Posts Tagged ‘New York Post memos’

New York Post implicated? Told to preserve emails following UK hacking scandal

July 30, 2011

UPDATE! News International ordered mass deletion of emails nine times

New York Post staff have been told by News Corp. to preserve any documents that may relate to phone hacking or payoffs to officials as the News of the World hacking scandal spreads across Murdoch’s empire. The clear implication is that something illicit has taken place at the New York Post – possibly connected with the victims of 9/11.

A memo to all staff from the legal department was followed by another from the editor Col Allen.

The text of the 2 New York Post memos is here – New York Post Memos

The documents to be retained were defined very broadly as:

“Any documents pertaining to unauthorized retrieval of phone or personal data, to payments for information to government officials, or that is related in any way to these issues, must be retained.

Please note that the term “documents” should be construed in its broadest sense, including but not limited to: written material, graphs, charts, files, e-mail, text messages, instant messages, any content in social media, voicemail, tape recordings, microfiche, video and film, handwritten notes, draft documents, memoranda, calendars, card files, appointment books, and the like whether in hard copy or on computer databases, hard drives, desk tops, laptops, thumb drives, disks, backup tapes, or any other storage medium, and regardless of whether the document is located on a company-issued or personal device. It also includes all copies of the same document.

The term “related in any way” should also be applied broadly. If you have any doubt whether a document should be preserved, you should err on the side of preserving it.”

Reuters reports:

In another sign that the phone-hacking scandal may implicate or at least taint News Corp.’s U.S. properties, the company’s legal team has asked New York Post employees to “preserve and maintain all documents and information that are related in any way” to phone hacking or bribery.

The email frames the demand as an effort to demonstrate how seriously it is taking the issues of hacking or bribery, improprieties — both confirmed adn alleged — which harpooned News Corp.’s famed British tabloid News of the World.

“Please know we are sending this notice not because any recipient has done anything improper or unlawful,” it reads.

However, the implication is that something illicit may have taken place. It asks that employees retain any documents “to unauthorized retrieval of phone or personal data, to payments for information to government officials, or that is related in any way to these issues.”

One possible reason is that the FBI has begun an inquiry into allegations that News Corp. newspapers hacked the phones of 9/11 victims.

As for what “documents” and “related” mean, the email asks the Post employees apply the terms as broadly as possible.

Post editor Col Allan sent out a memo to his staff regarding the email in which he says this should not be surprising.

“As we watched the news in the U.K. over the last few weeks, we knew that as a News Corporation tabloid, we would be looked at more closely,” he wrote.

Allan added that all employees must cooperate absolutely and that this edict should not endanger one’s ability to protect sources.

The legal team’s email instructed employees to contact Genie Gavenchak with any questions. A phone call to Gavenchak’s office was redirected to Rubenstein Communications. The PR firm did not immediately return a request for comment. 

In related news, the Guardian is reporting that Scotland Yard has opened up another inquiry involving hacking at News of the World, this time via computers.

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