back to article Liberty: Observer story takes liberties

The civil rights group Liberty has rubbished a newspaper report that it has been approached by several UK mobile operators in an attempt to win its public support for their data protection policies. If such an approach had been made it would have been rejected on principle, Liberty told The Register. The lead of The Observer …

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Paris Hilton

Nice one!

Well done, El Reg. Good story. And one that seems rather more thoroughly fact-checked than The Observer's. Maybe the journo had no credit on his PAYG mobe. We await The Observer's explanation with bated breath.

Note to hacks: don't publish stuff you can't stand up.

Paris icon because she can stand things up, fnarr fnarr

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Silver badge

All it means is

a couple of people (and it could be anyone within the organisations) sent an email to, at a guess, postmaster@liberty-human-rights.org asking if they'd be interested in making a bit of money. Liberty doesn't have to have received the email - and if it was sent to a made-up address, it's likely they didn't - for the story to be factually correct.

However, if this is the case, the story boils down to:

- someone sent an email, Liberty didn't receive it, nothing happened

which obviously needs a bit of sexing up (as only newspapers know how) to make it into the Observer and for it to be followed up to get even more mileage out of a bundle 'o nothing. One presumes that all the other scoops, investigations, special reports and exclusives these journos churn out on a slow-news week are equally substantial and prepared with the same amount of care.

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Newspaper in 'made up story' shocker

Why is anyone surprised about this?

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Pirate

So, not all campaign groups sell out...

So, apparently not all campaign groups sell out to big business in endorsing (mis)use of private data. Just campaigners from one campaign group so far. Google Phorm to find out, then sign the petition against Phorm: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ispphorm/

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Dead Vulture

So what happened was...

...some mobile phone company Veep of marketing mad e an off-the-cuff suggestion in the hearing of an Observer hack that maybe Liberty would be a good organisation to get on-side to grant their data mining some legitimacy, and the hack made the rest up to fill column inches.

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Anonymous Coward

@ So, not all campaign groups sell out...

Don't forget that the National council for civil liberties (Liberty as was) was a convenient jumping off point for those iconoclastic defenders of human rights, Patrica Hewitt (now on the board of BT) and Harriet Harman (a labour party politician).

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Anonymous Coward

Beer story

I've been drinking with some lads from the Graundian. Enthusiastic lot, although quite easily set up for a prat-fall.

Maybe someone overheard Shami on the phone to Vodaphone technical support and embellished a bit?

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Liberty not a sell out?

Maybe the old Graun hack was thinking about the prestigious department store which doesn't (AFAIK) sell phones - maybe the big five are competing to see who can get there first.

As for the ex-NCCL - they don't have anything to sell out from - bunch of middle class tossers salving their consciences, building their CVs and doing fence sitting practice.

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Coat

@Colin Millar

"As for the ex-NCCL - they don't have anything to sell out from - bunch of middle class tossers salving their consciences, building their CVs and doing fence sitting practice"

If your situation ever changes from being a gormless consumer to a true victim of state or corporate malfeasance, groups like Amnesty, Liberty and the EFF might be all you've got, pal.

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Paris Hilton

Observer investigation!

Don't make me laugh, its been a few years since I was there, but, there are only a few of them who could, or would, actually investigate anything. Apologies to the good ones, but some of the journos there have difficulty finding their own feet.

Paris, as she is the standard of intelligence some of the journos on the supplements aim for...

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Some are thorough, Columbus.

Like Kamal Ahmed, who diligently crawled all over Alastair Campbell.

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@Steen

Calling liberty when the corporate state is after you is like the old Mexican joke

If you're getting mugged don't shout too loud - the police might come

Wake up Steen - Liberty is part of the corporate state - just take a look at the career paths for its directors.

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Paris Hilton

Six degrees of Stupifaction

Yep sounds distinctly like Graunidian territory.

An overheard "My Mobile company's taking too many liberties with my personal info" becomes 'Many Mobile Companies Talking to Liberty about Personal Info"

Also nice to see what you have to do to get your mobile company to respond promptly these days too, i'll try that next time my handset goes on the blink.

Paris? Because she's one for personal liberties...

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@Colin Millar

"Wake up Steen - Liberty is part of the corporate state - just take a look at the career paths for its directors."

That's a complete straw man - we have had an ex-CND member and founder of the Anti-Nazi League as cabinet minister, speaker of the house and Labour whip fer chrissake.

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Paris Hilton

@Colon Miller

So ex-members of Liberty moved on to positions high up in the corporate world. That makes Liberty's current members part of the corporate machine does it?

Paris because even she wouldn't try to put forward such a ridiculous argument.

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Anonymous Coward

@Shaun Rolph

Ugh, you b***ard! Now I have horrible visions of some poor journo being forced to crawl all over Alistair Campbell!

The only things that should suffer that fate are a swarm of scarabs...

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vermin

you can always rely on the observer to parrot out crap like this

they all deserve the daniel pearl treatment

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