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back to article Media phone-hacking? Tip of the iceberg, says leaked police report

A suppressed report from "Britain's FBI" has revealed that the rich, insurance companies, law firms and telecoms companies hired private investigators to run unlawful hacking and blagging campaigns of the type that brought down Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, according to The Independent. The newspaper reports that the UK's …

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Black Helicopters

So the police uncovered crimes done at the bidding of the rich and powerful and did nothing about it for six years and counting? This should play well in the press.

I wonder what they (the PI and the people who were paying them) would have had to have done to actually be investigated.

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Holmes

"wonder what they would have had to have done to actually be investigated."

Well, two police officers (DCS Dave Cook and DC Jackie Haynes) were targeted and followed by the News of the World and the police did nothing, except have a lunch meeting with the NotW editor at the time and told them to stop. Nothing else happened, no investigation or fines or punishment of any kind.

Sherlock Holmes, 'cos he'd be spinning in his grave if he had one.

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It says why Soca did nothing about it right in the article..

"including bribing police officers"

Wouldn't want their own laundry out to wash as well would they?

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Anonymous Coward

@James 51 > So the police uncovered crimes done at the bidding of the rich and powerful and did nothing about it for six years and counting?

Did you really expect anything else?

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"I wonder what they ... would have had to have done to actually be investigated."

Stop paying.

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Anonymous Coward

"This should play well in the press."

Man bites dog? Really?

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The longer the people in this country continue to pretend that the people in charge are freedom loving democrats and not self serving cliques then this will get worse.

They have the prefect cover for their crimes. Take the newspapers refusing to accept new laws controlling their behavior by claiming they are an important part of democratic checks and balances while doing everything except act as a check on government (unless it suites them)

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They don't need any new laws to control the press, the old ones do exactly the same thing - they just aren't enforced, and I very much doubt that any new ones would be either.

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Childcatcher

New Laws

They don't need any new laws to control the press, the old ones do exactly the same thing - they just aren't enforced, and I very much doubt that any new ones would be either.

But... But... New! SHINY! LAWS!

This is an old dodge which we see in the States and, I would imagine, anywhere there are elected officials. Something needs to be done, in the eyes of the electorate. Lawmakers can make laws: it's what they do. Actual enforcement would require that they wanted the laws to work. How much easier is it to pass legislation than to fund it? Much, especially when you can point to all the "work" being done to keep the public safe and not spend a penny. A rational legal system that is easy to understand and serves the needs of the public... where's the fun in that?

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Re: New Laws

Can we have new laws to control the police then?

And what about insisting that juries in police corruption trials consist only of ex-miners and black teenagers - that should add some unpredicatability to the normal "medical leave on full pay" outcome of any investigation.

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Black Helicopters

I am surprised

and shocked.

Not really anymore.

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Re: I am surprised

Actually I am shocked. I expected it to be going on at the margins. I didn't expect it to be standard practice. And I expected the police to pass files to the CPS so people could be prosecuted.

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Unhappy

@ Brewster's Angle Grinder - Re: I am surprised

>...

I expected the police to pass files to the CPS

...<

Well, if the choice for, let's say a DCI, is between marked up as a snitch by the rich, or getting his son into Harrow, what do you think. It would be tempting for everyone and require a very well grown honour gland to not even get into a setting where this question needs to be asked.

I don't expect anymore, I just hope. And even that starts to fail a bit lately.

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Re: I am surprised

" I didn't expect it to be standard practice."

Why not?

Banking regulators knew bad **** was going down in the banks, and did nothing to avoid the 2007 crunch. In fact they'd got a previous for doing nothing until too late on pensions mis-selling, endowment mis-selling, split capital trust mis-selling, PPI mis-selling. In fact, they're still doing it, failing to respond to complaints of malpractice by the major banks, with the SFO and politicians playing a collective "not my problem" game.

The CQC have been found to be worse than useless in regulating the NHS.

OFCOM has been useless in regulating the telecoms companies, equally useless in stopping the consolidation of local radio, or preventing the Post Office from rolling out a range of anti-customer measures.

How do OFGEM protect you from prices rises on your energy bills?

Other famously ineffectual bodies include the Advertising Standards Authority, General Medical Council, Office of the Information Commissioner, the Pensions Regulator.

Given that every other regulatory and investigative body in the land appears to be secretive and useless, I see no reason why we should expect anything different. But given the dishonesty, secrecy and incompetence of politicians, the example is set at the top.

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Holmes

Re: I am surprised

...to pass files to the CPS so they could be lost, then found, then lost again, then half of them accidentally burnt in a freak accident, then discarded because they were only 85% certain they could get a prosecution.

FTFY

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Re: Banking regulators knew bad **** was going down in the banks

No, Bank regulators FORCED bad **** to happen at the banks.

