We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Contact Forum Editor

Send an email to our Forum Editor:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the Forum Editor know who sent the message. Both your name and email address will not be used for any other purpose.

Speakers Corner


It's free to register, to post a question or to start / join a discussion


 

Sky News Admit Hacking


morddwyd

Likes # 0

Sky news has admitted hacking e-mails, and quotes poblic interest.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17628600

Although it's not in the link, according to the BBC News last night evidence obtained in this way had been used in the case to help secure a conviction.

Regardless of Sky News action (though one wonders why they have not been prosecuted for this illegal act), when did UK courts start admitting evidence which has been obtained by illegal means, or evidence which was led to by illegal means?

Why do the police bother to obtain search warrants, and how long before, when a warrant is refused, police ask a friendly "investigative" journalist to do the job for them?

Public interest or not, at the moment illegally obtained evidence, and even some legally obtained evidence, such as wire taps, is not permitted, so is this another instance of News International being cosied up to?

Like this post
johndrew

Likes # 0

romanby1

I don't disagree on the volume, but are you supporting the actions by Sky and some newspapers?

Like this post
proudfoot

Likes # 0

johndrew. What do you mean "I don't disagree on the volume,". I am certainly not supporting Sky and the Press. Hacking is illegal. But there is a legal point. Illegally obtained evidence is inadmissable in support or defence in a trial. I did make the point that I felt the verdict in this case was the right one.

Like this post
johndrew

Likes # 0

romanby1

What do you mean "I don't disagree on the volume,

You said, "There are so many emails twitters etc floating around the ether most of which are spam it will be almost impossible to gather any useful data.".

Like this post
proudfoot

Likes # 0

I still do not understand your quote about volume. There is an enormous amount of rubbish on the internet etc. The government have said they are only interested in "Who is talking to who" and not the detail of what is being said by the likes of you and me. This I do not believe, that may be the case now, but this type of legislation has a habit of being mis-used, eg The Terrorism Act. That was being used to snoop and charge householders with putting their bins out on the wrong day as an example.

Like this post
bremner

Likes # 0

Romanyby1

The Terrorism Act is not used by councils to snoop on people putting their bins out.

The legislation they use is The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which regulates all surveillace undertaken by public authorities in this country.

Like this post
proudfoot

Likes # 0

I stand corrected, but that instance was a sledge hammer to crack a nut. There were cases that were taken to court which probably were errors of judgment and a complete waste of public funds. A simple letter would have sufficed.

Like this post
Forum Editor

Likes # 0

johndrew

"I doubt there is a 'Public interest defence' as there is no allowance for such action in the law as written."

That's correct, but it isn't the governing factor. A jury may accept a defence that disclosure of interest was in the public interest, and therefore acquit - it's happened many times. A trial judge may advise the jury, but he/she cannot prohibit it from accepting a public interest defence.

In essence a public interest defence is a defence which allows a defendant who disclosed information to avoid criminality, if he can establish that the public interest in disclosure of the information outweighs the public interest in non-disclosure.

The press is very much a special case here, because there are undoubtedly situations when it is quite plainly in the public interest for information that was obtained illegally to be made public. You don't have to think too hard to imagine such instances, and it's clearly wrong for acts against the public interest to remain hidden, simply because an anomaly in the law prevents investigative journalists from obtaining corroborative evidence.

Like this post
Forum Editor

Likes # 0

morddwyd

"If it was obtained illegally, it is not admissible, no matter how irrefutable. That's the current law. It cannot be placed before a jury, and if it is it must be ignored."

I'm afraid you're wrong. It's up to a trial judge to decide whether or not such evidence is admissible, and there are numerous cases on record where illegally obtained evidence has been admitted by judges.

The decision whether or not to exclude illegally obtained evidence centres on fairness. I suggest you research the case of Regina V Sang (1980) - it's the precedent usually cited in these admissibility discussions.

Like this post
johndrew

Likes # 0

Forum Editor

As I understand your statement, what you are suggesting is that a Judge may ignore Statute and apply a ruling considered suitable by the Court.

Such an action is contrary to Law. A Judge may work within statute depending upon circumstances existing at the time to provide a decision based on those circumstances. But the Judge is required to work within the statute, thus if an offence is absolute - in other words not defence is permitted by Law - or has no defence built into it (such as a Pubic Interest clause) then it is not possible to do other than find guilty and apply the penalty if evidence of the offence is present.

In the case of 'hacking' there is no Public Interest clause provided to be used as a defence and any decision by a Judge using such a defence could not be applied. I would also suggest that anyone authorising 'hacking' is guilty of the offence in the same way and could not be used by a defendant as an excuse for their actions either.

Like this post
bremner

Likes # 0

johndrew

What you say is not totally accurate, our legal system is based on precedent; interpretation of statutes made by courts i.e. Judges

Legal precedent

Like this post

Reply to this topic

This thread has been locked.



IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Alpha vs iPhone 5S comparison review: Metal smartphones fight

IDG UK Sites

Gateway to your kingdom: why everybody should check and update their broadband router

IDG UK Sites

Fonts review

IDG UK Sites

Best Mac? Complete Apple Mac buyers guide for 2014