But we broke the law for the good of the people! That is, indeed, Sky News' defense. Rupert Murdoch's channel today admitted to twice authorizing its reporters to hack into computers, a potentially embarrassing revelation that could further dent the media tycoon's hope of acquiring full control over satellite broadcaster BSkyB. Sky News said in a statement that in one case it broke into emails belonging to Anne and John Darwin, the so-called "canoe couple" who became notorious after the latter faked his own death in a boating accident.
It acknowledged intercepting the couple's emails, but said that the material was later handed to police and insisted it had done nothing wrong. "We stand by these actions as editorially justified and in the public interest. We do not take such decisions lightly or frequently," said Sky News' chief. The Guardian first broke the news of the hacking, but an intrepid detective could have gotten a whiff of it much earlier: A July 21, 2008, article on John Darwin began, "We discovered an email..."