back to article Phone bugging scandal reignited as NotW suspends reporter

New allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World have resulted in the suspension of one of the Sunday paper's reporters, pending legal and disciplinary action over allegations of tapping into the voicemail messages of an unnamed television personality. A detailed investigation by the New York Times has reignited a …


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  1. Flugal

    Voicemail PIN

    If high profile people cannot be bothered to change the PIN to their voicemail they shouldn't be terribly surprised that hacks dial in to their voicemail. Hacks are known to be pretty good at getting to info they want. If you leave default security level in place that a five year old could work out, a journo isn't going to have too much of a struggle to listen to your messages.

    Sure, it's not legal, but if there was a general default email password on accounts that nobody bothered to change and hacks logged into that, we might be asking questions of the "victim", and why they made it so easy, and not just why hacks are so devious.

    And, after the first round of phone security was published, surely no high profile person keeps their voicemail and the default setting now?

    Fuck'em all.

  2. John Styles


    The BBC seem to be strangely uninterested in this story.

    1. Woodgar

      re: Fit

      Really? Which BBC is this?

      The same BBC that had a lengthy interview with John Prescott regarding this on their flagship news and current affairs program this morning?

    2. pipster

      Coulson dodgy, what a surprise...

      Only The Guardian (and now El Reg) seems to have the balls to publish the most important bit of the story, which is the Andy Coulson is heavily implicated by witnesseses as being knee-deep in this.

      Don't expect to read this in any of Murdoch's publications (i.e. most major newspapers). John is right as the BBC's story misses this rather large detail.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        Playing Devil's advocate here

        I have a feeling that the reason the BBC are not covering this story is that they are afraid of the powers that the Tories have. Remember, Murdoch controls the Tory party, and the government can control how much TV Licence can be allocated to the BBC. If the BBC even dare to try and say anything bad against Murdoch, they know that the Tories will come down on them like a tonne of bricks. Also, the PCC is owned by the Daily Mail, while the Express papers and Murdoch papers are in collusion against the BBC. That is why they are so reluctant to say anything.

        Helicopters, because you don't know just how much power Murdoch and his ilk have in politics!

      2. Snafu 2

        Letters or digits

        Graun & El Reg are not the only ones; Private Eye has been sporadically reporting this (& other questions) for several years now

      3. Gulfie

        Private Eye got there first

        Private Eye has been covering this story since the original prosecution, most recently in the run up the the general election. They have repeatedly stated that the practice was much more widespread than the prosecution covered, that the police knew this was the case, had not notified any of the other affected people, and that in effect this was always going to be a ticking bomb for the paper and Coulson. I shall be reading the next edition with interest.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Fleet Street Cowards

    Clever of The New York Times to respond to Murdoch's Wall Street Journal blood feud by going after another part of his empire - the News of The World.

    It also neatly illustrates the comfortable little cartel that controls the UK paper industry - "nothing to see here, move along". With the BBC neutered by Murdoch, it is left to a bunch of Yanks to shed some light on the whole sorry affair.

  4. Ally J
    Black Helicopters

    The Mighty Murdoch

    It's most illuminating that one of the Scotland Yard press people is quoted as saying it would be bad to get on the wrong side of Murdoch's media.

  5. Elmer Phud

    Minister for Disinformation

    What shouldn't be forgotten is that amongst all this is the fact that Cameron appointed the bugger as his 'Media Advisor'.

    You also have to just wonder how far Murdoch has his hand up the puppet Cameron's arse (yes, similar to Blair but what's the difference) as regard the appointment.

  6. pyroweasel

    Wapping lies?

    "Many of the hacks carried out "

    A typical friday night for NotW journos?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    @Elmer Phud

    Do you think Murdoch sees a difference between Blair and Cameron?

    I'm struggling a bit there .....

    AC because I wouldn't want to upset our glorious leader *


    1. Elmer Phud

      One right-wing git v's another

      Mudroach doesn't give a toss - it's all about control.

      It was a cosy friendship between Him and Thatcher that got rid of BSB and gave us Sky (and BT)

  8. James Pickett


    "Mudroach" :-)

    The Beeb covered the story quite well this lunchtime, and included the rather improbable official comment from the NotW, that they have a "zero tolerance" attitude to wrongdoing by their hacks. If so, one wonders where next Sunday's copy is going to come from...

  9. LPF

    For the love of god!

    The reason that the rest of fleet street ios keeping weel away from this tory is that the NOTW is not the only paper to have done this.

    DO you think that this PI only worked for them ??

    How do you think the Mirror , Star, People and the broadsheets got their scoops??

    You guys cannot be that naive surely??

  10. blackworx
    Thumb Up


    They're no doubt working together on it. The sad truth is that the more The Graun banged this particular drum on its lonesome, the more folk would have ignored it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It seems that the mobile phone operators found this by...

    observing that many voicemail accesses came from a few numbers.

    From other articles apparently o2 told their customers they had been hacked, the rest not.

    What needs to happen:

    1/ Operator should send you a text every time your voicemail is accessed by a phone other than the mobile itself (and perhaps a whitelist of a few others)

    2/ Operator should allow you to prevent access from phones which don't report their ID (with option to switch off)

    3/ Operators should be more proactive if they see some numbers accessing many phones.

  12. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    It is not PHONE hacking - it's VOICEMAIL

    FFS, is it so hard to be a bit more accurate? I can accept this from the Sun and NotW, but this is not some high-tech data tap on a live GSM conversation (which has only become possible and affordable in the last few months), this is a guy dialing 0000 to 9999 after trying the defaults until he gets access, and it's easy to make his lide a bit more miserable.

    After the 3nd fail, send an SMS to the user and put some delay in to slow down the retries. Or do what some other coutries do, use more digits, and force a change on first access.

    But it is NOT a phone tap..

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