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  1. #1
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    Default News International and Phone Hacking

    This is the most disgusting and despicable thing I've read in ages...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14017661
    An investigator working for the News of the World newspaper allegedly hacked into the mobile phone of murdered girl Milly Dowler, a lawyer has said.

    Mark Lewis, who represents the Dowler family, said her parents were told by police that Glenn Mulcaire hacked into her phone while she was missing.

    The Guardian has claimed he intercepted messages left by relatives and said the NoW deleted some it had listened to.

    NoW parent company News International said the news was of "great concern".

    Mr Lewis said the hacking dated from 2002 when the News of the World was under the editorship of Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade) - now News International's chief executive.

    In a statement he said: "Sally and Bob Dowler have been through so much grief and trauma without further distressing revelations to them regarding the loss of their daughter.
    'Despicable and evil'

    "It is distress heaped upon tragedy to learn the News of the World have no humanity at such a terrible time.

    "The fact that they were prepared to act in such a heinous way that could have jeopardised the police investigation and gave them false hope is despicable."

    Click to play

    Solicitor for the Dowlers, Mark Lewis: "It is distress heaped upon tragedy"

    The Guardian claims that after Milly's voicemail facility became full, the News of the World deleted messages it had already listened to.

    It quotes one source as saying that this gave false hope to friends and family, who mistakenly believed that Milly herself had cleared her message inbox and that therefore she was still alive.

    By that time, she had been murdered by a nightclub doorman, Levi Bellfield, who was convicted of the killing last month.

    The Guardian also alleges that the News of the World employed another private investigator, Steve Whittamore, to illegally obtain ex-directory numbers for families called Dowler living in Walton-on-Thames, where Milly and her family lived.

    A News International spokesman said it had been co-operating fully with the police inquiry into hacking since News International's "voluntary disclosure in January restarted the investigation into illegal voicemail interception".

    He said: "This particular case is clearly a development of great concern and we will be conducting our own inquiries as a result.

    "We will obviously co-operate fully with any police request on this should we be asked."

    Reacting to the story, Tom Watson MP told the Commons it was a "despicable and evil act that will shock parents up and down the land".

    He also said it strongly suggested that parliament was misled in the press standards inquiry that was held by the Department for Culture Media and Sport last year.

    The claims about Milly Dowler are significant in the overall phone hacking inquiry, which has until now focussed largely on the intrusion into the private lives of celebrities.

    In January, the High Court will hear claims from five test cases involving public figures who say their phones were hacked into.

    They are former footballer Paul Gascoigne, actor Jude Law, sports agent Sky Andrew, interior designer Kelly Hoppen and MP Chris Bryant.

    The cases arise out of the disclosure of information by the Metropolitan Police relating to material forfeited by Mulcaire.

    He and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman were jailed in 2007 over tapping the phones of members of the royal household.

    Five alleged victims have reached out-of-court settlements with the newspaper, including celebrity publicist Max Clifford, who received a reported £1m.
    It;s indefensible. How could they do that to the poor girl's family. And this from the company the Government wants to give more power to?

  2. #2
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    Unfortunatly there are people (in the loosest sense of the word) in the media who believe that their position gives them the right to do anything in the pursuit of a story. The only sin is to get caught.

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    What gets me most is how such tabloids have such double standards - and it really does repulse me.

    You can quite easily see how they'd run a headline,

    "Sick Vandals Hack Dying Girls Mobile"

    And yet in this instance ... they're the ones doing it. It's like when Diana died, and they blasted "evil Paparazzi" - who they used before and since for their "celebrity scoops". It's like they can do anything but still take the moral high ground.

    And what's worse is people read and believe ...
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  4. #4
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    And people keep buying the Sun and the News of the World.

    Do you, person reading this? If so, maybe you ought to take a look at how you spend your money and what this says about you.

    Si.

  5. #5
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    PM Dave Cameron finds new adjectives to describe the phone hacking allegations (The Independent):

    David Cameron today condemned the alleged hacking of murdered teenager Milly Dowler's mobile telephone as a "truly dreadful act".

    The Prime Minister said he found claims that a private detective working for the News of the World intercepted her voicemail messages while police were trying to find her "quite, quite shocking".

