Feeds

'Wilful blindness? We've heard of it,' says Murdoch

Table-banging biz tyrant and son grilled by MPs

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A "humbled" Rupert Murdoch appeared before a committee of MPs this afternoon as a witness on the phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed the News Corp boss' media empire.

The committee's chair, John Whittingdale, denied James Murdoch the opportunity to read from a written statement; the younger Murdoch is the deputy COO at his father's firm.

Questioning then quickly turned to 80-year-old Murdoch, who was heavily grilled by Labour MP Tom Watson.

Murdoch's response was often punctuated with silence. He said: "This is the most humble day of my life."

News Corp's sister company News International published the now-defunct News of the World tabloid – which was shuttered earlier this month after it came to light that phone-hacking was alleged to have been widespread at the newspaper.

Watson asked Murdoch if it was true that his organisation had a zero tolerance to wrongdoing. The media tycoon answered "Yes".

Murdoch claimed not to know who had lied to him and acknowledged that he had been misled over phone-hacking at News International.

Murdoch told Watson he didn't know anything about former NI CEO and erstwhile NotW editor Rebekah Brooks' confirmation to the media committee in 2003 that the newspaper had made payments to police.

He said he only learned of it later, and admitted it wasn't investigated at the time.

"I didn't know of it," he said, before adding, while repeatedly banging on the desk, that the now-dead tabloid accounted for just 1 per cent of his company.

During the original police investigation, which led to the successful prosecution of NotW royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in 2007, Murdoch told Watson that Les Hinton informed him of the matter.

The MP, after grilling Murdoch over phone-hacking compensation payments made to individuals, asked if the crime alleged to have been committed at News International was "endemic".

"Endemic is a very wide-ranging word; I also have be extremely careful not to prejudice the current case," replied Murdoch.

"I was absolutely shocked, appalled and ashamed when I heard about the Milly Dowler case," he added.

Watson then pointed to an earlier parliamentary meeting with NI execs, in which the MPs at the time concluded that there was a "collective amnesia" among those company bosses.

"You're not saying amnesia, you're really saying lies," retorted Murdoch.

Watson then asked Murdoch if the News Corp boss knew that News International's original line was that only "one rogue reporter" had been responsible for the phone-hacking allegations at the firm as of January 2011.

"I forget the date," responded the media mogul.

Watson said it was "revealing in itself what he [Murdoch] doesn't know," about the corporate governance of his own company.

Later in the grilling, James Murdoch was asked if he was aware of the term "wilful blindness".

He said he wasn't, his father then interjected by saying he had heard of the phrase before adding: "We have never been guilty of that." ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.