NDS executives are not at all happy at the way events are unfolding. They are especially dismayed over negative implications in the London Independent newspaper concerning a £2,000 donation made 12 years ago to Surrey police to help fund a local ‘crimestoppers’ campaign has been misconstrued. NDS is demanding a full and unequivocal retraction from The Independent over the story.
Senior officials at NDS are also annoyed that despite numerous formal and informal offers to help organisations such as the BBC achieve accuracy, the public broadcaster – and many UK and international newspapers – seem determined to tarnish NDS’s reputation simply because it has the Murdoch name associated with it.
Dr Abe Peled, Executive Chairman at NDS, stated: “It is astounding that anyone would suggest that efforts to support the legal system in an unequivocally justified way through a charitable donation are in any way unsavoury. The donation that NDS made over a decade ago was in support of the organised crime division of Surrey Police, and to call the motives of that donation into question is maliciously misleading.”
The latest round of negative press also has Australian journalists piling on the agony, and in particular author Neil Chenoweth who is writing a fresh book largely by trawling over old news and allegations against NDS, all of which have been dismissed in long legal battles over the years.
Peled has written to the Australian Financial Review (AFR), accusing the periodical – and Chenoweth – of “grossly mischaracterisations of the evidence” presented in various court actions.
In his letter to Michael Stutchbury, editor in chief at the AFR, Peled says “Purportedly relying primarily on emails stolen from NDS, you consistently misrepresent NDS’ fight against piracy and its efforts to protect the investments of its clients and the content they carry. You repeatedly mischaracterise communications about third party pirate devices to suggest that NDS was responsible for those devices. You further mischaracterise NDS emails to suggest that NDS encouraged piracy of competitor systems while ignoring evidence that NDS was responsible for bringing to justice the sources of that piracy. And you accuse NDS of bringing baseless enforcement actions, despite overwhelming, publicly-available evidence that those enforcement actions targeted admitted pirates and hackers and resulted in important court orders that serve to prevent future pi racy. These myriad failures serve to create an impression in your readers that is false, misleading and deeply damaging to my company and our sister company News Corporation. We demand that you retract these allegations immediately.”
Peled goes into some detail in his misrepresentation attack on AFR, arguing that the AFR has repeatedly failed to tell its readers the truth, “The truth is that NDS is a leader in the fight against piracy. And the truth is that NDS has assisted law enforcement agencies around the globe in bringing to justice many of the pirates your articles falsely portray as victims. We demand that you immediately retract your allegations to the contrary. We further demand immediate publication by AFR of this letter with the same prominence given the original allegations.”