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Leveson: Bloggers and tweeters must not be above the law

Lord Justice Leveson Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Lord Justice Leveson has called for international cooperation to ensure that bloggers and tweeters are not above the law when it comes to illegal and unethical standards of journalism.

In an address as part of his Australian lecture tour, he warned there was a "pernicious and false" belief that the law did not apply to the internet.

He also said there was a chance that mainstream journalists might be tempted to break the law or infringe privacy "in order to steal a march on bloggers and tweeters".

Newspapers, he warned, may even move their bases overseas to dodge UK laws in the future.

Murdoch warns of media threat from 'enemies within'

Elisabeth Murdoch also warned of the threat to press freedom from "enemies within" - an apparent reference to those accused of involvement in the News International phone-hacking scandal.

She said News Corp was "currently asking itself some very significant and difficult questions about how some behaviours fell so short of its values".

In regard to the impact on press freedoms following the scandal, she said:

Let's see what the Leveson Inquiry recommends but, when there has been such an unsettling dearth of integrity across so many of our institutions, it is very difficult to argue for the right outcome - which must be the fierce protection of a free press and light-touch media regulation. Sadly, the greatest threats to our free society are too often from enemies within.

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Elisabeth Murdoch praises the BBC and her father

Elisabeth Murdoch
Elisabeth Murdoch praised her father's "vision, will and sense of purpose". Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

In contrast to her brother, who used his 2009 speech to lambast the BBC, Elisabeth Murdoch reiterated her support for the corporation and its licence fee and praised the "vision and leadership" of outgoing Director-General Mark Thompson.

Yet she cautioned that his successor, George Entwistle, must show how "efficiently" the BBC spent its money.

She also had firm praise for her father, Rupert, who she said "had the vision, the will and the sense of purpose to challenge the old world order on behalf of 'the people"'.

Elisabeth Murdoch attacks brother's profit pitch in TV speech

Elisabeth Murdoch, the daughter of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, has distanced herself from her brother James as she warned of the dangers of unethical profiteering during her landmark speech to television executives in Edinburgh.

Ms Murdoch, who founded the production company that boasts MasterChef and Merlin within its output, quoted from her brother's 2009 MacTaggart lecture in which he said profit was the only "reliable and perpetual guarantor of independence".

The reason his statement sat so uncomfortably is that profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster. [The industry and] global society [need to] reject the idea that money is the only effective measure of all things or that the free market is the only sorting mechanism.

– Elisabeth Murdoch

Leveson: 'No hidden agenda' to stifle press freedom

Lord Justice Leveson said that he had no"hidden agenda" to stifle press freedom.

The judge, who is heading the inquiry into media standards, insisted he would not be deterred from fulfilling his terms of reference following reports suggesting he was ready to resign after Education Secretary Michael Gove said his inquiry was having a "chilling" effect.

Lord Justice Leveson, who is heading the inquiry into media standards. Credit: Reuters

He acknowledged there were concerns within the media about the impact of the inquiry, but insisted that he was fully committed to press freedom.

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Mail Online editor questions regulating Stephen Fry's tweets

A snapshot of @stephenfry's tweets today. Credit: Twitter / @stephenfry

The editor of one of the world's most successful news websites today raised the prospect of Stephen Fry's Twitter page being regulated.

Martin Clarke, editor of the Daily Mail online, told the Leveson Inquiry into press standards that additional regulation may be a "dagger to the heart" of British online media.

Mr Clarke was talking about the difficulty of regulating web news publishers and bloggers with large audiences.

He said: "You can't slice and dice the internet up into different bits...Stephen Fry has four million followers on Twitter.

"He can reach more people in one hour than I can, so is he going to be regulated?"

Senior police officers to give evidence at Leveson inquiry

The Leveson inquiry will hear today from Detective Chief Inspector Brendan Gilmour. DCI Gilmour worked on the Metropolitan Police's Operation Glade, which looks into police corruption.

The temporary Assistant Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall police, Russell Middleton will also give evidence. He was involved in Operation Reproof about an officer allegedly supplying private investigators with information from the police national computer.

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