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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Comments on “Rupert Murdoch's Journalists Accused Of Hacking Into Murdered Girl's Voicemails, Deleting Some”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Chris-Mouse (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Using definitions found in

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.

out_of_the_blue says:

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”.)

The eejit (profile) says:

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.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Jimr (profile) says:

Re: 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.

tracker1 (profile) says:

Re: Re: 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.

Sean T Henry (profile) says:

Re: 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.

The Devil's Coachman (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Is it really a hack?

My impression is that they are taking advantage of lax security policy at the phone company, andor 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?

Anonymous Coward says:

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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