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Phone hack probe: woman arrested,& related information Private Investigators implicated - Uk

#41 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:00 PM


The Met Police Statement regarding todays phone hacking settlement


The unmasking by The Times of an anonymous police blogger, NightJack,


Met Police admits hacking failure was 'unlawful'

The Metropolitan Police Service today accepted at the High Court that its failure in 2006 and 2007 to warn victims of phone hacking by the News of the World was unlawful.


12:11PM GMT 07 Feb 2012

News of the acceptance that it had ''breached a legal obligation'' came as two judges in London heard that a number of claimants - including former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott - had settled judicial review proceedings brought against the Met over ''failures to warn victims''.

Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Irwin were told that the two sides had reached agreement by Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Lord Prescott, ex Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick, actor Jude Law's personal assistant Ben Jackson, MP Chris Bryant and an anonymous individual known as HJK.

Mr Tomlinson said the claimants and the Met had agreed a ''declaration'' - in which the Met admits it breached its duties under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Lord Prescott was in court for the proceedings.

Law firm Bindmans, for the claimants, said in a statement that the declaration "constitutes an admission by the police that their failure to warn victims that their privacy was or may have been unlawfully invaded was a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights".

Related Articles

Times editor knew of hacking before ruling
07 Feb 2012

I was misled by News International, says Buscombe
07 Feb 2012

Mail editor Paul Dacre to be recalled to Leveson Inquiry
07 Feb 2012

Leveson: Dacre and Grant spat 'damaging' inquiry
07 Feb 2012

Caroline of Monaco privacy complaint rejected
07 Feb 2012

Dacre: Create press watchdog that can strike off journalists
06 Feb 2012

That article provides that "everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence".

Lord Prescott said in a statement: "It's taken me 19 months to finally get justice.

"Time and time again I was told by the Metropolitan Police that I had not been targeted by Rupert Murdoch's News of the World.

"But I refused to accept this was the case. Thanks to this judicial review, the Metropolitan Police has finally apologised for its failure to inform victims of the criminal acts committed by the News of the World against myself and hundreds of other victims of phone hacking."

The Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement: "The MPS is pleased to have reached an agreement in this case and accepts more should have been done by police in relation to those identified as victims and potential victims of phone hacking several years ago.

"It is a matter of public record that the unprecedented increase in anti-terrorist investigations resulted in the parameters of the original inquiry being tightly drawn and officers considered the prosecution and conviction of Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire as a successful outcome of their investigation.

"There are now more than 130 officers involved in the current phone-hacking inquiry (Weeting) and the two operations being run in conjunction with it, and this in part reflects the lessons that have been learned about how police should deal with the victims of such crimes.

"Today's settlement does not entail damages being paid by the MPS and, as the court has made clear, sets no precedent for the future.

"How the MPS treats victims goes to the very heart of what we do. It was important that this case did not result in such a wide duty being placed on police officers that it could direct them away from their core purpose of preventing and detecting crime.

"All the claimants are receiving personal apologies from the MPS."

MP Chris Bryant said: "I am delighted that the Metropolitan Police are finally admitting that they should have notified not just me but all the thousands of victims of the News of the World's criminality."

He said: "It's a sadness that it has taken all this time to get the Met to admit that they should have notified all the victims - and that we had to go to court to secure that admission."

The claimants' solicitor, Tamsin Allen, of Bindmans, said that at the time of the first investigation into phone hacking, "instead of warning the hundreds or thousands of victims of voicemail interceptions, the police made misleading statements which gave comfort to News International and permitted the cover-up to continue".

She added: "If the police had complied with their obligations under the Human Rights Act in the first place, the history of the phone-hacking scandal would have been very different."

Bindmans said the judicial review was launched in September 2010 and the claim was then "vigorously defended" by the Met.

In a statement it said that "following the new police investigation into phone hacking, and revelations about the evidence in the hands of the police at the time of the first investigation, the police have finally accepted that they breached a legal obligation to warn the phone-hacking victims".

In separate proceedings brought at the High Court by a number of well-known people against News International subsidiary News Group Newspapers, publisher of the now defunct News of the World, Lord Prescott and Mr Bryant accepted £40,000 and £30,000 respectively.

Ben Jackson has accepted £40,000 and HJK £60,000.

News International scandal Police paid 100000 under false names


FBI steps up inquiry into alleged payment of police by Murdoch employees


#42 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:57 PM

Senior sun jouralists and a Surrey police officer, 39, a Ministry of Defence employee, 39, and a member of the armed forces, 36, were also arrested at their homes on Saturday on suspicion of corruption, misconduct in a public office and conspiracy in relation to both.

Senior Sun journalists arrested in police payments probe

Rupert Murdoch is flying to London after five of tabloid's most senior staff are arrested in ongoing inquiry into alleged bribery

David Batty, Saturday 11 February 2012 22.56 GMT
Article history

Five Sun newspaper journalists have been arrested as part of Operation Elveden, the police inquiry into alleged inappropriate payments to public servants. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

The Sun has been plunged into its worst ever crisis following the arrest of five of its most senior journalists over corruption allegations, moving Rupert Murdoch to pledge his support for the paper amid rumours that it faces closure.

