyway? I'm hoping this is just Prescott's camp trying to big up him and the charges against Murdoch rather than a sign of how shite our intelligence services are...

Someone did explain the security procedures to John Prescott? If not, then it is a failure of the secret service for not ensuring that each person with security clearance X has been informed of the security measures needed for that level of security.

Re:John Prescott and State Secrets (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38777823)

Exactly. If what they are trying to imply was remotely possible, then someone somewhere is guilty of a gross display of incompetence. A massive due diligence failure on his part, or the relevant agency's part, or both. Either that or there was no significant risk and mentioning the possibility was somewhere between "a bit of spin" and "complete bull fodder".

Re:John Prescott and State Secrets (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784271)

Someone did explain the security procedures to John Prescott? If not, then it is a failure of the secret service for not ensuring that each person with security clearance X has been informed of the security measures needed for that level of security.

You do realize that people like this are placed into such positions of trust precisely because they are assumed to be of a higher calibre than your average Joe Schmoe on the street, yes?

Huh. I wonder why that's not working. Perhaps that should be looked into.

[Your .sig: You're complaining about a lack of of a RTE, yet still using Roman Numerals?!? :-O]

Re:John Prescott and State Secrets (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38787129)

Someone did explain the security procedures to John Prescott? If not, then it is a failure of the secret service for not ensuring that each person with security clearance X has been informed of the security measures needed for that level of security.

You do realize that people like this are placed into such positions of trust precisely because they are assumed to be of a higher calibre than your average Joe Schmoe on the street, yes?

Huh. I wonder why that's not working. Perhaps that should be looked into.

[Your .sig: You're complaining about a lack of of a RTE, yet still using Roman Numerals?!? :-O]

Callibre does not mean experience. I am sure I am qualified to learn the job of a plumber and be a quite decent plumber myself, but until someone tells me how I will not know a thing about plumbing. So, taking anyone without an intelligence background and expecting that he already knows the security procedures is, at best, wildly optimistic...

Re:John Prescott and State Secrets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38777641)

Originally most cracks were the default Voicemail PINs that networks setup but some time in the early 2000s all networks switched to a method that forced a new PIN if you retrieved voicemail from the non-destination handset. News International at this point were brute forcing them (4 digit, not too much of an issue when the payoff is so high) as far as I can work out.

Re:John Prescott and State Secrets (1)

ommerson (1485487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38779879)

You think that brute-forcing voicemail PINs would be rather easy to spot - although they likely to have been plenty of weak PINs which were easily guessable with publicly available information.

Re:John Prescott and State Secrets (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785675)

[You'd] think that brute-forcing voicemail PINs would be rather easy to spot ...

Yeah, it would have been, if anyone had bothered to look at the logs. Doh!

#!/bin/sh
for f in "0000 - 9999"; do #untested! I'm feeling lazy atm. "man sh"!
      $yada $f # "yada" == "wardial"? Guessing ...
done

What's that going to take, time-wise, on current hardware? Two, maybe three seconds? Sometimes, I really hate some of the people I share a planet with, and I'm not talking about the Murdochs here. :-| The admins at that cell-phone co. should be strung up, or nailed to a cross, ... or something.

Their managers/"nominal superiors" should be herded out back to be shot on the spot.

Re:John Prescott and State Secrets (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38790235)

Sometimes, I really hate some of the people I share a planet with, and I'm not talking about the Murdochs here. :-| The admins at that cell-phone co. should be strung up, or nailed to a cross, ... or something.

Their managers/"nominal superiors" should be herded out back to be shot on the spot.

What the Murdoch scum did was much worse than that. Hacking into the voicemail account of a missing murdered schoolgirl is about on a moral level with child rape, so the perpetrators should receive similar punishments. If jailing Daddy and Junior Murdoch and a few more highly placed executives results in the implosion and extinction of NewsCorp, that's just too bad.

But it's being done on a daily basis (1)

Boona (1795684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38781337)

I wish people would get this riled up when people in government did the very same thing. It's too bad we don't hold up individuals in public positions to the same moral standards as individuals in private positions.

Re:But it's being done on a daily basis (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785891)

It's too bad we don't hold up individuals in public positions to the same moral standards as individuals in private positions.

Who's this "we" you speak of, Kemosabi? Sweeping generalizations are always bad! :-)

You're supposing facts which are not in evidence. I hate all these bastards; private, corporate, gov't, wherever! Incompetence and corruption distresses me no end, regardless of which realm in which it originates.

I still think the Spartans got it right. The defective ones should go over the cliff. It's for the good of the gene pool.

Re:But it's being done on a daily basis (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38790315)

I still think the Spartans got it right. The defective ones should go over the cliff. It's for the good of the gene pool.

But from a capitalist perspective, the Murdochs aren't defective at all, in fact they're rather good at placing profit above any other consideration..

Re:But it's being done on a daily basis (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38792147)

But from a capitalist perspective, the Murdochs aren't defective at all, in fact they're rather good at placing profit above any other consideration..

This doesn't have anything to do with capitalism. I expect Bernie Madoff believes himself to be a capitalist too. Doesn't mean it's true. An idea's not responsible for those who hold it.

Capitalism relates to economics and politics. Ethics and morality only come into it when we desire repeat business. Businesses don't tend to do ethics and morality all that well natively, which is why we invented Public Relations departments.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in News Corp.'s PR department right now. That would be quite entertaining. Those folks sure have their work cut out for them.

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