Murdoch illegal hackers exposed

Tonight, the Guardian reveals details of the suppressed evidence which may open the door to hundreds more legal actions by victims of News Group. So says the Guardian in a huge scoop about the Murdoch press. They rushed it on to the website rather than saving it for the first hard copy edition. Do they fear an injunction or contempt of court action? The story continues:

The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public figures and to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills. Cabinet ministers, MPs, actors and sports stars were all targets of the private investigators

News Corp agents hacked into “two to three thousand” mobile phones including John Prescott’s and Tessa Jowell’s. Among the story sources – presumably unauthorised and indirect – seems to be the police and the Office of the Information Commissioner who regulates Freedom of Information and Data Protection.

The Guardian’s understanding is that the paperwork disclosed by Scotland Yard to Taylor is only a fraction of the total material they gathered on News Group’s involvement with Glenn Mulcaire. And it is a matter of record that the Information Commission which has refused to release paperwork which implicates national newspaper journalists in thousands of apparently illegal acts.

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There’s much more of this story to come out.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London