Feeds

NDS says Beeb's Panorama emails were 'manipulated'

Look! They moved the 'To' line up one!

Top three mobile application threats

TV crypto company NDS says the BBC misled viewers in a Panorama investigation broadcast on Monday. The former Murdoch company, which was acquired by Cisco earlier this month, has released what it says are the original emails.

The Beeb alleged that NDS gave a "hacker honeypot" website named Thoic access codes that could be used in counterfeit smart cards to view channels offered by pay-TV firm ONdigital without paying for them. ONdigital, which folded in 2002, was a rival to the Murdoch empire's Sky television business. It has been suggested that piracy of ONdigital's content contributed to its downfall, benefiting Sky.

Monday's BBC programme relied on fresh claims by former Thoic operator Lee Gibling and emails obtained from the hard drive of former London police commander Ray Adams, who was head of security at NDS in 2002. Gibling was retained by NDS as a paid informant.

Now NDS says that the BBC reversed the subject line ("4u") and recipient line ("radams@ndsuk.com") to give the misleading impression that Adams was forwarding a link to the pirate website, rather than receiving one.

What the BBC broadcast

What NDS says was actually sent

In another email, the BBC omitted headers and formatting information that showed the message was an internal one between NDS employees forwarding an external Usenet posting.

What the BBC broadcast

What NDS says was actually sent

The emails were copied from Adams' hard drive after he left NDS in 2002. In a press statement NDS said it is possible the messages were tampered with before Panorama obtained them – but it was the duty of the broadcaster to convey accurate information.

“The fact that you relied on manipulated email chains, without checking their authenticity with us prior to broadcast, demonstrates a flagrant disregard to the BBC’s broadcasting code, misleading viewers and inciting widespread misreporting,” said NDS.

The BBC is obliged by its charter to be impartial, even when reporting on business rivals like the Murdoch companies.

For its part, the Beeb issued a statement saying:

We stand by the Panorama investigation. We have received NDS's correspondence and are aware of News Corp's rejection of Panorama's revelations. However, the emails shown in the programme were not manipulated, as NDS claims, and nothing in the correspondence undermines the evidence presented in the programme.

There are good reasons to think that ONdigital/ITV digital would have folded in 2002 even if there hadn't been a single pirate smartcard able to access its channels. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
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
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.