By Colin Mann
Rupert Murdoch has hit back at reports that a News Corporation subsidiary was allegedly involved in piracy, undermining competitors within the nascent Australian pay-TV industry.
The News Corp chief has used Twitter, accusing rival publications of “lies and libels” after the Australian Financial Review reported that Operational Security, established within News subsidiary *** in the mid-1990s, encouraged and facilitated piracy, sabotaged business rivals, fabricated legal actions and obtained telephone records illegally.
The Australian Financial Review alleged the operation cracked the codes of legitimate customers’ smartcards and then sold access on the blackmarket.
“Seems every competitor and enemy piling on with lies and libels,” Murdoch tweeted. “So bad, easy to hit back hard, which [I/ News Corporation] is preparing.”
“Enemies [with] many different agendas, but worst old toffs and right wingers who still want last century’s status quo with their monopolies.
“Let’s have it on! Choice, freedom of thought and markets, individual personal responsibility.”
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has suggested that evidence of criminal behaviour by News Corporation should be referred by the publication to police. ”If there’s anything in there that he (the AFR journalist) thinks constitutes criminal conduct, he should refer it to the federal police,” the minister told reporters in Sydney.
The government had not referred anything to police, Conroy confirmed.
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