Murdoch's "total commitment" to continue to own and publish the Sun was sent to News International staff by chief executive Tom Mockridge after the journalists, who include the deputy editor, were arrested in connection with an investigation into inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

Mockridge confirmed that the five Sun journalists involved are deputy editor Geoff Webster, picture editor John Edwards, chief reporter John Kay, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker and deputy news editor John Sturgis.

The Sun's editor, Dominic Mohan, said: "I'm as shocked as anyone by today's arrests but am determined to lead the Sun through these difficult times. I have a brilliant staff and we have a duty to serve our readers and will continue to do that. Our focus is on putting out Monday's newspaper."

A News International source said Mohan was "not resigning" but added that it was "obviously a dramatic day for him".

Sky News reported that Murdoch is flying into the UK to reassure Sun staff that he will not close the paper in the wake of the latest arrests. Murdoch is expected to visit News International staff in London towards the end of next week.

In an email to News International staff, Mockridge said he "had a personal assurance today from Rupert Murdoch about his total commitment to continue to own and publish The Sun newspaper."

He also called on staff to support Mohan at a time when the company was "facing our greatest challenge".

Amid accusations from the National Union of Journalists that Sun staff were being sacrificed to save Murdoch's reputation, Mockridge added that he had written to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to seek clarification on its oversight of the Elveden investigation into the Sun.

The worsening crisis at the tabloid could have wider ramifications for the Murdoch media empire, according to some media experts.

Clive Hollick, former chief executive of United Business Media, said the latest arrests could intensify the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation into News Corp in the US.

In a post on his Twitter account he added that the arrests "may lead to fines, director oustings and asset sales".

He also suggested that the developments could lead to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom reviewing Murdoch's control of Sky television in the UK.

Hollick tweeted: "Will Ofcom conclude that Sun arrests on top of hacking render NI not fit and proper to hold #Sky license and make them sell shareholding?"

Rupert Murdoch's biographer Michael Wolff said on Twitter: "I've never known a point in News Corp history with so much internal acrimony."

A Surrey police officer, 39, a Ministry of Defence employee, 39, and a member of the armed forces, 36, were also arrested at their homes on Saturday on suspicion of corruption, misconduct in a public office and conspiracy in relation to both.

All five of the journalists, the Ministry of Defence employee and the member of the armed forces were released on bail on Saturday night until May, while the police officer was bailed until March.

The new arrests at Britain's bestselling newspaper will further rock News International, which is still reeling from the closure of the Sun's sister title, the News of the World last July, after it emerged that journalists had hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

The journalists, aged between 45 and 68, were arrested at addresses in London, Kent and Essex on suspicion of corruption, aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office, and conspiracy in relation to both these offences. They are being questioned at police stations in London and Kent.

News Corporation, the parent company of News International which owns the Sun and the Times, confirmed that five Sun staff were among those arrested today.

It said its Management and Standards Committee (MSC) had provided information to the Elveden investigation which led to the arrests and had also provided the option of "immediate legal representation" to those arrested.

"News Corporation remains committed to ensuring that unacceptable news-gathering practices by individuals in the past will not be repeated and last summer authorised the MSC to co-operate with the relevant authorities," it said.

"The MSC will continue to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect legitimate journalistic privilege and sources, private or personal information and legal privilege.

"News Corporation maintains its total support to the ongoing work of the MSC and is committed to making certain that legitimate journalism is vigorously pursued in both the public interest and in full compliance with the law."

The NUJ has accused Murdoch of throwing his journalists to the wolves in a bid to save his company, adding that the reputation of those arrested will "inevitably" be damaged.

General secretary Michelle Stanistreet said News International staff were reeling and furious at "what many sense to be a witch-hunt" and "a monumental betrayal on the part of News International".

"Once again Rupert Murdoch is trying to pin the blame on individual journalists hoping that a few scalps will salvage his corporate reputation," she said.

The arrests come two weeks after four former and current Sun journalists as well as a serving Metropolitan police officer were arrested over alleged illegal police payments.

Senior Sun employees Chris Pharo, 42, and Mike Sullivan, along with former executives Fergus Shanahan, 57, and Graham Dudman, were named by sources as suspects facing corruption allegations. All five were released on bail.

Surrey police confirmed a serving officer was arrested at the officer's home address on Saturday as part of Operation Elveden.

Deborah Glass, deputy chair of the IPCC, said: "Today's arrests are further evidence of the strenuous efforts being undertaken to identify police officers who may have taken corrupt payments."

The MoD refused to comment.

Officers from Operation Elveden made the arrests between 6am and 8am as part of the investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

Operation Elveden, which runs alongside the Met's Operation Weeting team, was launched as the phone-hacking scandal deepened last July.

Its remit has widened to include the investigation of evidence uncovered in relation to suspected corruption involving public officials who are not police officers.

The homes of all eight detained men are being searched and officers are also carrying out searches at the offices of News International in Wapping, east London, the Metropolitan police said.


