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back to article NotW accused of hacking Milly Dowler's voicemail

Pressure on the News of the World over phone-hacking allegations intensified still further on Tuesday after allegations surfaced that journalists at the paper intercepted the voicemail messages of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Hacks working for the NoTW allegedly deleted voicemail messages sent to Dowler at the time she went …

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Devil

Loverly people

employed by a major 'news' company

Shows just how far some in the media while stoop to bring you an 'exclusive'

And the rest aint much better since a couple of their rivals are facing contempt charges for the coverage of another murder case

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Mr Murdoch is probably very upset ...

This is mild stuff. Listening to messages and possibly disappearing some murder inquiry evidence. NotW has done much worse. Like employing Jonathan Rees after his jail term. Do a Google for what he has been convicted of and investigated for (cos I don't want to frighten the moderators by mentioning it here). and ask what was expected of him?

Coulson knew this when he employed him. Cameron knew this when he employed Coulson. Employing pond life can be justified in a noble cause. But this wasn't.

And now our Dave is getting all virtuous because it has blown up in his face.

Now what has Mudoch's Sun have to say about it? Nothing according to the current page here:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/

Boy does that organisation really stink.

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Devil

@Mr Murdoch is probably very upset

Mr Murdoch probably doesn't give a toss, he's too busy planning his celebrations for taking over BSkyB which is liable to get the thumbs up from the Tories later this week.

But there's still time to put a spanner in the works, see: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/murdoch-deal-petition

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Title

Not true! The Sun is carrying a story about this on it's front page giving it due prominence..

It's just below the story about the 770 lb record-breaking burger.

Of course the main thrust of the item is RB proclaiming her innocence/ignorance of the whole matter.

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Devil

Isolated incident my a***

"saw it as an isolated incident and decided to do nothing,"

One isolated incident too many. Who cares about NoW editors. What I want to know is who and why was involved in the police closing down this inquiry so many times under the previous government.

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Facepalm

and

which policeman responsible for one of the original enquiries now earns a fair shilling from news orp?

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Re: Isolated incident

Surely the "Isolated incident" was getting caught?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Isolated incident my a***

Yes, to have that many isolated incidents all occurring in the same place at the same time would seem a tad careless.......

For the latter part I would suspect that a certain hack, who just happens to share your initials of "AC", might have had an interest in ensuring that the Screws and its stablemates were still available to him as a potential place of employment once his job as HMGs Turd-Polisher in Chief came to an end. It would have been a terrible shame if he'd been forced to waste all that time spent with his tongue shoved up Rupert's backside.

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I waswondering about that.

It could explain how the NOTW got hold of her mobile number. I can't think of any legitimate source of this information.

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Previous government complicity

Not likely, I'd say, since senior members of that government reckon they were hacked* as well. Now...if someone could prove a link from Prescott's voicemail via Andy Coulson to Conservative Central Office, that would be the most fun since Watergate.

*a bit of an inflated description of guessing voicemail passwords

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Her mobile number...

...could have been obtained from friends or family. At the time, the NotW had a good relationship with the family.

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Devil

Re: Previous government complicity

Read, find the answer in your post yourself, rinse repeat.

So which of those voicemails they hacked into was about meeting on whose yacht did NoW get their hands on... That is on the less explosive end of the "Compromat" spectrum.

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Unhappy

AC@11:18

"saw it as an isolated incident and decided to do nothing,"

In the police service this usually got reported as the "One bad apple"

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Flame

Isolated incidents seek company

When has anything isolated ever really remained isolated? To me, the police should have acted on this incident forthwith. They were dealing with a missing girl here!

Yes, NotW probably got let off because the Police didn't want to spanner NotW plastering their paper with the story and providing awareness. But NotW only care about circulation. If they have/had done something wrong and broken the law, they ABOVE ALL should have been prosecuted to stop this from becoming the standard practice that it appears to have become.

I don't know what the statute of limitations is on this but NotW should be investigated heavily...as well as the Police over this incident (as to who signed off on it and, most importantly, why).

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Megaphone

Presure to resign? People should go to jail for this

Simple as, there should be no, opps sorry here or even fines, put everybody who knew about this at the time in Jail for some time to think about what they did.

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Not only gaol time...

...for those responsible, but a massive fine for the NoTW, I think, would be the only fair course of events. If that fine proved to be too much for the purse of Murdoch to bear, then it would be no loss to the world if the NoTW went out of business as a result.

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absolutely

time for anyone who ever had anything to do with the story

and a 10 figure fine for the company

send the fuckers to the wall

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Meh

Faced with jail they will all ...

... develop aspergers.

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Devil

We can easily allow

Read your post, see the answer yourself rinse repeat

It depends exactly what info did NoW get when hacking said phones. If some of that was enough to serve them as a get-out-of-jail card for 10 years... Well... Here is your explanation why not only celebrity phones were hacked (and trust me that was done on purpose).

