Saturday, 10 August 2013

Section 79 of RIPA

Just a reminder that under section 79 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act directors can be held responsible for breaches, even if they were not aware of them (ie due to negligence). There has been speculation in the past that directors of News International could be caught by this, and that the police might be interested in pursuing this.

Presumably, though, the cops want to wait for the individual cases to go through, as they involve direct RIPA breaches (phone hacking!), before following up by exploring corporate charges. So next month's trials could have some bearing on this.

Also worth noting that when the Met were asked specifically about the issue of corporate charges, at the Leveson Inquiry, News Corp's co-operative stance was highlighted. See this Guardian story on the Section 79 problem for News Corp. the reason I mention this that in that recent Exaro scoop of the secret Rupert Murdoch meeting some of the things he says include that a) he regrets being so co-operative and b) the company has started being more difficult in dealings with the police.

Given that its very unlikely (now) for anyone to get hold of an email/recording of a current senior News Corp exec explicitly admitting that they knew what was going on, these sort of things take on more significance. And, of course, if people start pleading guilty next month the whole thing takes a new turn.

Stock up on popcorn.

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