#43 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:08 PM


Two men arrested by Scotland Yard officers in computer hacking probe

Arrests 'not directly linked to journalist activities'
The men, aged 50 and 51, todaybailed until dates in June and July

By Rob Cooper

Last updated at 11:04 AM on 25th February 2012

Probe: Two men, aged 50 and 51, were arrested by officers from Scotland Yard yesterday

Two men have been arrested as part of Scotland Yard's investigation into computer hacking.

The suspects, a 50-year-old from Hertfordshire and a 51-year-old from Surrey, were held yesterday.

Scotland Yard said the arrests were not directly linked to any news organisation or the activities of journalists.

Both men are suspected of committing offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

This morning they were bailed until dates in June and July

A search was carried out in Hertfordshire at the first man's home. He is in custody at a West London police station, while the other man remains in custody in south-west London.


News of the World bosses 'ordered mass email deletion in bid to cover up phone hacking'

The arrests were made by officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Tuleta, which is investigating computer hacking.
Investigation: Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers said 57 separate allegations of data intrusion are being probed

It was launched on the back of the phone hacking investigation named Operation Weeting.

There are currently 16 police staff working specifically on Operation Tuleta.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers
recently told the Leveson Inquiry that the operation is investigating 57 separate allegations of data intrusion.

Some related to Metropolitan Police inquiries going back as far as the late 1980s, she told the Inquiry.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said yesterday: 'A 50-year-old man was arrested at his home address in Hertfordshire at approximately 7.30am and a 51-year-old man was arrested at an address in Surrey at approximately 4.15pm.

'Both were detained on suspicion of committing offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz1nxLarxq6

These Acts are both worth a read and comparison to New Zealand Legislation

Computer Misuse Act 1990

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000


#44 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:16 PM


Six arrests re Op Weeting

13 March 2012
New Scotland Yard

Police have today (Tuesday, 13 March) arrested six people at addresses in London, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Hertfordshire.

The co-ordinated arrests were made between approximately 0500 and 0700 this morning by officers from Operation Weeting, the MPS inquiry into the phone-hacking of voicemail boxes.

All six - five men and one woman - were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977.

A number of addresses connected to the arrests are being searched.

Today's operation follows consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Details of the arrests are as follows:

A 49 year old man was arrested at his home address in Oxfordshire and is being interviewed at a Buckinghamshire Police Station.

A 43 year old woman was arrested at her home address in Oxfordshire and is being interviewed at an Oxfordshire police station.

A 39 year old man was arrested at his home address in Hampshire and is being interviewed at a South West London police station.

A 46 year old man was arrested at his home address in West London and is being interviewed at a central London police station.

A 38 year old man was arrested at his home address in Hertfordshire and is being interviewed at a central London police station.

A 48 year old man was arrested at a business address in East London and is being interviewed at an East London police station.

So why does the think it is acceptable to name these people whom they have assumed they are?

What would happen if they were like that laudefimen website that is mentioned on here and were incorrect?

Who is leaking information to the said papers that are naming names?

Or do the Metro Police have associates of those who have been conducting unlawful conduct also following and watching them?

Creepy if you ask us.


#45 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:33 PM

Private investigators accessed police files, says leaked report

Hello Guardian Newspaper UK staff, who has been doing your computer links to articles?
Whoever it is has spelt "private" incorrectly!!
Not like you folk to make errors, is it?

The report, entitled Private Investigators: The Rogue Element of the Private Investigation Industry and Others Unlawfully Trading in Personal Data, said private investigation activities "threaten to undermine the criminal justice system".

The above Report about what has happened in the UK regarding Private Investigators and Police sounds so similar to the behavior surrounding Van Essen
in the IPCA report done in New Zealand in 2008, & others whom have also been subjected to such unlawful behavior.

Crime bosses using rogue investigators to access police files

Crime bosses used rogue private investigators to access police files on investigations and witnesses and to even have sensitive information deleted, a secret report has revealed.


The report, seen by Channel 4 News, found: “Four of the operations provided examples of corrupt individuals including serving and former police officers, a bank employee, employees in a communications service provider, a public service employee, and a HM Prison Service Employee.

“All of these were used by private investigators to facilitate access to information.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are considering whether to regulate private investigators.

“In the meantime they are subject to the law on intercepting communications like everyone else.”

#46 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:46 PM

May we please suggest those in the UK who may find this topic have a good read through what has occurred in New Zealand
and why Private Investigators need to be subjected to far greater scrutiny and regulations.
There are a number of issues that are similar in both countries and the main ones, in our opinion, include Personal Safety & Privacy.


Session 2010-12
Private Investigators

Written evidence submitted by Bishop International [PI13]

(hukildaspida says: Bishop International are an Investigation firm
http://www.bishopint.../corporate.html )

Executive Summary

As chief executive of a corporate investigations business that has operated from London for more than 20 years, I am, in principle, in favour of licensing private investigators.