Lots of things come to mind... Most of them can be found in the "public inquiry denied in the public interest" category of parliamentary proceedings of the last few parliaments.

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Mushroom

AC (14:01): GRRRRR :@

Right, first of all, as a sufferer of Aspergers myself (and NOT facing a jail sentence), I would like to point out that it is a real disease AND is not a reason/excuse for doing incredibly stupid things, computer related or not.

As i said, I have Aspergers. I can also hack computers, illegally or otherwise (authorised penetration testing, for example). But I don't. At least not illegally because I know it is fucking stupid thing to do. McKinnon should have known this, he was 40-something at the time of offense. He had access to the damn media, and what was going on in America at the time, yet he still hacked into the CIA computers. That's not Aspergers, that's stupidity.

As for Cleary... Well I have seen no evidence that he was any more than an IRC host (not illegal). He still should have known better than to host a server for people to discuss and plan criminal activity on his home fucking computer.

My point? Aspergers is not responsible for what these people do. Stupidity is. Do not associate their idiocy with people like me. The rest of us have some common sense.

Rant over. Sorry for sweariness

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FAIL

So

Do you expect anything different from Murdoch's press (or to be fair, many of the other British tabloids). What still surprises me is not so much the default password on mobiles (although having switched provider I was happy to see that my new one insisted I set a new one the first time I accessed voice mail) but how vulnerable the operators are to 'social' hacking. One would have hoped they know better....

Anyway the one thing I can predict is that the "people" involved, looking forwards to lucrative post westminster careers will push forward BSkyB's takeover.

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Boffin

re: pin

"What still surprises me is not so much the default password on mobiles (although having switched provider I was happy to see that my new one insisted I set a new one the first time I accessed voice mail) but how vulnerable the operators are to 'social' hacking."

This is what surprises me - I first used the remote voicemail feature about 6-7 years ago as it was rather brilliant. However the default pin (0000 at the time) wouldn't work for me externally until I changed it. Not sure why this has changed, but seems a simple solution: default pin set = no external access allowed.

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Don't buy the bl00dy paper.

If the general public are offended by the paper's deplorable behaviour, they'll stop buying the wretched thing. Anyone care to speculate whether in fact this'll happen?

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Title

...or even, buy The Guardian instead.

I'm not sure that The Guardian really gets all the credit it should here since it has basically single-handedly continued this "Police" investigation when everybody else were happy to look the other way.

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I would suggest

tipping any inserted porno chat line advertisement cards out of the top shelf magazines and slipping them into NotW, but I have no idea whether those services advertise in the paper already.

Simply pissing on it in the shop also seems achievable, but a lot of newsagents have CCTV, so perhaps best not.

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Mushroom

Unfortunately.....

The kind of fuckwits that read the NoTW *anyway* are the kind of fuckwits that will carry on reading it despite (or even because of) this incident.

However, I guess the fact that the NoTW is willing to interfere with the investigation into the murder of a child puts pay to the lie that the righteous indignation this paper exhibited over its anti-paedophile campaign was anything other than a cynical ploy to sell more papers.

As if there was actually any doubt in that, anyway.....

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Anonymous Coward

"...or even, buy The Guardian instead."

The only way I could see NoTW readers buying The Guardian is if they released a version in large print and excluded words that NoTW readers couldn't understand (let alone read).

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Private Eye

Have been reporting on the phone-hacking business for a long while.

The put holes all through the "one bad apple/junior employee" coverup story ages ago.

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Cover up

The fact the Guardian has been pushing this so hard says that they have something that they don't want looking at too closely. Maybe the police should, in fact be looking at as well.

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Devil

'Heinous' and 'despicable'

That sort of says it all about this shower of pissants.

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Hope they throw the book at her

If there's one person who deserves to do time over this it's probably Ms. Brooks. Caught this story on Newsnight last night and am still shocked by it. I might be putting a bit too much faith in the Police's abilities, but it's a horrible idea that the grubby activities of NI might have saved Bellfield from gaol earlier on.

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If, note IF...

...the actions of NotW, NI and that slag Brooks hampered the police investigation and allowed Bellfield to escape detection, then the truly horrific aspect is "Former bouncer Bellfield was previously convicted of murdering two other young women, Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange: both crimes happened in the two years after Dowler's murder.". Their actions may not just have interfered in the capture of a murderer, but freed that murderer to go on and kill two more people. As others have commented, people need to be jailed for this, and not just the lowly peons; Brooks and others of her ilk MUST have known what was being done, and they should be jailed also.

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False hope

Indeed. The person accessing the voicemails deleted some and this gave false hope to the family that she was still alive as they could tell someone was listening to the messages.

