Clarification of the ‘public interest’ defence is badly needed – The Guardian

Posted April 10th, 2012 in defences, electronic mail, interception, media, news, privacy, public interest by sally

“Sky News’s decision to approve the hacking of emails belonging to John Darwin, the once-missing, presumed-dead ‘canoe man’, can be argued to be one of those finely balanced editorial decisions. The public interest argument runs fairly straightforwardly, after all. Darwin pleaded guilty to deception in March 2008 – you will recall he went out to sea in a canoe and somehow paddled his way from the north-east to the Panama canal, suggesting he was not so dead after all. But his wife, Anne, was going to trial – a life insurance policy had been cashed in by her – and it was at that point Sky’s journalist, Gerard Tubb, was given the green light to try to access John Darwin’s email communications. As he did so, he uncovered information that made it clear that Anne Darwin was in on the plot, and having shared this with Cleveland police, the broadcaster believes it helped secure her conviction and produced a very detailed post-conviction backgrounder.”

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The Guardian, 8th April 2012