    "On the question about the really appalling allegations about the telephone of Milly Dowler, if they are true, this is a truly dreadful act and a truly dreadful situation," he told a joint news conference with Afghan president Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

    "What I have read in the papers is quite, quite shocking - that someone could do this, knowing that the police were trying to find this person and trying to find out what had happened."

    Mr Cameron urged the police to pursue their criminal investigation into alleged phone hacking by journalists in "the most vigorous way they can".

    "The police in our country are quite rightly independent, they should feel that they should investigate this without any fear, without favour, without any worry about where the evidence should lead," he said.

    "They should pursue this in the most vigorous way that they can in order to get to the truth of what happened."

    But he made clear that he would not intervene in the bid by the News of the World's parent company - Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation - to take a majority stake in BSkyB.

    "The Government, on these processes, is acting in a quasi-judicial way and it is quite right that the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Jeremy Hunt) carries out his role in that manner without any interference from anyone else in the Government," he said.

    "That is one of the reasons that I have completely abstracted myself from this process and want him to carry out his role in the way that he should under the law."

    Milly's parents are now suing the News of the World over claims that her phone was hacked after she went missing in 2002.
    What I wanted him to say was 'In light of these allegations I have ordered Jeremy Hunt to suspend Rupert Murdoch's bid to take a majority stakeholder share in BSkyB until such time that we are satisfied with their general conduct.' But wishes are not horses.

    I'm glad to hear that he's quite shocked though.

  6. #6
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    What a gutless Prime Minister we've got.

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    The problem is, this will be pinned on a few individuals who the newspaper will claim "went rogue". But what we know this isn't "individuals" this is the culture and environment of these papers/news services.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    These papers believe that ministers, bosses and other people in positions of responsibility should resign when someone under them does something wrong. How utterly like the scummy hypocrites that run our media to decide this isn't like that and Rebekah Brooks didn't do it so she shouldn't have to resign. Remember that next time a civil servant makes a mistake and the Sun is demanding the Secretary of State falls on his sword.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  9. #9
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    So basically our two main parties are one blundering lot who spent all our money and another feckless lot who are selling us out to an evil media tycoon.

    This country is shit. I wish we'd sack the lot of them and make a new party in of ordinary elected citizens.

    Si.

  10. #10
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    Is it worth pointing out at this stage that this is so far only an allegation, not a proven fact, and therefore perhaps we should await the outcome of an investigation before flying off in a rage about everyone involved? It is certainly a horrific thing to have done, if true, and should definitely be investigated, but until it is proven to have occurred, shouldn't we reserve judgement on who should be sacked/fined/whatever?

  11. #11
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    Although you have a good point Jason, I'm inclined to think in this situation 'What would News International do?'

  12. #12
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    While I appreciate the intended humour, the fact that tabloid media constantly engages in trial by journalism is no reason to do the same to them. It's just as unacceptable as their actions in plastering photos of people who might have committed serious crimes over their front pages and thus tainting those people with that crime forever regardless of the outcome of any actual judicial process.

    If the allegations are true, and if someone did indeed hack into the phone of a murdered schoolgirl just to get a story, and if it turns out that the then-editor knew or sanctioned those actions, then I'll be first in line calling for her resignation and a total review of media practice in this country, but until then I'll reserve judgement, as, perhaps, should we all.

  13. #13
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    I agree. It may turn out that News International is entirely innocent. The allegations I read in the Guardian suggest that they turned the reporting over to private investigators who then used illegal techniques to obtain information.

    We've all been upset by the allegations, but I don't think anyone on this thread has said anything too out of line. If anything, the strongest responses came from David Cameron.

    And I think you should remember that these allegations are shocking and upsetting. They can't be compared to the abduction of Milly itself, but they are still distressing. The wider implications and context of this are also worrying; members of the tabloid press have been convicted for hacking into the phones of Royal Aides already, so we know that they have used these techniques.

    People still have a right to express how they feel about the allegations; we will see whether they are proved true or otherwise.

    In the interests of balance, here's an email from Rebekah Brooks in response to the allegations:

    Dear All,

    When I wrote to you last week updating you on a number of business issues I did not anticipate having to do so again so soon.

    However, I wanted to address the company as a matter of urgency in light of the new claims against the News of the World.