However, some of the requirements set out by the Home Office in its response to the Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment in 2007 were, in my opinion, misguided and mismatched to the realities of the sector. The ill-conceived nature of the legislation and the resulting difficulties of implementation may have stalled licensing.

The legislation and suggested regulation do not take into account the range of constituents in the industry, their very different clients, services, levels of organisation and variety of backgrounds. It suffers from a one-size-fits-all approach. There are three main areas which require amendment if the legislation is to work to the benefit of the public, the sector and the regulator.

The first area of concern is the requirement to license anyone working to obtain information "about the activities of a particular person." The requirement threatens the use of specialists employed on a freelance basis and, therefore, should be reconsidered. The second area of concern is the requirement for a public register of investigators. It threatens the safety of investigators, particularly those working on issues related to organised crime.

The third area of concern is the assertion that a "competency requirement" would protect the public from possible harm, a claim which I believe to be unfounded and which would impose an unreasonable and unproductive burden upon investigation businesses.


Rationale for Regulation

In 2007 the Home Office maintained that "the only current mitigation against the potential harm caused by unethical individuals or companies" is being reported to the police or to the Information Commissioner. It went on to say that "neither prevents an individual from operating within either sector to begin with." The implication is that "unethical" people should be prevented from entering the sector. That is no more possible than it would be for any other sector. What is possible is to prevent people with criminal records from entering the sector.

The Home Office recognised that "the full scale of any potential harm caused by individuals or companies operating unlawfully or unethically within the private investigation or precognition sector is not known" and that "there is no ready source of quantitative information." The recent phone hacking scandals have given cause for concern. However, to the best of my knowledge, only four people who have styled themselves as private investigators have figured in the inquiries to date and only one has been arrested. While others may come to notice whose behaviour would be deemed unacceptable, they are unlikely to represent a significant proportion of the sector. It does not seem rational to create an expensive regulatory burden for an entire sector because of the ill-considered or illegal activities of a handful of people.

In the one table of statistics presented by the Home Office in 2007 which recorded confirmed or suspected breaches of Data Protection laws, the figures were unimpressive: 23 investigators under investigation, 4 considered for prosecution, 6 considered for cautions and 6 for undertakings and 7 actively being investigated. As of 2007, formal action taken against investigators since the 1998 Data Protection Act included 14 prosecutions, 1 caution and 4 undertakings. To put that into context, the Security Industry Authority estimated that there may be as many as 10,000 investigators in the UK. The numbers of suspected and confirmed breaches do not seem to justify the full weight of a complex regulatory system.

In 2007 the Home Office pointed out that there is not "a uniform or consistent approach by employers for vetting (either in terms of competence or probity) private investigators." If it became possible for investigation companies to learn whether a prospective UK employee or contractor has a criminal record, it would answer, as far as possible, the question of probity. The issue of competency is dealt with below.

The Licensing Requirement

The broad scope of the Home Office licensing requirements for the private investigation sector does not take into consideration aspects of investigations at the corporate level. The stated requirement is for anyone to be licensed if they are obtaining information "about the activities" of a particular person. That, however, conflicts with the requirements within the corporate world for effective due diligence. Corporate investigation companies inevitably need to go outside the traditional investigative world to employ people with esoteric knowledge.

Such inquiries often relate to a significant transaction in the City of London. In such circumstances, we employ people on a freelance basis who have an intimate understanding of a business sector or community. Investigations that require socioeconomic or other technical knowledge may require the expertise of an academic. Such people are not investigators by vocation. They are consultants taking on a one-off assignment. Investigative work is not the substance of their livelihood. They will not have any interest in being licensed as investigators and there should not be any requirement for them to do so.

This is not a negligible issue. If the sector is unable to employ such people on a freelance basis our corporate clients, including listed companies, financial institutions and law firms, will lose the ability to learn what they need to know, either in advance of a transaction or when trying to recover from a civil or criminal loss. It would be a crippling blow to an otherwise well-used and highly effective service that accomplishes what the Security Industry Authority says it wants to achieve-"protection of the public."

I would suggest that such people employed on a freelance basis should be considered to be conducting an activity which is "incidental" to their normal work and therefore exempt from the licensing requirement. Furthermore, investigation company directors should be licensed to decide who may qualify for exempt status on the grounds of carrying out an activity which is "incidental" to their day-to-day activities.

License Register and Identification

There should not be a public register of licensed investigators. Nor, as the Home Office suggested, should there be a requirement for the license to be carried and produced on request.

It appears that the Home Office was uninformed about the nature of investigations, particularly those carried out in connection with organised crime. For purposes of such investigations it is often necessary to pose as something other than an investigator.

If, in those circumstances, someone was found to be carrying such identification they could be in danger of losing life or limb. The suggestion illustrates a gross ignorance of the nature of investigative work.

The Competency Requirement

I have a strong objection to the implementation of competency criteria as outlined by the Home Office. The specific requirements as defined in the Security Industry Authority’s October 2006 document "Private Investigator Best Practice" are so rudimentary and wide-ranging as to be practically meaningless. It is a list of many administrative tasks, general observations about the need to understand relevant law, advice on how to interview people and gather evidence, how to carry out surveillance and suggested standards of behaviour.