You won't be able to fix the problem if you haven't identified the correct source of the problem. Yes, you do still need the ability to do something about it afterward which we still don't have, so perhaps it is a moot point.

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The classics are the best.

Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that phone-hacking is going on in here!

[a croupier hands Renault a pile of disks]

Croupier: Your IMP records sir

Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.

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Paris Hilton

"Briton's FBI?"

Seriously? Why are we making a comparison to the US FBI? I could understand if this was a US site... but it's not!

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Re: "Briton's FBI?"

They're quoting the Independent.

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Big Brother

Re: "Briton's FBI?"

well, okay. I guess I'll begrudgingly grant them it... BUT I'M STILL WATCHING YOU!

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I'm beginning to believe

David Ike might not be as mad after all. Apart from the bit about lizards.

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Anonymous Coward

1984 on Steroids

Is there no-one who isn't spying on anyone? It seems that just about any organisation or individual with the capacity to spy is. Snowden said he didn't want to live in this kind of world. Unfortunately we seem to have had it for a very long time (technology has only made it easier).

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Big Brother

Re: 1984 on Steroids

A new status symbol? If you're not worth spying on then you are a nobody?

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Black Helicopters

Re: 1984 on Steroids

>>Snowden said he didn't want to live in this kind of world

And that statement alone proves that Snowden's an ignorant fool that doesn't even know the history of what he claims to despise so much. Ignorance isn't bliss, as I believe Discharge had to say. He may have had good intentions, but this is nothing new.

As I'm venturing to guess that you know, We've had that kind of world since ITT started handing over every transmission made across the Atlantic to the relevant agencies on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1920's. This kind of thing has been going on for nearly a hundred years. Only reason that particular activity ended in the mid-30's was because J. Edgar Hoover found out and was extremely pissed off that he didn't get his cut of the action and then attempted to arrest the G-2 Staff who were running the operation in New York to soothe his ego. Read James Bamford's "The Puzzle Palace" he goes into minute detail about it.

Privacy in communications is a very naive (actually, I daresay outright ignorant) idea given the fact that Warrantless surveillance has been going on since the 1920's with a 4 year break between 1935 and 1939. Just because the wider world didn't pay attention to it until now doesn't mean a damn thing.

And hell, if you ask me, it was actually easier back then, there was much less information to deal with and only one carrier.

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Once more...

...the rich buy the justice they think they deserve. Nothing will be done. Cameron doesn't care (be wants the money and they're all his pals). Milliband doesn't care (same reasons). No one cares about Clegg.

Not only should the PIs be charged, those who I instructed should charged; the SOCA officers who suppressed this should be charged; the senior officers who fostered this culture should be charged; any who took bribes should be charged; and so on.

But nothing will happen bar, maybe, a few low ranking sods getting it in the neck for PR and some waffle about "lessons learned". Just like the tax and expense scandals, it'll be all about looks and nothing of substance.

We are governed by corrupt, self-serving assholes. There are no exceptions I am aware of.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Once more...

While I'm certainly not generally a fan of either capital punishment or the Chinese justice system, there's something to be said for their approach to those caught with illicit swill dripping from their chins. The prospect of a swift and probably politically driven trial, followed by a bullet to the back of the head in a dreary courtyard would probably focus minds a little better than the consequence free justice enjoyed here by the wealthy, the police and anyone else in the 'right' kind of job, with the side benefit of being more satisfying for the rest of us than watching them walk away with cash, liberty and reputation (with those that "matter") intact.

No, not a good idea, but then the 'rule of law' is optional here these days too.

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Anonymous Coward

how did the phone companies get away with this?

Seriously, I'm impressed. This has been going on for more than 10 years, an architect (of buildings, not IT systems) told me how to do it in 2002, and yet in all the uproar no one has pointed the finger at O2, T-Mobile and all for giving everyone the same default password and not trying to stop it happening.

Whoever their lobbyists / publicists are... they're worth it.

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Anonymous Coward

Inevitable

If you allow too much money to accumulate in unaccountable hands (wealthy businesses and individuals) the rest is a foregone conclusion if the means exist. Not everybody has a price, but more than enough people in the right jobs are eminently purchasable, and the instigators have enough resources for lawyers and access to power that they are in practice untouchable. Keep filling their unaccountable pockets and we lose even the last semblance of democracy, such as it is now, and end up with a kleptocracy with votes. Peter Mandelson's "intensely relaxed with the filthy rich" just proves how stupid those who think they have power really are.

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Facepalm

Oh, that NotW. In this neck of the woods I mostly see these NotWs.

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The Blagger’s Manual

Publish and be.....praised. It should allow those names institutions to close the gaps.

Unless 'Britain's FBI' do not want them closed.

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