Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rupert's Raiders

In my post The Silence of the Intellectual (6/9/11), I took Robert Manne to task for failing, in his critique of Murdoch's Australian in The Monthly Essay, to focus on the paper's extraordinary and unremitting support for the state of Israel.

It now transpires that Murdoch not only employs its dupes as journalists and gives its propagandists free run of the opinion pages, but he's even got its intelligence operatives helping out at the office:

"A secret unit within Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation promoted a wave of high-tech piracy in Australia that damaged Austar, Optus and Foxtel at a time when News was moving to take control of the Australian pay TV industry. The piracy cost the Australian pay TV companies up to $50 million a year and helped cripple the finances of Austar, which Foxtel is now in the process of acquiring. A four-year investigation by The Australian Financial Review has revealed a global trail of corporate dirty tricks directed against competitors by a secretive group of former policemen and intelligence officers within News Corp known as Operational Security... The issue is particularly sensitive because Operational Security, which is headed by Reuven Hasak, a former deputy director of the Israeli domestic secret service, Shin Bet, operates in an area which historically has had close supervision by the Office of the Chairman, Rupert Murdoch. The security group was initially set up in a News Corp subsidiary, News Datacom Systems (later known as NDS), to battle internal fraud and to target piracy against its own pay TV companies. But documents uncovered by the Financial Review reveal that NDS encouraged and facilitated piracy by hackers not only of its competitors but also of companies, such as Foxtel, for whom NDS sabotaged business rivals, fabricated legal actions and obtained telephone records illegally... Covert operations in Australia were directed by the head of Operational Security for Asia Pacific, Avigail Gutman. At the time Gutman was based in Taiwan, where her husband Uri Gutman was the Israeli consul, before she was promoted to be a Group Leader based in Jerusalem." (Pay TV piracy hits News, Neil Chenoweth,, 28/3/12)


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine worked as a technician for pay TV operator Austar who were well aware of a major scam operation directed against them using what they called "cloned cards".

It cost Austar millions to combat this well organised and complex dirty tricks campaign. Now Rupert Murdoch and his discredited company is attempting to take over Austar.

I hope police in Australia and Britain fully investigate and prosecute all those involved, without fear, favour or interference from sympathetic and corrupt politicians.

Peter D said...

I remember when Lachlan came back from the States some time after the 2003 attack on Iraq, apparently giving up the dream of one day taking over the reins of News International, for the more modest dream of a quiet life with his family in Australia. I remember lefties like Roy Slaven saw it as a vote of no confidence in his father's warmongering ways, but it seemed to me it ran deeper than that - it looked more like pre-emptive damage control to me, so that if, say, the truth about what went down on 9/11 were to come out and cause a colossal shitstorm, as it would if it did, or merely if the attack on Iraq became widely recognised for what it was - a heinous act of genocide - the Murdoch dynasty might not be fatally wounded by it all. Lachlan, with his freshly washed hands, would be left to pick up the pieces.

I say all this because it would be hilarious indeed if the wheels were to fall off the Murdoch juggernaut due to it being outed for the routine corrupt activities it engages in, rather than the extraordinary criminal activities it has become involved with.

I await further developments with great interest.