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Murdoch empire faces new scandal, potentially far more damaging

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According to the reports by the AFR, the Independent, and Panorama, OpSec employed hackers to break the decryption of News Corp's satellite TV rivals and then disseminate the means of decryption to other members of the hacking community. The broader hacking community would then independently use that decryption to create pirate cards which could be sold on the cheap, undercutting the rival broadcasters' market share and thus devaluing their stock.

According to the AFR, News Corp and OpSec used this technique for a variety of purposes, including to drive rivals out of the market and to weaken them enough that News Corp and its subsidiaries could buy them out.

The AFR reports that at the time the hacking was going on, Australia had no effective laws against satellite TV piracy, so none of the hacking would have been illegal under Australian law. Other areas of law that could apply, such as international copyright law, were at a nascent stage at the time of the alleged events, which may preclude criminal charges or civil claims against NDS or News Corp on such grounds.

14,400 newly released emails

The AFR's report appears to be based on a newly released collection of 14,400 emails formerly held by Ray Adams, a former Metropolitan Police commander and top OpSec official in Europe, and other documents that AFR says "show NDS sabotaged business rivals, fabricated legal actions and obtained telephone records illegally." The AFR has published samples of the emails online.

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