Alan Rusbridger, the former editor-in-chief of the Guardian, has accused Fleet Street of behaving like a private club with a bunker mentality, during both the phone-hacking scandal and following threats to civil liberties. In a wide-ranging speech at the Society of Editors’ annual conference on Sunday night, Rusbridger also took aim at the government’s response to the phone-hacking scandal when he called the resulting royal charter on press regulation a “piece of medieval flummery”. In charge when the Guardian ran award-winning reports based on revelations unearthed by Edward Snowden as well as phone hacking, Rusbridger reserved some of his harshest words for the use of surveillance powers to discover journalistic sources, describing this as the greatest scandal of all. Both over hacking, which Rusbridger described as the press’s own “massive ethical disaster” akin to scandals at Volkswagen or Fifa, and over surveillance, Fleet Street was found wanting. He criticised the lack of interest or debate in the issue of surveillance – which led US congress to rewrite the rules over what could be tracked and tech companies to increase security. “The general reaction in this country’s media – but not, it must be said, elsewhere, nor I think, among large […]
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