Given that, by the SIA’s own admission, the vast majority of people who enter the investigative trade come from related areas of work (police, customs, intelligence and security services, military security or intelligence, journalism, the law, etc.), it seems senseless to have people who have spent years in such endeavours "taught" those skills by people who may have no more-and possibly less-competence than they have. It is more galling that they would have to pay for such instruction and assessment.

Individuals tend to find their own place in the market. A career in police surveillance does not necessarily qualify someone to understand an international fraud. Conversely, a career in the Crown Prosecution Service does not qualify someone to understand the practicalities of surveillance. However, both career paths may enable an individual to work productively as an investigator. The range of activities is so wide as to make any single competency course impossible as well as unnecessary.

The Home Office asserted in 2007 that to impose licensing without competency requirements "would not effectively address the risk posed to the public," when in fact the only risks identified in its public documents were the 14 prosecutions for breaches of the Data Protection Act. If each of those offences had been committed by a separate investigator-taking into consideration the SIA’s estimate of 10,000 investigators in the UK-the percentage of offenders in the licensed population would be .0014%. That hardly justifies the imposition of a competency regime and its associated costs.

The suggestion that licensing without competency requirements would not address "the harm" of unlawful or unethical practices by "rogue elements" within the sector is nonsense. It implies that the converse is true, i.e. that competency requirements would "greatly reduce the likelihood of harm through unlawful behaviour." There is no evidence whatsoever for that assertion. People with criminal intentions do not generally object to paying for a course if it gives them the legitimacy to carry on illegal practices.

A reasonable argument can be made for testing an understanding of the law as it applies to investigations. The Highway Code is a good example of how to educate people in order to test their knowledge of relevant law. There is no reason why a similar system cannot be adopted to test investigators on their knowledge of law relevant to their work. From the regulator’s view it would be cheaper to administer and from the licensee’s point of view cheaper and easier to use.

New entrants to the investigations trade who do not come from a relevant background should be required to find an apprenticeship with an investigation company. Their first year of employment should require a provisional license (which would amount to a criminal record check) and, with the endorsement of their employer, they should be entitled to apply for a full license one year from the start of their apprenticeship.

The Home Office Preferred Alternative

The assertion by the Home Office in 2007 that the SIA concluded that its "research" had "demonstrated support for a formal training route" is belied by the fact that its conclusion was based at least partly on responses from "a range of education and training bodies." It is hardly surprising that education and training bodies would welcome the prospect of a whole new sector for training.

As the Home Office pointed out at the time, "it will not be possible to assure 100% compliance with licensing, and there will always be elements of unlawful or unethical practices." That statement is incontrovertible. What is not true is the assertion that "competency requirements reduce that risk." This is the crux of the issue. Competency bears no relation whatever to honesty or ethical behaviour. Harold Shipman, the doctor who murdered at least 250 of his patients was-until caught-regarded as a highly "competent" medical practitioner. Albert Einstein, who failed a high school examination, and might therefore have been thought of as academically incompetent, became one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century and wrote extensively on the ethical responsibilities of science. Competency has nothing to do with how people behave. Cost and Impact of Options

In 2007 the Home Office estimated that the "typical learning route" for a company employing ten investigators would cost £9,000, which would be in addition to the licensing fees. That would be followed by on-going "refresher training." Including loss of earnings, the costs for a 10-person company was estimated as £11,450 initially with periodic additional costs of £7,390. The figures would be likely to be considerably higher today.

If one accepts that competency requirements have no benefit, i.e. they will not have any significant impact on "harm" to the public, analysis of the proposed costs becomes irrelevant. No fees, no matter how great or how small, will protect the public or other interested parties from illegal or unethical behaviour. Since that is the stated purpose of the "competency requirement," imposing such costs on investigators and investigation companies is an unreasonable burden.

The absurdity of the competency requirement becomes even more obvious when one considers the Home Office’s observations about "European Issues." If an investigator from another EU country were to come to the UK to carry out an investigation he or she could legally do so "without being subject to any prior check." In other words, a resident of another EU country could arrive in the UK to carry out an investigation without any criminal record check and with no consideration given to the "harm" that person might cause, while people who have established track records in the UK would be required to meet so-called competency requirements at considerable cost.

Competition Assessment

The Home Office’s 2007 assessment of the investigation market missed an important point. It is not simply a question of whether the UK sector will suffer because of the proposed regulations. The bigger issue is whether corporations, financial institutions and law firms that depend upon UK companies to undertake investigative work will find that they cannot get the service they need.

During the last 25 years the UK has built a sophisticated corporate investigations sector that services companies around the world. There may be as many as 20 companies in the UK that undertake investigations at a corporate level. It is likely that the sector is worth more than £100 million to the nation’s income. If the regulatory framework in the UK becomes too onerous or cumbersome, the business will migrate to more amenable jurisdictions.

