Rupert Murdoch's Journalists Accused Of Hacking Into Murdered Girl's Voicemails, Deleting Some

from the classy dept

Well, this is rather horrific. We've mentioned in the past the story about how reporters for Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, one of the many publications in his News Corp. empire, were accused of hacking into the voicemails of hundreds of people. Every few weeks, it seems, more reports surface of people who have had their voicemails hacked. But the latest may be the worst of the bunch. Apparently, after teenager Milly Dowler disappeared in 2002, but before her murdered body was found, reporters hacked into her voicemail. Not only that, but they deleted some messages in order to make more room for new messages. Apparently, the deletions were part of what gave her parents hope that Dowler was still alive, believing that perhaps she was checking her voicemail. Most of the earlier reports on Murdochs' journalists hacking into voicemail had focused on politicians and celebrities. But this sounds like they may have actually destroyed evidence and tampered with an actual police investigation. The company has been paying off some of the celebrities whose voicemail was hacked, but this takes things to an entirely different level.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:40am

    As sad as this is, little will come of this. One of the ediotors at the time of these hackings tock up a position within the goverment, and our pm is good friends with a few high up individuals at NI . I think they must have some good info on our mp's for this not to have been blown up on every news paper. I just wish our goverment would tell Rupert Murdoch to get the fuck out of our country, he's nothing but trouble and he has a monopoly on most media with value.

     

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    Robert Doyle (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Make all of their mail - voice mail, email, paper mail, all of it, completely public and published on a government website. And give everyone access to delete their message or file them wherever.

    Treat their privacy like they treat others.

     

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      Chris-Mouse (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:14am

      Re:

      Make all of their mail - voice mail, email, paper mail, all of it, completely public and published on a government website. And give everyone access to delete their message or file them wherever.

      Treat their privacy like they treat others.

      While it's a nice idea, there's a problem with it. Email involves the privacy of two people, not one. the sender and the recipient. After this sort of privacy violation, the 'reporters' involved don't deserve privacy, but the sources they are in contact with do.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    Using definitions found in

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Shot_Liberty_Valance
    the internet is very much Cowboy Land without law.

    Law is coming but most will not like it as it.

    As the internet is worldwide it will always be foreign law with foreign officials applying it by the simple means of extradition since that eliminates the pesky problem of domestic law 'a restrictions.

    Everything is illegal somewhere thus everyone's action on the internet is illegal somewhere.

    No people will like this and the only results will be to break the internet into regional or national nets.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    You get Rich by pleasing millions of dolts.

    Catering to low tastes, not finer. Therefore, the actual hacking is driven by money. -- And of course with the profits one can buy a title in England and be called "Lord".

    So while we can't lay this directly to Murdoch's charge, what's the obvious solution? -- TAX THE RICH until the profit motive is down to reasonable levels. (And for England, do away with the "monarchy" and seize all property of those who deem themselves "nobles".)

     

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      The eejit (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:56am

      Re: You get Rich by pleasing millions of dolts.

      1) The monarchy are reasonably well-liked for those who don't read the Daily Mail;
      2) I'm firmly in the camp that heads should literally roll for this, especially given that News International initially led to the wrongful arrest of someone later found to be innocent;
      3) This should also draw into question whether NewsCorp should be able top fully take over BSkyB, given the willingness they have shown to blatantly disregard the law;
      4) I'm certain that NewsCorp will have a lot of dirt on some of the UK Cabinet members (especially Osborne);
      5) This revelation has tainted every single high-profile investigation in the UK in the past ten years, from Milly Dowler to the MP Expenses. "Nice investigation. It would be a shame to lose vital info..."

      I absolutely agree with you on the 'Lowest Common Denominator' mark. I would bar him and NewsCorp from ever holding a stake in media again, and fine him billions of pounds.

      This is sickening and it destroys any trust in journalists that they could have built up. Nice work NewsInt.

       

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:20am

      Re: You get Rich by pleasing millions of dolts.

      I like you, Blue. You're the kind of special crazy that makes us mild conspiracy theorists and socialism dabblers seem completely benign in comparison.

      Keep up the crazy!

       

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        Gwiz (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:54am

        Re: Re: You get Rich by pleasing millions of dolts.

        I like you, Blue. You're the kind of special crazy that makes us mild conspiracy theorists and socialism dabblers seem completely benign in comparison.

        I'm sayin. Blue makes my tinfoil wizard hat look downright fashionable.

         

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      Chargone (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:29am

      Re: You get Rich by pleasing millions of dolts.

      ... this makes so many false assumptions about the nature of monarchy and nobility it's not even funny.

      it also sounds amusingly communist.

       

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    Planespotter (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Bear in mind that he is also trying to take sole control of BSkyB the largest independant satellite TV service provider in the UK! Hopefully the government won't just give him the green light like they have suggested now that all this has hit the news.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    It should be mentioned that there is alledge confirmation that the victims of 7th July bombing were hacked as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:08am

    Did they hack in, or did they just get the password off of wikileaks or something like that? Would you feel different if the messages were up on some secret third party board?

