Feeds

BBC investigates Richard Madeley's PC panic attack

Locked in basement, awaiting Mandygeddon

Application security programs and practises

The BBC tells us it is to investigate how Richard Madeley told the nation that the Government was going to whisk away his computer last week.

The segment on Monday's Simon Mayo drive time heard Madeley, who is filling in for Mayo, say: "What a pain! I only got computer literate three years ago, just as I get wised up to it, they take it away."

We don't yet know how many car accidents were caused by the news of mass confiscations.

Madeley was following a segment of the show about the Digital Economy Bill (now Act). The sole 'expert' was Professor Lilian Edwards. Edwards was simply billed as "a Professor of Law" at Sheffield University.

Edwards made some curious statements about "disconnections" (not mentioned in the Act) and how libraries might have to put passwords on their PCs. Libraries already operate a pretty strict lock-down regime: requiring password authentication, firewalls, and prohibiting the installation of Third Party software. But she insisted: "Even if you do password protect it, policing it may get very expensive."

The impartial Lilian Edwards

Even this didn't raise any suspicions amongst the show's presenters. But then, why would it - Edwards was an unbiased expert.

Asked why some Twitterers were upset about the Bill, Edwards replied: "I've been thinking about this. It's a hard thing to say on a music station, but the House of Commons thinks most important thing here is the music industry - which is of course important - but these people think the most important thing is the future of the internet, and I tend to agree with them."

The problem for Radio 2 is that the show breached the Corporations' editorial guidelines. Edwards is a member of the Open Rights Group's Advisory Council, and she relentlessly blogs about the coming armageddon - not always accurately - here. As an ORG advisor her duties include to "Fundraise and/or make fundraising introductions" and "Be available for media contact if required".

By failing to declare Edwards' partisan affiliations, the show fell foul of the guideline, which states:

...we should not automatically assume that academics and journalists from other organisations are impartial and make it clear to our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint

"We are aware of the issues you have raised with us and are currently looking into the matter," a spokesperson told us on Friday.

It's amazing what the title 'Professor' can do. If you can find the right production staff, you can get away with anything. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.