“Hacked Off today renews its calls for a public interest defence in law after Sky News confessed to hacking into emails, claiming it did so ‘in the public interest’.
“Yet because there is no public interest defence in law for the Computer Misuse Act, Sky has to rely on the discretion of the prosecution services not to prosecute.
“This is unsatisfactory. If Sky News believes there is a clear public interest to hack into emails then it should have a clear and consistent legal defence for its actions.
“Journalists would feel confident to speak openly about the methods they use to discover stories in the public interest if they knew there was a proper defence for their actions in law.
“Hacked Off hopes that the Leveson Inquiry will recommend the introduction of a formal public interest defence in law for the protection of journalism.”