Murdoch Phone Hacking Story Just Gets Worse And Worse

from the rupert-running-for-cover dept

Following the reports that employees for Rupert Murdoch's UK tabloid "News of the World" hadn't just hacked into the voicemails of politicians and celebrities, but also those of a murdered teenager (in which they supposedly deleted some message, leading to false hope that the girl was still alive), now come reports that News of the World hacked into the voicemails of the families of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On top of that, it's also come out that the former editor of the paper, Rebekah Brooks was allegedly warned by Scotland Yard about possible illegal spying taking place via the paper's resources. In that case, she was warned that a reporter was helping two murder suspects spy on the detective investigating them. In other words, we're getting way past just hacking into voicemails and into interfering with police investigations.

Not surprisingly, the Murdoch family is in full-on crisis mode. Advertisers are bailing on the paper, the Murdochs' relationships with top politicians in the UK are being scrutinized and it seems likely that this is one scandal that won't be easily brushed under the rug.

Making matters even crazier, to help deal with the crisis, Murdoch has actually hired the (former) prosecutor who originally investigated the hacking allegations back in 2005 & 2006, and knew the extent of them, but didn't do much about them. Apparently, UK politicians are screaming about this being a pretty serious conflict of interest, given that the guy failed to do much about the news of the hacking early on. You would think that the Murdochs would realize just how bad hiring this guy would look, but it's beginning to become clear that they're really not sure at all how to react to this news coming out in public after all these years.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 5:32am

    It gets better - they';ve been accused of tampering with every high-profile murder investigation in the UK, as well as the Danielle Jones case.

    This is bigger than Watergate now, and tarnishes every 'journalist' that ever worked for News International. Even thw WSJ and the NYT have had top acknowledge that this is big. Brooks should fall on her sword, because there are a few angry parents right now who know where she lives.

    And as for Murdoch calling it a smear campaign, he has absolutely no right to talk, given the level of damage his so-called news outlet Fox has done to political candidates in the past thirty years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    herbert, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:03am

    and even worse, murdoch is tipped to have camerons support in securing bskyb! if that doesn't lead to one sided and selective reporting, i dont know what will

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:19am

    What's good for the government is good for the press?

    If the government can have full, warrantless, untraceable access to everyone's private data, why shouldn't the press? Or anyone else for that matter? After all, if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide. /sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      michael e rosick, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 7:03pm

      help stop my phone email being hacked

      hi my phone an email was hacked how do i make it stop my cell number 864 354 2564 really need the help

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Michael e rosick, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 2:28pm

      Re: What's good for the government is good for the press?

      Please help me my phone an home might be buged I have info that it might my email an facebook got hacked an lies were told that cause be own tv so now people look at me funny an like I said tons of pages about it
      WE

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Simon, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:20am

    Advertisers

    They don't need to stinking advertisers, they've got a paywall!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    pacelegal, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:20am

    what should happen to a newspaper who buys information that they know is stolen?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:35am

      Re:

      I think not much, maybe even nothing should happen if a newspaper acquires information through another party acting of their own violation. At worst, receiving stolen goods.

      It is important to note however, that is NOT what is happening here, and charges should be filed against individual reporters, as well as launching an investigation into the other reporters and the organization as a whole.

      Note1: If the reporter/newspaper hired, suggested, or otherwise directed someone to the actions, they should be charged as conspirators.

      Note2: If they have their own team of hackers to 'find' and sell the information, they should be charged for the crime itself, and possibly as a criminal enterprise.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Deirdre (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:43am

    I was reading a British set mystery this weekend (Elizabeth Corley's Innocent Blood) and thought the reporters portrayed were over the top evil in their actions-- looks like the author had in fact pulled her punches instead.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:43am

    Nice knowing you News Corp, this is horrible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    That Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Well if your going to buy a prosecutor, you might as well get your moneys worth.

    He is going to try and spin this as being blown out of proportion and if there were anything really seriously wrong here he would have prosecuted them when this first came to light. This is all just people upset with Murdoch getting control of another news outlet and not a "real" story.

    And even if someone or several someones fall on their swords, it won't matter. Nothing bad will befall Murdoch, he will sit behind his piles of cash safe and clean.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:51am

    I find it very difficult, having spoken to journalists and having worked on magazines myself, that the editor of a publication, in this case, Rebekah Brooks or even Coulson couldn't have known about the hacking. The editors job is to know the provenance of stories printed in their publication. If you let the lower rung journalists run free without verifying or at least having a clue as to the source of a story then you're opening your business up for litigation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Nelson, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 6:54am

    ( tunes harmonica )

    Ha - ha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:15am

    I am not surprised. News outfits in general have stopped doing good journalism for a while now. Still, I wonder why they'd tamper with murder cases (ie: delete messages) when they had enough material to write their puny articles...

    It's surprising how we are getting tons of evidence against the concentration of commercial power (Wall-e style). Buy 'n Large isn't what should be happening. Countries that had their land distributed to smaller producers saw the great benefits it brought instead of having huge properties of single genre crops. Maybe it's about time fusions and bloated companies get stopped?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ben (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:20am

    It wasn't hacking

    They just guess that the default voicemail password of 0000 was unchanged.

