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Broadcaster says accessing of emails of John Darwin, who faked own death, was authorised by executives and in public interest
Sky News has admitted that one of its senior executives authorised a journalist to conduct email hacking on two separate occasions that it said were "in the public interest" – even though intercepting emails is a prima facie breach of the Computer Misuse Act, to which there is no such defence written in law.
Sky News said this was not obtained by phone hacking and a spokesman said: "All of the material obtained by Sky News was via the Darwins' computer-based email accounts
Intercepting emails is an offence under the Computer Misuse Act, and there is no public interest defence written in law. Theoretically, however, any email hacking charges would have to be brought at the discretion of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, which could weigh up whether any intrusions could be justified.
Sky News and the BBC are in agreement on this subject. Its director general, Mark Thompson, has argued publicly that there are occasions when it is acceptable to break the law in pursuit of a story in the public interest.