The Home Office’s assertion in 2007 that "it is not believed that regulation will significantly limit the ability of suppliers to compete" is true enough within the UK market. However, the real competition is for the £100 million worth of business in the international corporate market. It is that business which will suffer if the proposed regulatory scheme is not reconsidered. Moreover, the ability of the business and legal community to make best use of a highly specialised service would be severely hampered.


A licensing regime for investigators under the aegis of the Security Industry Authority would make sense providing it operates in a relatively simple and economic manner. It should include a criminal record check that would eliminate known criminals from the investigation trade. It should also include a written test not unlike that for a driver’s license to ensure that investigators are aware of applicable law. The costs associated with such a regime would be acceptable to most people in the sector and would, in so far as it is reasonably possible, protect the public from harm.

January 2012

©Parliamentary copyright

Prepared 13th March 2012

#47 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:00 PM

Phone-hacking report: what is 'wilful blindness'?

MPs make pointed allegation with accusation of 'wilful blindness', a term that carries weight in US anti-corruption legislation

Share 4

Simon Bowers and Dominic Rushe, Tuesday 1 May 2012 14.18 BST
Article history

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch denied 'wilful blindness' in his evidence to the committee. He said: 'I have heard the phrase before, and we were not ever guilty of that.' Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters

The charge of "wilful blindness" and "wilful ignorance" is referred to four times in the MPs' report into phone hacking and has been instantly picked up by legal experts as one of the most damning findings.

The allegation – levelled at Rupert and James Murdoch as well as the directors of News International and its parent News Corporation – is particularly pointed, as it reflects language in the US Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act.

After the phone-hacking scandal and its associated revelations, News Corporation is facing an investigation in the US under the FCPA, which punishes US firms that are found to have bribed foreign officials.

Analysts in the US believe the MPs' findings will not help News Corp.

Corporate law expert Tom Fox said the impact of the report was more likely to be reputational than legal in the US, but no less devastating for that.

"Willful blindness or out and out ignorance is no defence against the FCPA," said Fox. "This was one of the unbelievably hard hitting reports I have ever read. That said, the focus was very much on phone hacking and not bribery, I don't see it impacting the FCPA investigation much.

"But the lack of corporate governance at this company and its attitude to the investigations that the report exposes may well prove very bad for them. It is going to be very hard for them to get anyone to believe their side of the story."

Already, some shareholders are calling on Rupert Murdoch to step down, including Change To Win, an advisory group that works with pension funds with over $200bn in assets. Its senior policy analyst Michael Pryce-Jones said News Corp's board should meet immediately and come up with a succession plan. "This is a company in crisis," he said.

In their report, the MPs wrote: "In failing to investigate properly, and by ignoring evidence of widespread wrongdoing, News International and its parent News Corporation exhibited wilful blindness, for which the companies' directors – including Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch – should ultimately be prepared to take responsibility."

News Corp non-executive directors include a spread of prominent business and political figures, among them the former Spanish president José María Aznar and the former British Airways boss Sir Rod Eddington.

"Wilful blindess" also came up during evidence to MPs and James Murdoch was asked the direct question by the Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders: "Are you familiar with the term 'wilful blindness'?" Sanders described the phrase as "a term that came up in the Enron scandal … a legal term. It states that if there is knowledge you could have and should have had it."

In response, James Murdoch said he had not heard of it, but his father said: "I have heard the phrase before, and we were not ever guilty of that."

Niri Shan, head of media law at Taylor Wessing, said the phrase was not a formal legal term in the UK. That said, he added: "If you are wilfully blind, from a corporate governance perspective, you have not fulfilled your fiduciary duties."

He added that some of the sting of the MPs report, in his opinion, had been removed by the fact that the committee had been split on many issues down party-political lines.

The allegation of wilful blindness – sometimes referred to in Britain as turning the Nelsonian eye – is, in a legal context, often levelled by prosecutors at defendants who acknowledge they have unwittingly played a part in a criminal act of which they had no knowledge at the time.

When it comes to the business world, however, the allegation can be more powerful as directors of companies are required by law to exercise proper responsibility on behalf of the company's shareholders. Wilful blindness was the subject of a book by the entrepreneur and author Margaret Heffernan last year. She suggests the concept can be an unspoken attitude common to a large group – the Catholic church, the military in Afghanistan and Nazi Germany are all example she cites.

Heffernan has been a stern critic of News Corp, publishing several articles attacking the appointment of family members in key executive roles.

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:01 PM

Rupert Murdoch deemed 'not a fit person' to run international company

Parliamentary committee criticises News Corporation chief over his handling of phone-hacking scandal

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Dan Sabbagh and Josh Halliday, Tuesday 1 May 2012 22.24 BST
Article history

Select committee report concludes media mogul is 'not a fit person' to lead a major international company Link to this video

Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate conceded that MPs had fastened on "hard truths" in a parliamentary report into the phone-hacking scandal that also concluded he was "not a fit person" to exercise stewardship of a major international company.

A chastened News Corporation accepted that the culture, media and sport select committee was right to highlight "serious wrongdoing at the News of the World" and that its response to hacking allegations was "slow and too defensive". It also accepted the committee's verdict that former employees misled parliament, including the former editor of the News of the World.