    We were all appalled and shocked when we heard about these allegations yesterday.

    I have to tell you that I am sickened that these events are alleged to have happened.

    Not just because I was editor of the News of the World at the time, but if the accusations are true, the devastating effect on Milly Dowler's family is unforgivable.

    Our first priority must be to establish the full facts behind these claims. I have written to Mr and Mrs Dowler this morning to assure them News International will vigorously pursue the truth and that they will be the first to be informed of the outcome of our investigation.

    Our lawyers have also written to their solicitor Mark Lewis to ask him to show us any of the evidence he has so we can swiftly take the appropriate action.

    At the moment we only know what we have read.

    Since 2006, when the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) seized the documentation from the private investigator Glen [sic] Mulcaire, News International has had no visibility on the evidence available.

    The process of discovery is complicated. The MPS first present relevant documents to potential victims. We only see the evidence much later during the legal process.

    This morning, in our regular Operation Weeting meeting, we have offered the MPS our full co-operation to establish the veracity of these fresh allegations.

    I have also written to the chief constable of Surrey police. Although their nine year investigation is now complete, I want to offer our co-operation should they intend to discuss this matter with us.

    I am determined that News International does everything it can to co-operate fully and pro-actively with the MPS, as we have been doing for some time, to verify the facts so we can respond in a robust and proper way.

    It is almost too horrific to believe that a professional journalist or even a freelance inquiry agent working on behalf of a member of the News of the World staff could behave in this way.

    If the allegations are proved to be true then I can promise the strongest possible action will be taken as this company will not tolerate such disgraceful behaviour.

    I hope that you all realise it is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations.

    I am proud of the many successful newspaper campaigns at the Sun and the News of the World under my editorship.

    In particular, the 10-year fight for Sarah's Law is especially personal to me.

    The battle for better protection of children from paedophiles and better rights for the families and the victims of these crimes defined my editorships.

    Although these difficult times will continue for many months ahead, I want you to know that News International will pursue the facts with vigour and integrity.

    I am aware of the speculation about my position. Therefore it is important you all know that as chief executive, I am determined to lead the company to ensure we do the right thing and resolve these serious issues.

    We will face up to the mistakes and wrongdoing of the past and we will do our utmost to see that justice is done and those culpable will be punished.
    I hope that she stands by her words, no matter the outcome of the case. And in my personal opinion, which is all I'm expressing here, I don't think that Rebekah did know about this specific case of phone hacking.

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    She seems to have her arse fully covered there.

    Si.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    We've all been upset by the allegations, but I don't think anyone on this thread has said anything too out of line.
    Possibly not too out of line, but from this thread:

    It;s indefensible. How could they do that to the poor girl's family.
    And yet in this instance ... they're the ones doing it.
    And people keep buying the Sun and the News of the World.

    Do you, person reading this? If so, maybe you ought to take a look at how you spend your money and what this says about you.
    How utterly like the scummy hypocrites that run our media to decide this isn't like that and Rebekah Brooks didn't do it so she shouldn't have to resign.
    All of those comments read as if we've already decided that this did happen, that the news company is guilty, and that she should be resigning immediately. That's what prompted my response.

    And I think you should remember that these allegations are shocking and upsetting.
    Of course they are, but I don't see that as justification for comments that use such hyperbole as 'scummy hypocrytes' and call for the people who buy these papers to re-examine their values. We do not yet know who did what, or indeed even if this hacking actually occurred.

    Horrific and distressing things happen a lot in this world, but we shouldn't go around calling for blood before the facts have actually been established. You don't hang a murder suspect, only a convicted murderer.

  16. #16
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    A tabloid editor, when she is the one accused of wrong doing, saying "Our first priority must be to establish the full facts behind these claims. I have written to Mr and Mrs Dowler this morning to assure them News International will vigorously pursue the truth and that they will be the first to be informed of the outcome of our investigation" makes her a hypocrite. Was her mantra at the NOW to "establish the full facts behind these claims"? No. Was her priority to ensure that the victim of her paper's stories "will be the first to be informed of the outcome of our investigation"? No. Therefore she is a hypocrite. Scummy is up for debate but she is a hypocrite.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  17. #17
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    Fundamentally, I agree - nothing has been proven, and neither News International, nor Brooks, should face any consequences until any wrongdoing has been proven.

