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News Corp. Pays Out For Voicemail Hacking Victims 99

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-unring-that-bell dept.
New submitter SandmanWAIX sends this excerpt from ABC.net.au: "Rupert Murdoch's media empire has made huge payouts to 37 phone-hacking victims, including actor Jude Law, singer Danii Minogue, and former British deputy prime minister John Prescott, their lawyers said. ... The company has set up a multi-million-pound compensation scheme for victims of phone hacking in a bid to avoid further costly civil lawsuits. ... It has also made a payout of 2 million pounds to the family of murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler, while Mr. Murdoch made a personal donation of 1 million pounds to charities chosen by her family.'"
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News Corp. Pays Out For Voicemail Hacking Victims

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  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@b ... h u d s o n .com> on Saturday January 21, 2012 @01:48PM (#38775478) Journal

    Mr. Murdoch made a personal donation of 1 million pounds to charities chosen by her family

    ... and he gets a tax deduction!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Mr. Murdoch made a personal donation of 1 million pounds to charities chosen by her family

      ... and he gets a tax deduction!

      His accountants let him pay tax???

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yup, how many voicemail accounts do you think a non-billionaire could hack before spending some serious time in a FPMITAP?
      I'm betting it's well under 37.

    • ... and he gets a tax deduction!

      So? You'd prefer companies did not get a deduction for giving to charity?

      • by dkf (304284)

        So? You'd prefer companies did not get a deduction for giving to charity?

        Yes. Far better for the charity to be able to claim the tax back, as that ensures that it goes to a (presumably) deserving cause.

        <sarcasm> After all, we know that the company would otherwise use the tax deduction to give more to charity, right? </sarcasm>

        • Tax deductions are incentives. If it didn't exist, companies would give much less to charity, yes. So I don't see how removing the deduction is a good thing.

          • by ultranova (717540)

            ax deductions are incentives. If it didn't exist, companies would give much less to charity, yes. So I don't see how removing the deduction is a good thing.

            It simplifies tax code while allowing the government to rise more taxes, thus better funding social security and foreign aid, thus lessening the need for charity. Everyone wins, except the people looking for loopholes to decrease their overall payout.

            Also, in this particular case, Murdoch is basically trying to make himself look good by doing nothing.

            • It simplifies tax code

              Hardly. You're talking about 1 provision out of hundreds, if not thousands.

              allowing the government to rise more taxes

              Many ways to do that without crippling charity donations, which would be the result. Companies would not give to charity *at all* if it was not a tax deduction, and they have many other ways of reducing tax. Charity donations is not the only thing that reduces company tax. They'll just do it another way.

              thus better funding social security and foreign aid, thus lessening the need for charity.

              Charities do a lot more than is covered by social security. Social security does not run the Make a Wish foundation, or give money t

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I'd like ALL charity to be non-deductable, and not just corporations but living people as well. I never take a charity deduction, a tax dodge is NOT charity, even if it helps someone.

        • I never take a charity deduction

          That's easy to say, you probably give $50 here and there, not $thousands. I imagine if you gave $1000 to charity you would like a deduction.

          If you remove the tax incentive for charities, large donations from companies would simply dry up. Explain to me why a company would give to charity if it is an expense without any benefit to the company? If you think they would, you're not being realistic.

          Sure, individuals would still give their $50 or $100 a year to charities they like, that's a drop in the ocean comp

          • by tqk (413719)

            Explain to me why a company would give to charity if it is an expense without any benefit to the company?

            Well, for the PR value perhaps, just as they do now?

            Why do they get a tax deduction for PR efforts, anyway? Why should I care more for $vicious_multinational just because they donated cash to a worthy cause, cash that is essentially written off by the taxation regime? Good for the worthy cause, thanks, but so what if $vicious_multinational gave it to them? It didn't need it.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            That's easy to say, you probably give $50 here and there, not $thousands

            Well, I don't have $thouands, but I drop fifty in the collection plate every week, plus whatever other needs I can help fill (just helped a young poor couple yesterday). Generosity has its own reward and needs nothing extra. If I took the deducton I would miss out on the greater rewards.

            If you remove the tax incentive for charities, large donations from companies would simply dry up.

            And? There is always someone ready to step up toi the

            • If I took the deducton I would miss out on the greater rewards.