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Gimp

Scum

I always enjoy any pain brought upon Murdoch and his bottom-feeding minions, and I'm going to thoroughly enjoy seeing how this plays out. It's also interesting to note that Rebekah (porn star spelling) Brooks is a close personal friend of David Cameron's, as is Andy Coulsdon. Some classy friends our Dave keeps.

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Mushroom

That explains it.

That explains why they've put so much cash into the fund to pay the people who had their phones hacked. I doubt the Dowler family will (or should) accept what some of the 'celebs' that rolled over for.

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LS6
Pint

Dowler's family aren't entitled to compensation.

The screws compensation scheme only applies to allegations of hacking between 2004 & 2006. That's quite a specific and narrow timeframe.

http://www.channel4.com/news/news-international-apologises-over-phone-hacking-scandal

Milly was killed in 2002.

Not only did NOTW apparently hack a dead kid's phone for the lulz, they appear to have instructed their lawyers to ensure their parents couldn't easily claim compensation for the clear emotional distress this caused.

In true screws fashion, I expect Sunday's editoral will demand that these "sick monsters" deserve to be locked up with the other perverts in prison.

Mine's a pint of schadenfreude as I watch Brooks and Coulson get hung by the peadogeddon mob they helped create.

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Conrad Black

One ray of hope. Conrad Black is in prison for much less. Maybe Murdoch and Wade next? Stranger things have happened.

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Anonymous Coward

Much less?

The two things are impossible to compare, but I would suggest stealing millions from your company, and treating the company's accounts as your own, is always likely to be seen as a greater crime than authorising (or turning a blind eye to) some of your hacks listening in to people's voicemails.

That doesn't deflect at all from the fact that NoTW's conduct re. the Dowler case is quite reprehensible, especially given the false impression that their deletion of messages inevitably lead to misplaced hope for this poor girl's parents, but they didn't kill Dowler, that fat wheel-clamping/boucing c*nt did, whereas Black *did* steal the money.

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notw:

the dead-tree format equivalent of malware. do not penetrate their paywall and you will mostly be safe.

as for the news international links and the exec's prior knowledge of the paper's activities.. good luck with prosecuting anyone involved, be it NI or the Plod.. they live behind a different kind of paywall.

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Milgram

Given the right social context people will become complicit with activities which, to an external observer, are clearly immoral. Milgram showed this in the 1960s, and it has ever been true.

This is why the editorial team are responsible: they set the context in which the perpetrators of this despicable deed acted, and copy writers didn't shun the material.

As for exhorting people to stop buying NoTW, save your breath. We have the press we deserve. Depressing, isn't it?

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NoTW inquiry

The paper has said that it will hold its own inquiry into the incident.

I feel better already!

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Coffee/keyboard

Inquiry

Translation. The NOTW excecutives are desperately trying to find out who had any involvement so they can distance themselves as far a humanly possible before the Police catch up.

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Trollface

...and will NotW openly report its own internal findings?

Will they ride roughshod over the personal lives of all those that are or might be involved? Will they publish all and be damned? Will they bribe other reporters for insider leaked memos and tap their own voicemails?

Is this whole, public story in the public interest and worthy of reporting?

I pray that this happens and starts the infinite feedback look (reporting on the report of the report) and they all end up devouring themselves out of existence.

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Anonymous Coward

Default Password ?

A brute force attack would be (and still possibly is) relatively easy to perform.

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FAIL

Re: Default Password ?

AFAIK, you just need to fake the caller ID to be the target's number and most voicemail servers will put you straight through.

No PIN needed.

If true, the voicemail security model is pretty weak. Then again, there are supposed to be laws in place to punish this kind of activity...

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IT Angle

Re: Voicemail security model

Since you raise the subject ...

I've been looking around for technical details of what these people did. What were they able to listen to? What sort of equipment did they need? Does it expose a weakness in mobile phone security that we don't already know about?

Well, for values of "we" including "I" the answer is almost certainly yes, because I know diddly squit about this at present. Obviously recent events have piqued my interest.

I vaguely recall that transmissions between base stations are unencrypted and so with some reasonably affordable (for a newspaper employee) equipment one could intercept them. If tweaking a phone to fake caller ID lets you probe voicemail, though, that's a whole new level of weakness. Aren't at least some modern phones pretty near open source, so there's probably an app for that?

In short, is mobile phone security so weak that basically this has been a scandal waiting to happen? Do the mobile companies bear some responsibility for leaving everyone's front doors open? Are the basic standards at fault? (Unencrypted base station traffic certainly *sounds* like it is a weakness that becomes ever-more-likely to be exploited as the cost of electronics comes down.)

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Freedom of the press

I'm recalling something old people used to say when I was a kid, to do with privileges being honoured if not earned, else taken away.

Fucking leeches should have all their press passes revoked.

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