    HOWEVER, as I said on Facebook, and others have made their opinion on this clear - if this were any other Newspaper, then the NOTW/The Sun would be demanding that the editor at the time be hung out to dry. Sheer hypocrisy.

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  18. #18
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    Hmmm, yes, we don't know the "true facts" yet, but it's one hell of a coincidence that this has all come out the week after the Milly Dowler case was in court...

    In particular, the 10-year fight for Sarah's Law is especially personal to me.
    Oh well, that's a good 'get out of jail free' card...
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  19. #19

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    Maybe it was the sun shining in his face when Cameron made his thoughts about this. But I noticed his mouth was a lot smaller than it usually is.
    I can understand him squinting in the glare, but his mouth spoke volumes by being smaller than it normally is when he's having a go at New Labour.

    Something to hide Prime Minister?... (Although yes, Blair and Brown also must have had a clue, let alone known what the NOTW was doing) People rose up when the Soham victims were murdered, really they should be out in force over this.
    And I think the main crime the NOTW committed was getting caught.

    Seriously, if you really care enough to stop using Sky, then also stop buying newspapers and get information online. You can use the papers own sites, or venture into the conspiracy news places.
    The content might not be exactly what you want, but it makes a change from "MINOR CELEBRITY DOES SOMETHING SMALL AND INSIGNIFICANT BUT WE'RE GOING TO PUT IT ON THE FRONT PAGE AT THE EXPENSE OF STORIES ABOUT GOVERNMENTS FOR DAYYYYYS!"

  20. #20
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    You don't hang a murder suspect, only a convicted murderer.
    On the other hand, we're not in the position where we can hang anyone, or even fine them. (Not that I would want to hang anyone anyway). I think you're right to point out that the case has yet to be proven, however if there's one place that you're likely to get knee-jerk reactions to something like this, it's an internet forum. We're expressing opinions, not passing judgments that have any value in the real world.

    In any case, we're following the example set by our leaders, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband.

    Prime Minister David Cameron said the alleged hacking was a "truly dreadful act" and urged the police to pursue their criminal investigation into alleged phone hacking by journalists in "the most vigorous way they can". Deputy PM Nick Clegg said if true, the behaviour of those involved was "simply beneath contempt".

    In the Commons Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman urged the government to back a "full public inquiry into illegality in the newspaper industry".

    Ed Miliband has said ex-News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks must "consider her position" over claims Milly Dowler's phone was hacked. The Labour leader said Mrs Brooks, now chief executive of the paper's parent company News International, should "examine her conscience".

  21. #21
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    And now it's being alleged that NOTW journalists hacked into the phones of relatives of the victims of the 7/7 bombing...

    Given that NOTW journalists have been found guilty of such behaviour before, I'm unsurprised that people are taking it to be true before it's been proven so. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if it did turn out to be true, but am waiting to reserve my judgement...

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    Thinking it over, I'm probably inclined to agree with Jason about this.

    However, the number of allegations pouring out this morning doesn't look good for News of The World and tabloid journalism in general. On the positive side, the amount of bad publicity that has been drawn from this may make it very difficult for any paper to justify using phone-hacking in future.

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    But even with that said Rob, there's a certain type of hipocrazy. Our justice system does indeed operate on "innocent until proven guilty", but our tabloid press sure as hell doesn't!
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    For top politicians to risk the wrath of the notoriously vindictive Murdoch press with calls for police investigations and resignations they must know there is a lot of substance to these allegations.

    And as editor wouldn't she have been ultimately responsible for signing off expenses? Even if the journalists used these private investigators without expicit instructions, they would've claimed their fees on expenses. If it was common knowledge that phone hacking was used (and it was because I knew about "the dark arts" so she must've known) and these names appeared on expense forms then she was either incompetant as a boss or she deliberately ignored what was going on in a "don't ask, don't tell" approach to illegality.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

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    Yes, we should give them the benefit of the doubt. They've always been so honest and sincere in the past, so they deserve that much. This wasn't, after all, the publication that stuck lenses through Freddie Mercury's window as he lay dying and harassed his relatives as they came to visit him. Oh wait, it was.

    Si.

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