Royal phone hacking scandal: News International 'admits liability'

Royal phone hacking scandal: News International 'admits liability'

Summary: Breaking: News International, the parent company of a British newspaper accused of hacking into celebrities' phones, has admitted liability.


News International, the parent company behind a group of British newspapers allegedly involved in phone hacking, is admitting liability in a number of ongoing legal cases.

The Rupert Murdoch owned company run a number of tabloid and broadsheet newspapers, notably the News of the World, where a number of members of its staff have been arrested or suspended after they were implicated in the hacking of celebrities' and politicians phones, and the phone of a member of the Royal family.

News International is to apologise to a number of the victims, and is to set up a compensation fund for those directly affected, to deal with "justifiable claims efficiently", according to the BBC.

This is the first time that the newspaper and media conglomerate has admitted it was at fault.

News International said in a statement:

"Past behaviour at the News of the World in relation to voicemail interception is a matter of genuine regret. It is now apparent that our previous inquiries failed to uncover important evidence and we acknowledge our actions were not sufficiently robust."

Last week saw the arrest of two journalists with the News of the World newspaper, Ian Edmonson and Neville Thurlbeck; the first arrests in five years, after the initial conviction of two prior journalists, Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire.

Lord Prescott, former deputy prime minister for the British government during the time Labour was in office between 1997 and 2007, claimed that the Scotland Yard had informed him that "all newspapers were implicated" in the hacking of mobile phones.

The incumbent Conservative government was implicated when Andy Coulson, then press and communications director to the Prime Minister, was questioned by Scotland Yard investigating officers regarding his time at the newspaper, and was forced to resign.

The police inquiry is ongoing.

More on the Royal phone hacking scandal:

Topics: Telcos, Mobility, Security

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  • RE: Royal phone hacking scandal: News International 'admits liability'

    Zac, following this I've been curious what platform they were running that got hacked? And their phones were custom like President Obama's BB? (Would also like to know how they did it, but don't imagine those details will ever come out)

    Also, I've not seen any mention of what was intercepted? Email? SMS? docs?
    • Fairly certain

      @chmod 777 ... that the British voicemal victims were using commercial services, whereas the president, no doubt, is using highly secure strong encrypted military signals systems which are fronted by an enhanced blackberry.
      • RE: Royal phone hacking scandal: News International 'admits liability'

        @HollywoodDog That's correct. I've written in previous posts (should have in this one also, come to think of it) that it was voicemail messages that were intercepted, by hacking the default code to access the mailbox.
  • Why are these people using voicemail?

    I'm a nobody, yet I'm paranoid, don't put a phone near my mouth unless I absolutely have to, and don't transmit anything of serious substance over electronic media in general. The more sensitive the topic, the less likely I am to phone or mail.

    Phones are for making appointments. Anything you don't want on the front page of the Times or blown up on an easel for the benefit of the jury, don't write it and don't phone it.

    Martin Lomasney (ward boss (political boss) of Boston's Ward Eight) created a famous saying on the importance of discretion: ""Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink." Eliot Spitzer recently added the warning, "never put it in e-mail."
    • whats the problem?

      [i] The more sensitive the topic, the less likely I am to phone or mail[/i]

      Why? There is [b]nothing[/b] in this world that is so sensitive that it needs to be concealed. [b]Nothing![/b]
      Will Farrell
      • RE: Royal phone hacking scandal: News International 'admits liability'

        @Will Farrell That's something criminologists, sociologists and politicians have been arguing for years.
      • RE: Royal phone hacking scandal: News International 'admits liability'

        @Will Farrell

        I would bet that there is something about you that you would not want the world to know about.
      • You don't know what's sensitive or what isn't

        @Will Farrell ... every government in the world is on random fishing expeditions through people's emails.

        And no doubt lots of people at ISP's or in the governments security apparati are rummaging around through people's private communications for their idle entertainment.

        If you're a royal or a high government official, everything you say or do is by definition sensitive.

        I once was in a room at a trade association headquarters with the attorney general of a US state. A group of people unknown to us came in the front door, he saw them and left through the rear. He had no idea who they were, which is why he didn't want to be in the same room with them.

        That's the way we all have to live our lives now, like it or not.
      • I question your use of the word 'concealed'

        @Will Farrell ... I simply don't email things.

        There's a good episode of Yes Minister. Hacker suggests to Humphrey that they suppress a report.

        "Minister! Suppression is the instrument of totalitarian regimes. We simply don't publish it."
      • RE: Royal phone hacking scandal: News International 'admits liability'

        @HollywoodDog Try "The Thick of It" - absolutely hilarious stuff; like "Yes Minister" but a modern day version, with far more swearing and unparalleled accuracy.
  • It's who's responsible that matters.

    This has been going on for years. The issue isn't really security or what was intercepted but who knew about it within not just NOTW, but News Corp itself.<br>It's illegal over here in the UK.<br>Murdoch has shown extreme interest in the developments.<br><br>Former Sunday Times editor and broadcaster Andrew Neil said it was a "complete mea culpa".<br>"They are trying to close it down with their cheque book but I don't think it will succeed," he told the BBC.<br><br>
    • I wish they'd indict News Corp

      @Chipesh ... If News Corp officials did this for the benefit of News Corp, the corporation should be guilty and be indicted.