Email 'evidence' links News Corp. to ITV pirates

LONDON — The plot in the dispute between Canal Plus and News Corp. subsid NDS over the latter’s alleged complicity in pay TV piracy has taken another twist.

The U.K.’s Guardian newspaper claims it has obtained emails that show NDS had a financial relationship with a website that distributed pirated codes to ITV Digital’s smart cards. The paper added the evidence also suggests NDS provided a server to boost the site’s capacity.

The troubled Brit paybox uses Canal Plus’s technology, and estimates that piracy has cost it in the neighbourhood of £100 million ($140 million).

The Guardian said emails sent between NDS head of security Ray Adams and Lee Gibling, the missing founder of the now closed pirate site, Thoic.com, reveal NDS paid thousands of pounds into Gibling’s personal bank account.

Adams — who also reps News Corp-controlled satcaster BSkyB, and is a board member of European anti-piracy org AEPOC — said he had been unaware Thoic was publishing ITV Digital’s codes.

NDS maintains its financial connections to pirate sites were part of its undercover work to gain inside information about hackers who might target NDS’s smart cards.

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