              What rewards would you miss out on exactly if you claimed the deduction? If it makes you feel bad, or detracts somewhat from the experience for you (which is perfectly fine and understandable), that is nevertheless hardly the basis on which to recommend the policy for everyone.

              there's a four inch thick book with small print at the Illinois State Library listing private donors and funding organizations, just in Illinois, with each listing offering millions.

              The doesn't prove anything. Do you really think those private donors, if they were not able to deduct their donations, would give more than a fraction of what they do now? Seriously?

              And if you think they would, what exactly makes you

              • by mcgrew (92797) *

                Charity is its own reward, and like I said, a tax dodge isn't charity. The grants were almost all nonprofit organizations set up when some incredibly rich person died; they invest, and put the earning to charity use.

                And me, I don't give nearly as much as I should.

                • like I said, a tax dodge isn't charity

                  If you do the math it is. eg:
                  Earnings = $1m
                  Tax on that: $300k (30% for arguments sake)
                  Deducible Donations = $50,000 (given to charity)
                  Earnings minus Donations = $950k
                  Tax on that: $285k (ie. down from $300k)

                  So, after giving $50k to charity, your total tax difference after the deduction is $300k - $285k = $15k. You gave $50k and got back $15k. That's how tax deductions work - you don't get the entire donation back. So you can't say it's not still charity. It just helps reduce the tax bill. It's an incentive.

  • Jail time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21, 2012 @01:53PM (#38775522)

    Not good enough. He deserves to be in jail along with his son. He shouldn't be allowed to buy his way out.

  • Jail time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @01:58PM (#38775548) Journal

    There is an equiry going on in the UK discussing this and other issues, but the answer is simple: people need to go to jail. Not only is there evidence of illegal activity (accing voicemails and emails), but now it looks like there is evidence of perjury (lying to the enquiry).

    There is also evidence of obstruction (destruction of computers). It's quite clear that the illegal activity is at the highest levels of News Corp. People at the highest levels need to go to jail. Paying out this amount of money means nothing to billionaires.

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      And serious corruption in the Met police (in the UK the Met handles some serious crimes that the FBI does in the USA - they are not just the London local police force)
    • by Mabhatter (126906)

      Equine action could work. England hasn't drawn an quartered anybody in a while...

  • A weak start (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @02:08PM (#38775606)

    The rest needs to be resolved by severe criminal penalties, jail time and the requirement that the Murdoch empire be broken up. News Corp should also lose all of its broadcast licenses world-wide.

    • News Corp should also lose all of its broadcast licenses world-wide.

      That would be too much like actual justice. Corporations have the rights of citizens but none of the actual responsibilities if they break the law.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by TapeCutter (624760)
        Put a 100K people out of work because a few executives broke the law, yeah that's actual justice!
        • Put a 100K people out of work because a few executives broke the law, yeah that's actual justice!

          If you believe in the free market, then believe another news organization would form to take their place. That's the problem with treating corporations like people. If you want to give them collective rights, then the people who work there have to accept collective responsibility.

          Your way they get the rights, but no consequences.

          • by Renraku (518261)

            But the very problem with corporations is that they want to be treated like people when it benefits them, and they want to be faceless hoards when it benefits them. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

            We have to decide, now, what a corporation is. We need strict definitions. We need to decide if we want to pierce the corporate veil and go after the people that ordered it, the people that carried it out, the whole corporation, upper management, or any combination of the above. If we do nothing, t

            • by tqk (413719)

              Before long, we won't be able to do anything at all, because they'll own the government.

              Thank you. You just reminded me of a painting I saw about twenty years ago and completely lost track of. I think it was called "The Death of Sisyphus", but I can't find it to verify.

              It was a painting of a man being held down on a bed on his back by one woman, while another woman prepared to take a knife to his throat. Both women show no emotion whatever, concentrating only on the job at hand. The man is wide-eyed with horror, knowing he's about to meet his doom.

              Seems a fitting end for News Corp.

            • by tehcyder (746570)

              But the very problem with corporations is that they want to be treated like people when it benefits them, and they want to be faceless hoards when it benefits them. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

              We have to decide, now, what a corporation is. We need strict definitions. We need to decide if we want to pierce the corporate veil and go after the people that ordered it, the people that carried it out, the whole corporation, upper management, or any combination of the above. If we do nothing, the corporations will continue to expand their powers. Before long, we won't be able to do anything at all, because they'll own the government.

