How the ABC salaries got leaked. ABC chief Mark Scott has written an email to staff (obtained by Crikey) detailing exactly how those ABC salaries wound up in News Corp papers. The salary details were accidentally released to South Australian Family First MP Robert Brokenshire who had requested different information through Freedom of Information. Salary details were embedded in an otherwise innocuous spreadsheet.
“My concern for staff was that the ABC had not kept confidential, important private information. We were concerned about a deliberate leak or computer hacking and asked for an expedited investigation from our Group Audit team.
“Their investigation has shown that the material was inadvertently sent to the office of a South Australian Member of Parliament in October last year in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
“The request was for simple summary information regarding staff numbers in certain regional areas and at Ultimo from 2007 to 2012. The payroll detail was accessed through material embedded underneath a simple one-page spreadsheet showing the relevant staffing numbers. The hidden detail included confidential information for all ABC staff for the last pay cycle for the six financial years from 2006/07 to 2011/12: annual salary/pay, date of birth, and name (only) of the relevant superannuation fund. No details such as bank account information or tax file numbers were included.”
Freedom (of information) fight. Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent of NSA surveillance, has been involved in a Twitter spat with WikiLeaks and privacy advocates over privacy for whistleblowers and whether information should be redacted. Greenwald says Snowden agreed to delay the release of certain material, but online privacy advocates say that is the same as redacting information, which they are against.
Front page of the day. Israel is very nervous about Iran’s plans to become a nuclear state (as perhaps it should be, given former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vow to “wipe Israel off the map” …)