But Murdoch's company adopted a more defensive tone in responding to the MPs' hostile description of its 81-year-old patriarch, noting that it considered the verdict "unjustified and highly partisan" because it was only agreed following a vote that saw five Labour MPs and the sole Liberal Democrat, Adrian Sanders, outvoting a Conservative bloc.

The criticism of Murdoch travelled around the world with Murdoch titles such as the Times and the Wall Street Journal among those repeating the "not a fit person" quote prominently.

The remarks even had the apparently paradoxical effect of boosting News Corporation's share price in New York by 24 cents to $20.08 – a move some analysts put down to the belief that the day's events heralded the point where the company would sell its British newspapers.

The influential Wall Street media analyst Rich Greenfield said US investors "would love to see News Corp sell off their UK newspapers", including the Sun and the Times titles, and that a declaration by the media regulator Ofcom that the company be unfit to continue holding its 39.1% shareholding in BSkyB would allow it to raise cash in excess of its implied market value by selling down the stake.

The media regulator, Ofcom, said its separate inquiry into whether News Corp was a "fit and proper" owner of a 39% stake in BSkyB was continuing, and insiders said it would monitor the hacking-related criminal cases and the Leveson inquiry before deciding whether to take any action.

If it concluded that News Corp was not "fit and proper" it could force the company to sell its stake in BSkyB.

In a separate memo to staff, Murdoch said he found it "difficult to read many of the report's findings". He added: "We certainly should have acted more quickly and aggressively to uncover wrongdoing. We deeply regret what took place and have taken our share of responsibility for not rectifying the situation sooner."

A chaotic press conference laid bare the divisions between Labour and Conservative MPs when it came to Rupert Murdoch. Tom Watson, the Labour MP who drafted the passage of the report criticising the media mogul, said Rupert and his son James must now answer for News International's "rampant cover-up".

He added: "Everybody in the world knows who is responsible for the wrongdoing of News Corp: Rupert Murdoch. More than any individual alive, he is to blame. Morally, the deeds are his. He paid the piper and he called the tune."

Louise Mensch, a Conservative, distanced herself from Watson's rhetoric. She said the Murdoch claim was outside the scope of the committee and risked undermining its report. "That will mean it will be correctly seen as a partisan report and will have lost a very great deal of its credibility, which is an enormous shame," she said. Mensch added that the remarks about Rupert Murdoch prevented the Conservative MPs voting for the final report, which was passed by six votes to four.

James Murdoch, once considered a certainty to take over from his father, was also subject to further criticism. The committee said he showed "wilful ignorance" of the extent of phone hacking between 2008 and 2010. The highly charged document led to MPs from both sides arguing over the meaning of the report – the first of a series of political, judicial and regulatory inquiries expected to conclude in the coming months.

According to the document, Rupert Murdoch "did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking" and "turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications".

The committee concluded that the culture of the company's newspapers "permeated from the top" and "speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International". That prompted the MPs' report to say: "We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of major international company."

Within the report there were also some passages critical of the Murdoch family that met with cross-party approval. One paragraph, approved by nine votes to one, said the committee found it "simply astonishing" that it took Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch at least two and a half years between 2008 and the end of 2010 to conclude that the company line – that hacking was confined to a single rogue reporter, jailed former royal editor Clive Goodman – was "untrue".

The only dissenting voice was that of Therese Coffey, a Conservative MP. James Murdoch was accused of failing to appreciate the significance of the News of the World's hacking when he signed off the secret £700,000 phone-hacking payment to the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor, in June 2008.

Similar accusations were levelled at Murdoch over the "for Neville" email, which appeared to show that hacking went more widespread than Goodman when it became public in 2009, and for his response to the investigations by parliament in February 2010 and the New York Times in September 2010.

The report continued to note that "as the head of a journalistic enterprise, we are astonished that James Murdoch did not seek more information or ask to see the evidence and counsel's opinion when he was briefed by Tom Crone and Colin Myler on the Gordon Taylor case". But allies of James Murdoch said he was pleased the criticism did not go any further, and in particular that the MPs did not conclude he had misled parliament.

That was reserved for three others. Les Hinton, the former executive chairman of News International, and a lifelong associate of Rupert Murdoch's, was "complicit" in a cover-up at the newspaper group. It accused Colin Myler, a former editor of the News of the World, and the paper's ex-head of legal, Tom Crone, deliberately withheld crucial information and answered questions falsely. Minutes published by the committee showed the MPs were unanimous in agreeing that Hinton, Myler and Crone had misled parliament – a charge all three men denied.

The committee will put forward an all-party motion to censure them before the Commons, reviving a punishment last used to admonish John Junor, the editor of the Sunday Express in 1957. Junor was summoned to the Commons and forced to apologise over a report into petrol allowances. But the committee members admitted that they were creating parliamentary precedent and it was unclear what would happen if the three did not say sorry. Labour leader, Ed Miliband, urged Ofcom to speed up its investigation into whether News Corp is a "fit and proper" owner of the broadcasting licence held by BSkyB. "I take extremely seriously what the committee are saying," said Miliband. "They've gone through the evidence, they've reached a considered conclusion and I think now that what needs to happen is the regulator, Ofcom – and it is a matter for them - needs to come to its own conclusions."