              No, if they can find any proof that individuals did something wrong, the fact that they were working for a corporation doesn't protect them.

          • by ultranova (717540)

            If you believe in the free market, then believe another news organization would form to take their place.

            Free market would work a lot better if people stopped having semireligious faith in it. "Believe in the free market and everything will work out" is similar kind of statement than "believe in a shipping firm and you don't need insurance".

            That's the problem with treating corporations like people. If you want to give them collective rights, then the people who work there have to accept collective responsi

  • Absolute joke (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tastecicles (1153671) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @02:22PM (#38775714)

    This so-called compensation fund doesn't even figure as pocket change to News Corp. Murdoch is a multi billionnaire ($7.6bn at FYE 2011 according to Forbes). That's his /cash/ worth, not counting his liquable assets. If he gave a Dollar out of his own pocket to every man, woman and child on Earth he would STILL BE A BILLIONNAIRE.

    This is in the same league as Microsoft "complying" with compensation orders from the courts in the US by issuing *vouchers for discounts on its own software*.

    The consumer is still getting bent over and dryfucked, but legally.

    • by vencs (1937504)
      While the act is a mere eyewash, complaining Mr. Murdoch still being a bn'aire is not sound in judgement.
      For example, his transferring of all his $s to all the poor in the world does not make him clean.
      This is a purely legal/political move which would give them at least some sort of bragging rights
      on their vast broadcasting arena to change peoples' perception (even by a bit) to their benefit.
    • by rtb61 (674572)

      In this case he only pays a percentage of the fine even though he is the root cause of the computer network hacking (a phone network is a computer network and that is a criminal offence in all countries concerned). How come a whole bunch of innocent investors get to bear the brunt of the fine and penalties.

      Why isn't the investment team specifically targeted, why aren't their assets specifically targeted, why aren't they in jail awaiting arrest.

      Just compare what is going on with Mega-upload (which mass

      • by Genda (560240)

        I'm sorry, are we not aware of the consolidation of global mass media to a pretty much a monolithic group of fewer than two dozen mega-corporations? Add to the fact that print, video, recording and film media have their unified consortia and you're surprised that they march in lock step? Its all the same people. You hear what they want, when they want, and nobody talks about whatever they want to remain out of the public eye or ear. The internet is the last rodeo in town and you best believe they're going a

  • Where Are We? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21, 2012 @02:48PM (#38775767)

    I'd have a much higher opinion of my fellow vigilantes if instead of launching DDOS attacks against sites that the public never visit* they obtained incriminating evidence against their targets. They are supposed to be hackers, aren't they? Why aren't I hearing about leaked emails detailing how Murdoch himself knew about these crimes or how the *AA have been screwing over the people they claim to represent?

    *Bringing down the RIAA site seems completely pointless when Joe Public would never see it anyway.

  • Only Britain? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21, 2012 @02:49PM (#38775775)

    We only hear about this phone hacking scandal happening in Britain, but why not anywhere else? It's at least imaginable that other News Corp operations were going by the same playbook. Or that if it was so technically easy that even News Corp reporters could do it, couldn't something similar have been done by someone else in other countries, but we just don't know about it yet?

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      They were in bed with the police in the UK. They might have liked the idea elsewhere, but you need to find a police force that will knowingly go along with it, and that might be harder to find.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Murdoch: Baww people are stealing my IP!!!
    The people: What about the "IP" you stole from those peoples voice mail? Shouldn't you be jailed for that longer than a few anons who ran LOIC and got a year in the fed pen?
    Murdoch: Uh, no. *buys way out of trouble*

    I think it would be awesome if some of his victims came after him using IP laws, and try to get the same conspiracy laws applied to him that are being thrown at the megaupload crowd right now.

