back to article NoTW editor suspended as phone-hacking stink persists

The News of the World has suspended an assistant editor over claims he authorised the voicemail hacking of phones used by actress Sienna Miller and her friends. Ian Edmondson, the tabloid's assistant editor, faces an internal inquiry over allegations of phone hacking in 2005, dating from the time was edited by Andy Coulson, …


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  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    What a rotten stinking mess :-)

    Quite why the Conservatives and Cameron think that Coulson and Hilton are so indispensable is probably due to their having some juicy tabloid gossip on the pretty party boys and girls. It is certainly not because of their PR abilities.

    Oh, and Rupert probably doesn't have anyone remotely able to replace them and report to him with/for their instructions, which does sort of render all of them as lost causes for the future, methinks, for CyberSpace Command and Control is vital for global leadership in both Intelligence and Media Services, and they show no aptitude at all in that discipline.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Can't be true

    The execs said that they didn't authorise anything illegal as that would have been wrong and they wouldn't lie to us wouldl they?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    How can this be?

    This cannot be right. Those fine upstanding people at the Metropolitan Police have already diligently investigated these allegations in their usual way and have already assured us that there is no cause for concern. What could possibly be so wrong with that assurance that it would require the suspension of a NotW employee?

    What was the name of the Met bloke in charge of this investigation? I forget. I remember where he works now he's left the Met though. For Murdoch (at the Times???). Who'd have thought it? "Murdoch more honest than the Met" probe...

  4. D@v3
    Big Brother

    sorry, but....

    Is it really that easy to hack / tap some ones phone calls and voice mail?

    i know these people are "investigative journalists" but that is a little scary.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ease of hacking voice mail

      Step 1: leave your mobile phone voice mailbox with the default password

      Step 2: provide person X with your mobile phone number

      Step 3: Person X provides your details to a "investigative reporter" who follows the mobile phone companies guide for accessing voicemail from another phone with your details and the default password.

      Step 4: Your voicemail is so boring nothing comes of the "investigation"

      This can also work for home/business voicemail systems that have a well known default voicemail passwrd that is unchanged.

  5. Ben Oldham

    Please define hacking

    As entering a default PIN into a voicemail access landline number doesn't fit IMHO.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please define hacking

      I'm also interested in what law has been broken.

      My reading of the laws regarding phone tapping require the conversation to be heard/recorded while it is taking place. Listening to someone else's phone messages is specifically excluded from the wire tapping laws and they don't seem to distinguish between lawful and "accidental" listening.

      I can see the moral argument for attempting to prove someones has broken a law as clearly the voicemail messages have been accessed without valid authorisation but lawyers tend to get their clients off scottf ree when no law has been broken...

      1. Philip Storry

        Is the voicemail stored on a computer system?

        If the voicemails are stored on a computer system, then access by anyone without authorisation is illegal.

        The Computer Misuse Act 1990 clearly states that unauthorised access is itself a crime, even if you modify no data.

        At no point does the law state how the computer system is to be accessed. Keyboard and mouse, Kinect, phone and number pad, phone and voice recognition, direct neural command - it's irrelevant.

        If you're not the owner of the computer or don't have permission from the owner to access it, then accessing it is breaking the law.

      2. Vic

        Re: Please define hacking

        > I'm also interested in what law has been broken.

        The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

        > My reading of the laws regarding phone tapping require the conversation

        > to be heard/recorded while it is taking place.

        Your reading in incomplete. The Met tried the same tack - it is wrong.

        If you read Section 2(7), it specifically *includes* voicemail that has already been heard :-

        "For the purposes of this section the times while a communication is being transmitted by means of a telecommunication system shall be taken to include any time when the system by means of which the communication is being, or has been, transmitted is used for storing it in a manner that enables the intended recipient to collect it or otherwise to have access to it."

        > Listening to someone else's phone messages is specifically excluded

        > from the wire tapping laws

        No, it is specifically *included*.

        > lawyers tend to get their clients off scottf ree when no law has been broken...

        And in this case, a law has been broken. It remains to be seen whether Andy Coulson's proximity to the current PM will cause that to be overlooked.


  6. LPF
    Thumb Up

    Just to bring to everyones attension

    Notice how the rest of the papers arent reporting this all that much ? becuase they have all done it and

    they are trying to avoid any light being shed on them !

    1. Jim Morrow

      don't believe everything you see in the papers

      that's right. the grauniad has kept quiet by helpfully burying this story on most of its front page. again.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Plod is, as Plod does, and they only do as they are told.

