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March 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Mark Thompson

The BBC has acknowledged that it has used — and will continue to use — private detectives in the production of certain investigative programs. The admission comes amid a growing scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday tabloid, the News of the World, which allegedly used private detectives to illegally hack into the voicemails of British celebrities and politicians. A recent report by the BBC itself claimed that the editor of the tabloid’s Irish edition authorized a private eye to use so-called Trojan horse software to hack into the emails of a former British army intelligence officer. In an interview with the London Sunday Times, another Murdoch-owned newspaper, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson maintained that the investigators hired by the BBC operate under the control of its editors. “I don’t think there’s any suggestion that I can detect of any wrongdoing,” Thompson told the newspaper, adding that it “feels like a bit of a smear” to suggest otherwise.