  • by asdf7890 (1518587) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @04:29PM (#38776493)
    One of the points mentioned in the news coverage over here was that John Prescott had high security clearance in his position as deputy prime minister, so the "hackers" could have gained access to significant secrets. Am I the only one that finds this worrying? Why was The Right Honourable Bumbling Hypocrite of Hull given any access to supposedly secure information when he wasn't even capable of setting a pin on his voicemail?! Why would anyone else leave such information in voicemail anyway? I'm hoping this is just Prescott's camp trying to big up him and the charges against Murdoch rather than a sign of how shite our intelligence services are...
    • One of the points mentioned in the news coverage over here was that John Prescott had high security clearance in his position as deputy prime minister, so the "hackers" could have gained access to significant secrets. Am I the only one that finds this worrying? Why was The Right Honourable Bumbling Hypocrite of Hull given any access to supposedly secure information when he wasn't even capable of setting a pin on his voicemail?! Why would anyone else leave such information in voicemail anyway? I'm hoping this is just Prescott's camp trying to big up him and the charges against Murdoch rather than a sign of how shite our intelligence services are...

      Someone did explain the security procedures to John Prescott? If not, then it is a failure of the secret service for not ensuring that each person with security clearance X has been informed of the security measures needed for that level of security.

      • by asdf7890 (1518587)
        Exactly. If what they are trying to imply was remotely possible, then someone somewhere is guilty of a gross display of incompetence. A massive due diligence failure on his part, or the relevant agency's part, or both. Either that or there was no significant risk and mentioning the possibility was somewhere between "a bit of spin" and "complete bull fodder".
      • by tqk (413719)

        Someone did explain the security procedures to John Prescott? If not, then it is a failure of the secret service for not ensuring that each person with security clearance X has been informed of the security measures needed for that level of security.

        You do realize that people like this are placed into such positions of trust precisely because they are assumed to be of a higher calibre than your average Joe Schmoe on the street, yes?

        Huh. I wonder why that's not working. Perhaps that should be looked into.

        [Your .sig: You're complaining about a lack of of a RTE, yet still using Roman Numerals?!? :-O]

        • Someone did explain the security procedures to John Prescott? If not, then it is a failure of the secret service for not ensuring that each person with security clearance X has been informed of the security measures needed for that level of security.

          You do realize that people like this are placed into such positions of trust precisely because they are assumed to be of a higher calibre than your average Joe Schmoe on the street, yes?

          Huh. I wonder why that's not working. Perhaps that should be looked into.

          [Your .sig: You're complaining about a lack of of a RTE, yet still using Roman Numerals?!? :-O]

          Callibre does not mean experience. I am sure I am qualified to learn the job of a plumber and be a quite decent plumber myself, but until someone tells me how I will not know a thing about plumbing. So, taking anyone without an intelligence background and expecting that he already knows the security procedures is, at best, wildly optimistic...

  • I wish people would get this riled up when people in government did the very same thing. It's too bad we don't hold up individuals in public positions to the same moral standards as individuals in private positions.
    • by tqk (413719)

      It's too bad we don't hold up individuals in public positions to the same moral standards as individuals in private positions.

      Who's this "we" you speak of, Kemosabi? Sweeping generalizations are always bad! :-)

      You're supposing facts which are not in evidence. I hate all these bastards; private, corporate, gov't, wherever! Incompetence and corruption distresses me no end, regardless of which realm in which it originates.

      I still think the Spartans got it right. The defective ones should go over the cliff. It's for the good of the gene pool.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I still think the Spartans got it right. The defective ones should go over the cliff. It's for the good of the gene pool.

        But from a capitalist perspective, the Murdochs aren't defective at all, in fact they're rather good at placing profit above any other consideration..

        • by tqk (413719)

          But from a capitalist perspective, the Murdochs aren't defective at all, in fact they're rather good at placing profit above any other consideration..

          This doesn't have anything to do with capitalism. I expect Bernie Madoff believes himself to be a capitalist too. Doesn't mean it's true. An idea's not responsible for those who hold it.

          Capitalism relates to economics and politics. Ethics and morality only come into it when we desire repeat business. Businesses don't tend to do ethics and morality all that well natively, which is why we invented Public Relations departments.

          I'd love to be a fly on the wall in News Corp.'s PR department right now. That

  • Rebekkah Wade got 2 million pounds in a 'severance package' from NewsCorp. Source: PrivateEye (Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2015435/Rebekah-Brooks-resigns-line-3-5m-payout-News-International.html [dailymail.co.uk] has it as 3.5Million...).

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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