    And who do you think tells the Met who or what to investigate? And how smart do you think they will be against their quarry?

  8. maccy
    Thumb Down

    why oh why

    I can understand breaking the law and putting your career at risk in order to have _sex_ with Sienna Miller, but to listen to her? No f**king way.

  9. MGJ


    Coulson recently testified in court on this very matter in Scotland

    1. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      another perjury case?

      Yup. Coulson said on oath he knew nothing about phone hacking at the news of the screws. So if these pending court cases are to be believed, he could be guilty of perjury. Which would be rather ironic since he gave evidence in Comrade Sheridan's perjury trial. It would be very entertaining if the two of them ended up sharing a cell in Barlinnie.

  10. There's a bee in my bot net

    Not Hacking...

    Please stop calling this hacking or even cracking.

    Reading the manual until you find out you need to press # and then enter the default pin code (i.e. 0000, 1111, 1234 etc) during the answer phone greeting is not hacking...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is only not hacking

      in the same way that people who are obsessed with Star Trek and think it is real, and want to marry the characters are "trekkers" and not "trekkies"

      1. There's a bee in my bot net


        I'm not sure I understand the analogy. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a trekker.

        Are you trying to suggest that from an outside perspective that this is just semantics and that it is all hacking/cracking?

        My main concern is that calling something a hack, that, when it boils down to it is just a massive user failure, brought about by bad default settings (blame the manufacturer) and lazy users (blame the users/trekkies/trekkers) and is as easy to 'exploit' as knowing how to get your voicemail remotely and a few default pin numbers. All that is accomplished is to fuel the media fear driven perception that hackers/crackers are evil and must be stopped at all cost (usually our liberty) when it would be more helpful to explain what actually happened.

        I'm not defending hackers/crackers - sometimes they can be a right pain in the arse, when they hack a server through an unpatched exploit in an old customer application. But these journos are not hackers and hacked nothing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Pretty much, yes

          one of the accepted definitions of hacking is gaining unauthorised access to a system - whether it is through clever computer skills, lucky guesses, social engineering or just the target not taking basic precautions.

          I suppose a better, and yet highly emotive example would be blaming a rape victim (and exonerating the rapist) because the victim wore a short skirt and had drunk too many Bacardi breezers. Not as funny as the Trekkie analogy though.

  11. disgruntled yank

    "Disgraced former royal editor Clive Goodman"

    How exactly do you disgrace a royal editor of the News of the World?

    1. John G Imrie

      How exactly do you disgrace a royal editor of the News of the World?

      Offer him a job with a proper newspaper.

  12. JaitcH

    Murdoch must have known: take his knighthood away!

    Since Murdoch micromanages his media acquisitions, he likely knew;approved what was going on.

    Rupert Murdoch should be stripped of his papal knighthood, received from Pope John Paul II, as he was allegedly of (don't laugh) of "unblemished character". Character yes, unblemished - you have to be joking! He's not even Catholic but it appears he was honoured purely for donating large sums of money to the church.

  13. Jamie Kitson


    I think you're the only publication reporting this bar the Guardian.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The Telegraph

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The Independent

      1. galbak

        and even.

        even my local free-sheet gets into the action

        great paper btw, news, views, and nemi.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    No papers seem to be reporting the details that are owned by a certain media magnet.

  15. whats the point of kenny lynch?

    for those who say it's not hacking...

    it's probably not, but would you be bothered if some stranger did this to your kids mobile?

  16. Bob 63

    Trekkers vs trekkies

    Somebody explained the difference to me once: Trekkies are people interested in the future and sci fi in general. They wonder about what the future will bring, space travle and things like what it would be like to have sex in space. Trekkers wonder what it would be like to have sex.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought it was the other way round

      As "Trekkie" sounds more derogatory and "Trekker" sounds more, well, active for want of a better description.

      However it doesn't really matter because regardless of the absolutely correct terminology (whatever it is in this case) it gets skewed by the application of two phenomena:

      (1) people outside the cliques see no difference between the two terms, and associate them both with fat 15 year old American kids who wear homemade starfleet uniforms (complete with cardboard phaser) and pointy ears and tell everyone to "live long and prosper". Except any girls they meet - they would never be able to actually talk to a girl.

      (2) Members of the "virgins" group all claim to be members of the other group anyway - so making anyone genuinely in the "less laughable" group appear not only to really be a member of the sad, lonely virgins group but also not even have the balls to admit it.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was told many years ago

    by a NoTW photgrapher that this was how they caught Sir Peter Harding with Binvenida Buck. Basic brute force attack on one of his answer machines.

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