     

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      Chargone (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:31am

      Re:

      what password? it's voicemail. it's tied to a physical device which is associated with a phone number.

      this comment sounds like it's trying to insinuate something to undermine someone's point... but it honestly doesn't make enough sense to do anything but make it look like you don't know what you're talking about.

       

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        Jimr (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re:

        I can set my voice mail to automatically work for the default phone number it is assigned to OR I can have restricted by password.

        I would think the very least charges would be destroyed evidence and tampered with an actual police investigation. I could see the parents trying to sue for mental anquish or something else. In any case I hope they set an example of with News company and all those involved.

         

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        tracker1 (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 10:58am

        An unlocked door is not an invitation.

        Even if there is no password, which there usually is, it's just that the account the voicemail is tied to can be allowed to bypass it. Beyond this, leaving an unlocked door, doesn't make it any less illegal to enter a private residence without permission. And entering someone else's voicemail without permission is equally a violation. There are wiretap laws that could apply here, not to mention privacy laws, and other encroachments. I think the fine should be $10K per insident (per voicemail listened to) and $100K per account they accessed. Along with $500M in 120 second awareness/apology advertisements on their networks, along with announcements on every one of their networks on the same day.

         

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      Sean T Henry (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:42am

      Re:

      Yes the password was pulled the out of a dead girls brain and submitted to wikileaks, then they got in a time machine to retrieve the data on a webpage that would not be created for another 5 years.

      Let me put it this way if you change your voicemail password right now then burn your phone, just after that you are killed. How would I get your voice mail password?

      The only ideas I have on doing that is:
      1. Try entering all 10,000 combinations.
      2. Try to have the password reset by the phone company.

       

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:17am

    Rupert Murdoch's news empire is a bucket of snot, pus and vomit.

    So are the members of his audience, and a more slack-jawed bunch of morons has yet to be found. They're the ones who demand to read this shit, and swallow every bit of it as gospel truth. Too bad they breed at such an alarming rate, and it now seems the movie "Idiocracy" will have been prophetic, not too long from now. Makes me glad I'm old and sick enough that I won't have to live to see the final outcome of it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    I would be happy if as much attention were paid to all the practitioners of bad journalism, beside just going after old Murdoch.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Is anyone actually surprised by this?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:31am

      Re:

      Actually, I am.

      Surprised that a journalist hacked in and listened to the voicemails? Absolutely no surprise there. I would be surprised to meet a journalist that *didn't* do that kind of thing.

      But deleting vm's? It surprises the hell out of me that a journalist would cross that line. Setting aside any Heisenberg-esque discussions, and maybe I'm just naive about journalists today, but that crosses the line from observing the news to being the news, which is a line I thought journalists were very squeamish about crossing.

       

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        The eejit (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re:

        It goes much, much further than just those. Like I said above, this taints every investigation by Scotland Yard. And not just in a legal sense. I would go so far as to classify this as terrorism, as it's not just an isolated incident, there are allegations going back to the mid-90s.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:56am

    I thought hacking was evil and despicable. Seems like everybody was upset at LulzSec and Anonymous for doing it to big corporations instead of a murdered young girl. Where is the outrage?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 10:50am

    Is it really a hack?

    My impression is that they are taking advantage of lax security policy at the phone company, and\or outright paying support staff to turn give them access. This is trackable and fixable, if the company chooses to track and fix it.

    Doesn't overusing the H word just distract people from the solvable problem of securing these codes?

     

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    DOlz (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    To paraphrase Leona Helmsley

    Mike, Mike, when are you going to get it, rules are for the little people.

     

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    Joe Smith, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    Prison

    Given then number of celebrities who have also been victimized this must have been a fairly wide spread practice.

    Everyone associated with any of these incidents at News of the World should go to prison.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 6:12pm

    This story keeps getting worse.
    It has now been revealed that they hacked the phones of the victims of the 7/7 London tube bombing and war widows.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 11:37pm

      Re:

      Again, I would go so far as to call these people terrorists for their actions. They incite the fear and refused to let people grieve; they gave the relatives false hope; and then crushed that - all in the name of greed.

      This is worse than the bankers' greed by far, and I suspect that bthe rot goes all the way through Newscorp.

       

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    NadePaulKuciGravMcKi, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 10:22pm

    controlled media controlled government

    extortion blackmail bribery
    protect criminals at all cost

     

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    testcore (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 2:21am

    Irony?

    Since the VM's were deleted and are no longer available for use by the family, yet the reporters had the opportunity to benefit from them, isn't that theft?

     

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    wayout, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 4:55am

    I have to wonder, what would the govt response be if it was a govt agency that was doing the hacking & not a private citizen...would we still see the "outrage" we are currently seeing from the british govt officials..?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    In all of this one part that seems to have gone over the heads of many is where Rebekah Brooks said that the police have been paid for information.
    Tomorrow being Tuesday with her appearance at Parliament, I wonder what information will come out about that?
    Is the resignation of Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Stephenson, a precursor to this information.

     

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