Feeds

BBC investigates Richard Madeley's PC panic attack

Locked in basement, awaiting Mandygeddon

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.