UK news channel Sky News said Thursday it had authorized its journalists to hack into the e-mail of individual members of the public on two occasions.
John Ryley, head of Sky News, said the instances involved suspected criminal activity.
"We stand by these actions as editorially justified and in the public interest," he said in a statement. "We do not take such decisions lightly or frequently."
An external review is under way of e-mail records at the broadcaster at its own instigation, he said, but no grounds for concern have yet been found.
"Sky News is committed to the highest editorial standards. Like other news organizations, we are acutely aware of the tensions that can arise between the law and responsible investigative journalism."FULL STORY