    Guessing the password /= hacking, but then it makes for a better headline for the press

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      The eejit (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:38am

      Re: It wasn't hacking

      No, there was actually quite a bit of deception involved, including brute-forcing the voicemail key, as well as pretending to be a member in a phone compnay's store to obtain the key.

      And yes, brute-force attacks are hacking - just not very effective or time-safe.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Joe Publius (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:03am

      Re: It wasn't hacking

      0000?

      That's the kind of password an idiot puts on their luggage.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    I ask why is it Murdoch?
    You can't tell me you have evidence that he was involved in this.
    The private dick and the papers he worked for sure.
    This just seems to be another get Rupert attack piece.
    Is this MSNBC? The Daily KOS, Think Progress, Huffington Post, Moveon.org?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      The eejit (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:37am

      Re:

      Because James Murdoch (y'know, Rupert's SON) is the one who signed off on some of the receipts. Which would imply the Rupert knew what was going on and did nothing.

      In a death case where you were involved, that would be the 'depraved heart' manslaughter standard.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Well, as you know if you read Dragonlance books, evil always eats its own in the end. It is the natural outcome of such behavior.

    This disgusts me on so many levels. I cannot even begin to express the hatred that I have for Murdoch media, but this isn't something I'd expected even from the trash that he publishes. In. Fucking. Credible.

    Hopefully this will change the face of English politics for the better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    Will Glenn Beck cry for Murdoch?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRVdgoh-4_w

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 9:30am

    NEWS OF THE WORLD
    CLOSED FOR BUSINESS

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mike, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    spin

    Murdoch is used to just being able to use his signifigant media resources to spin or bury anything he doesn't want heard... these stories were buried deep in the Business News section of the Fox news website... I don't think he'll be able to bury this one though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:33am

      Re: spin

      Not with lines like this:

      "I know I have brought the vilification I am experiencing upon myself, but I do ask the media to leave my family and my children, who are all blameless, alone."

      This statement was made by Glenn Mulcaire...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Mike,

    For someone who is always complaining about misapplied third-party liability, you sure are quick to place blame squarely on Rupert Murdoch for the actions of a handful of the many, many, many employees of his various companies.

    The Murdoch name appears 6 times in the article/headline, and the names of the actual hackers do not appear at all.

    I'm not a particular fan of Murdoch, but I don't get why we are focusing on him in particular for the actions of one paper and its employees.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      A CEO is responsible for things that happen at his company. There are also serious allegations that he was aware that this was happening and covered it up.

      An ISP is not responsible for its user's actions. Google is not responsible for what a user uploads to Youtube. Rupert Murdoch is not responsible because a reader of one of his websites writes a defamatory comment.

      Comparing those completely different organizational structures is just pitiful.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:28am

        Re: Re:

        If Murdoch know something and covered it up, that's one thing.

        But using "Murdoch" as a synonym all his companies/divisions/employees is not something I've seen Mike (or really anyone that I can recall) do for other companies.

        Nobody says "Page hires X attorney" or "Bezos hires X attorney" when Google or Amazon hire a law firm for a particular matter (or when some Amazon division/subsidiary like Zappos hires a firm independently).

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    FM Hilton, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    I'm just enjoying the fact that the game is over for this tabloid, one of many that Murdoch owns. I'm sure that he will enjoy being prosecuted personally and sued by many, many people-at last estimate about 4,000 people's accounts may have been hacked.
    There are reports that the police in London were paid off to look the other way when the hacking took place..and so it goes on and on.
    I just hope and pray that this will affect 'Faux" News-you can never say it couldn't be possible that NoTW is the only media outlet that's done wrong in the Murdoch empire.
    Murdoch just reached his tipping point in his quest for world domination of the news. Now he can say bye-bye to the BSky deal. That one's a goner for sure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      I just hope and pray that this will affect [Fox] News...

      I suppose that the big news about all this is that there is a Rupert Murdoch organization that actually relies on news gathering...

      I'll suggest that one of his holdings here in the US really relies more on their opinion than being a provider of news.

      Checking into the news gathering techniques used by other parts of the Rupert Murdoch organization is a legitimate question. But I have my doubts this will affect Fox News-- their ratings and therefore profits don't stem from aggressive news gathering.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Burton, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    The dramatic announcement that the NotW is closing is a total smokescreen.

    The paper is the de facto Sunday edition of that other bastion of journalistic integrity, The Sun. Expect to see 'The Sun on Sunday' launch shortly. They grabbed the domain names on Tuesday.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Michael e rosick, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Internet bullying

    My name michael rosick an my home buged an email people make profile about me an no one will help me if u can help help you contact me I. Contact lawyer my cell 5182219390 I really would like it to stop belive I went to my mother last summer an my face book was hacked by my boyfriend an family my boyfriend post xxx pics an said some. Bad lies about me. Please help also my email mikerosick27 @yahoo.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This