back to article Police may have had a duty to notify phone-hacking victims

The Metropolitan Police knew that numerous mobile phones had been illegally hacked by private investigators but failed to alert the phones' owners, according to The Guardian newspaper. If so, the victims should have been told, a privacy expert has said. The Guardian alleged this week that Rupert Murdoch's News Group newspapers …


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  1. Mark S 2


    the police could of been clever and said they left a message on the person answer phone, which Obviously the press must of deleted before the victim heard it.....

  2. Anonymous Coward

    No suprise...

    ...the Met probebrly thought all these people were trouble makers, so didn't bother. Hell they probebrly got all the details themselves so they could the information inside to brand them terrorists...

    Ooo look that person once walked past a CND camp in 1984. Terrorist.

    Oh look, that bloke took a photo of a London red bus. Terrorist.

    That women didn't wear a Bra in 1996, bloody femminist. Sorry terrorist.

  3. EdwardP


    We have two issues here:

    A) Journalists taking advantage of the rather silly default password for Voicemails.

    B) Journalists paying police to use RIPA (thanks Jacqui...) to request phone records.

    The Police won't investiage A because of B.

    Welcome to the clusterfuck...

  4. Anonymous Coward


    So hacking broadband = good but hacking mobiles = bad?

    I wonder if this is just because the NOTW refused to hand over some juicy recordings to the met?

    AC because of the state of this country!

  5. TimNevins

    I know my place

    We are little people.

    If a 16 year old steals a packet of crisp from the local newsagent he/she gets arrested and prosecuted for shoplifting.

    However if you work for Murdoch it's all good.

    Commit any crime and he'll ensure the police will not come after you. Furthermore the police will run interference by not even informing those affected.

    Remember when he called up pretty much the entire Met to put down protests against Wapping.

    One call to Maggie was all that was needed.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    mobile phones hacked

    How exactly were they hacked, apart from guessing the voicemail PIN ? Is there some backdoor method for accessing peoples mobile phone accounts.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "The hacking of phones is a crime under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000."

    Not if it's authorised by a Secretary of State, which makes you wonder if they've ever misused the power. Well apart from the authorisation to record client-solicitor conversations, and MP visits to prisoners, and whatever other occasion we don't know about, since there's no judicial controls on this.

    There was a thing Prescott said, he said he knew he was being bugged in his old Union days (which came out under freedom of information act). It strikes me that politicians should not have the power to authorise surveillance at all, that should be the judiciary.

    And that if the surveillance doesn't result in a later charge, the victim should be informed, so they can challenge the basis for it).

    Every time private info of a person is obtained, that's a violation of their privacy right. You can claim it was necessary for an investigation, but then it should be open to challenge. If no charges were laid, then there is no reason to withhold the information.

  8. DirkGently

    No brainer

    Illegal activity == criminal charges

  9. 7mark7

    This will be interesting ...

    ... clearly, some of the celebs involved have money and lots of it.

    I suspect there will be quite a few 'out of court' settlements. If someone does want to push for legal action though, I suspect they will find that access to justice is a lot easier for them than it has been for hundreds of thousands of BT users.

    Of course, it's even easier if you are a royal.

  10. Fragula

    Pay to Play

    Seems slightly incongruous that the newspaper group can pay an "out of court settlement" to get away with a criminal act.

    I thought the principle was, that the law was an equal asset to all, rather than the decisions of the police and judiciary being dictated by the ability to pay, or political clout.


    Seems to me that those useually branded as Criminals have more integrity.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    Its not hacking. They where guessing voicemail passwords.

    Who uses voicemail these days anyway?

  12. Enigma9
    Thumb Up

    Fones h4ck3d

    If it's illegal to hack a phone why do the manufacturers sell phones to companies that then lock that phone to their network and insist on having there branding placed onto the device?

    Have those companies not therefore hacked the phone?

    Causing everyone to pay £10 to someone with an unlocker to re-flash the phones firmware.


  13. Anonymous Coward

    Police may have a duty...?!?

    Increasingly, the public is realising that the police's idea of what their "duties" are, is seriously at odds with what we are paying them to do.

  14. Enigma9

    Would they???

    Would people be willing to pay for and buy a cell phone if they realized that device is nothing more than a glorified tracking device?

    GPRS.. or GPS in short, it's built into every 2G and 3G handset, one manufacturer has made it a huge selling point, Samsung Mobile Tracker. It's very scary the way they slowly eroded peoples privacy rights by offering them all picture and video messaging.

    I've always hacked my phones and will continue to do so, if it upsets the manufacturer that I can turn off that feature and still be in possession of a tri-band handset that is not locked to any network, then tough beans!

  15. EdwardP 1


    With just GPRS the best you're going to get is triangulation between mobile masts.

    GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)

    GPS (Global Positioning System)

    Most remote tracking devices use GPS to track, and GPRS as a carrier for the information.

    Hope this cleared up and confusion. Remove the tinfoil hat.

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