Di Stefano Resigns Over Hacking

The Financial Times has suspended recently hired Mark Di Stefano as media and technology correspondent. The tenacious reporter joined from Buzzfeed where he covered media and politics. He accessed private Zoom conference calls held by The Independent and Evening Standard. The Indy is reporting that log files show an account registered to Di Stefano’s @ft.com email address joined the private video call for Independent staff on Thursday for 16 seconds.

“The caller’s video was disabled, but journalists saw his name flash briefly on screen before he left the meeting. Five minutes later, a separate account joined the call, this time unnamed. Again, video was switched off so that only a black square was displayed among the screens showing up to 100 people who had been invited to attend. The anonymous user account, which remained in the meeting until the end, was later shown to be linked to the mobile phone used by the same Financial Times reporter.”

Di Stefano tweeted the news of staff cuts and furloughs while The Indy’s staff were still on the call. His FT report stated that “people on the call” were the source of the story.

Di Stefano allegedly used the same trick – Zoom is accessible to anyone who has an invitation – to eavesdrop on the Evening Standard’s conference call where similar bad news was broken to staff. Arguably this is more a case of gatecrashing than hacking, it does however appear to be a breach of the FT’s newsgathering rules…

UPDATE 01/05: Di Stefano resigns from The FT

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Calls for Lobby to be Televised in Response to Coronavirus

There’s nothing like a global crisis to get people to change their perspectives on the world. Guido is delighted to see some fellow journalists now understanding the needs of a modern democracy, backing broadcasting No. 10 press briefings; ensuring information can get through to the public properly. Time to ditch the archaic filtering, spin, and delay the typical private embargoed briefings create…

After today’s lobby briefing – in which the PM’s official spokesman u-turned on the PM’s words yesterday and said there is “zero prospect” of restrictions on travelling in or out of London – both journalists from BBC Newsnight and the FT have called for the briefings to now be televised to “maximise chance of these messages getting through.”

On the topic of the Lobby, for the benefit of the more clueless members of the cartel who claim Guido’s write up of Downing Street’s Lobby truce broke an ‘on background’ restriction, Communications Director Lee Cain agreed after the event to allow his “time for a truce talk” to be on the record. You only had to ask…

mdi-timer 19 March 2020 @ 13:45 19 Mar 2020 @ 13:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments