Since you have replied at length to my earlier post I will answer your points, even though it probably means that I will be subjected to yet more violent personal abuse by you and your followers.
Readers of this blog should be aware of one thing, however. I only set it up because when I tried to post questions on Duns's own blog, he did not run them. Duns himself is always allowed to comment on this blog, at whatever length he likes, and his comments are never edited. He is entitled to state his defence fairly. I, on the other hand, have been subjected to several threats of legal action and vicious personal abuse merely for raising legitimate points about his behavior.I suppose that is what public school, right-wing writers like Duns think is fair.
New readers can catch up on this debate on earlier posts. In brief, Duns recorded a phone conversation with the writer Steve Roach without his permission. In my view, this may well be banned if the tape was not for personal use (and Duns later wrote extensively about it). That aside, it was certainly immoral - and the rest of this post will explain why.
I find it extra-ordinary that you have resorted to the argument that you needed to tape your phone conversation with Steve Roach because Stephen Leather threatened you with libel. To begin with, I can find no evidence of that threat apart from one flippant Tweet. If I am wrong please correct me. Have you received a lawyer's letter? If so please post it here, or on your own blog. If not, you cannot seriously claim to have been threatened with legal action - and so that is not a serious defense of your actions.
The arrogance of your claim that you - one person on Twitter - can put himself on the same level as Panorama is breath-taking. Panorama is a major news program. Its reporters and editors are accoutable for their actions. If they make a mistake they get in trouble. But you are acountable to no one. If you overstep the mark, who do you report to? Nobody. It is only legitimate for jounalists to tape conversations because they are subject to supervision. It is not legitimate for everyone to tape phone calls. If we go down that path, all our calls will soon be recorded.
It is clear that you quite regularly make mistakes in your work. Here is one example here.When you make mistakes like that, who do you report to? Nobody. So it completely wrong to compare yourself to a major news organisation.
You have still not answered my questions about your qualifications as a journalist. Have you been trained in journalism and if so where? Have you ever been on the staff of a major news outlet? Are you a member of the National Union of Journalists? If the answer to those questions is no, then your claim to be acting as a reporter is very, very weak.
You state that "the very word ‘recording’ is an emotive one, and has connotations of
hacking, tapping and other illegal and unrelated activities that have
been in the news." Well, it does. In fact, what you have done is far worse than anything News International did in the phone hacking affair.
There are two reasons why that is so. First, when you leave a message on an answer phone you know you are being taped, even though you do not expect that tape to be hacked. When you make a personal phone call you have every right to assume it is not being taped.
Second, News International is at least subject to legal and regulatory oversight. People can complain to the Press Complaints Commission about them. Murdoch can be called before Parliament. But who are people going to complain to when you injure them? Nobody.
So it is far, far worse.
You state that there is no difference between taping a phone conversation and making notes of it. There is a huge moral difference. You are entitled to make notes as your record of the conversation, just as you can make notes of anything that happens to you. It is a very different matter to record a person's voice without their permission - that is a gross invasion of their right to privacy. It is a form of theft. Can you really not see that? Would you not accept that there is a clear difference between making a note of what someone looks like and filming them in secret and then broadcasting the images? Or is it that because you went to a famous public school you think you are entitled to treat the surfs in any way you like.
As I have said, I agree it is not clear that you broke the law in taping that conversation. Unless charges are bought we will not know. You are of course innocent until proven guilty.
But to me what you did was morally repugnant. And it was dangerous to our civil liberties to a very high degree.
It is time you stopped trying to defend it, and made an apology for your actions.