Lib Dem president, Tim Farron, said Ofcom should take seriously the claim that Murdoch was an unfit owner of a global media firm. He said: "Given the significant role he has in the governance of News Corp, this should be an important consideration in Ofcom's determination. It's nearly a year since we asked for this review. The public will want Ofcom to conclude its work on this issue as quickly as possible, and I urge them to do so."

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:28 PM


Select committee exonerates Harbottle over Murdoch's 'major mistake' claim

1 May 2012 | By Sam Chadderton

Harbottle & Lewis, which was accused by Rupert Murdoch of making “a major mistake” in underestimating the scope of the phone-hacking scandal, has been cleared by a report from the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

The firm was criticised by News International (NI) executives Murdoch and his son James when they faced MPs in the House of Commons.

Murdoch senior alleged that former partner Lawrence Abramson was instructed to “find out what the hell was going on” while James Murdoch claimed that a letter from Abramson to News International director of legal affairs Jon Chapman was a “pillar” on which the media company based its claims that Clive Goodman was a rogue reporter acting alone.

However, today’s select committee report found that Chapman and NI group HR director Daniel Cloke gave Harbottle a “narrowly drawn” remit to review internal emails to ensure there was nothing to back Goodman’s claim that phone hacking was widespread and known about by senior executives if the allegations came out in an employment tribunal (16 August 2011).

The law firm had been approached because of its expertise in employment law.

Abramson wrote to confirm with Chapman that he had reviewed the emails and there was “no reasonable evidence” to implicate other reporters. But he did query a dozen emails that Chapman argued “fell outside the scope” of what NI had asked Harbottle to consider.

Yet the committee heard from Cloke, who suggested that Abramson should have acted if he saw “definite evidence of criminal activity”. On this point Murdoch told the committee last year: “[The letter] was one of the pillars of the environment around the place that led the company to believe that all of these things were a matter of the past and that new allegations could be denied.”

Chapman later gave evidence to say that Rupert Murdoch “did not have his facts right” when he accused Harbottle. The firm also hit back at criticism from Murdoch in his own publication The Wall Street Journal by saying his views were “self-serving” (15 July 2011).

The firm gave written evidence to the committee defending itself against claims that it should have taken action. It said: “There was absolutely no question of the firm being asked to provide News International with a clean bill of health which it could deploy years later in wholly different contexts for wholly different purposes.”

The committee’s report states: “Then literally, this is correct.

“We note, however, that there was sufficient doubt about the content of some of the emails examined by Lawrence Abramson to need reassurance on them from Jonathan Chapman. In this context we’re astonished that neither Jonathan Chapman nor Daniel Cloke appear to have referred those emails anywhere else.”

In a summary of ‘The Harbottle & Lewis investigation’ the select committee report said that NI repeatedly made “misleading and exaggerated claims” about its own investigations.

The report said this applied to the 2007 Harbottle email review and the August 2006 engagement of Burton Copeland. The latter firm was instructed to respond to Metropolitan Police requests for information, not to investigate wrongdoing as former News of the World editor Colin Myler and lawyer Tom Crone claimed.

The report concluded: “The account we have heard of News International’s internal email review and the second review, conducted by Harbottle & Lewis, is unedifying. It’s clear that the emails examined didn’t exonerate company employees from all suspicion of possible criminal wrongdoing, possibly not even from phone hacking.

“It’s probable that all those who reviewed the emails will have been aware that this was the case.

“The fact that Jonathan Chapman drew up such narrow terms for the Harbottle & Lewis review strongly suggests that he was deliberately turning a blind eye to emails that he didn’t want to investigate further.

“In keeping his conclusions about the emails strictly within the narrow scope of his investigation, Lawrence Abramson was undoubtedly simply doing his job as a lawyer. Indeed, he seems to have made some effort to alert news International to problems that he uncovered.”

In other headline points from the report, MPs have concluded that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to run News Corp, that he and his son James were guilty of willful blindness, that several senior figures at NI have misled parliament and that the company has perpetrated a “cover-up” that treated MPs with contempt.

They had previously accused the media giant of “collective amnesia” regarding phone hacking.

The House of Commons could yet take action against individuals for contempt of parliament.

Glen Atchison, who replaced Abramson as managing partner at Harbottle, said today: “We’re pleased to see that the firm’s evidence and description of the exercise that we were retained by News International to undertake in 2007 has been confirmed by the committee in its report.”

Abramson, now a partner at Fladgate, declined to comment.

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:08 AM

Woman arrested in phone-hacking probe

Monday 28 May 2012
A woman was arrested today by detectives investigating allegations of voicemail hacking.

Scotland Yard said the 42-year-old suspect was detained on suspicion of money-laundering offences.

She was held after attending a south west London police station by appointment at around 11am.

She was being questioned by officers from Operation Weeting, Scotland Yard's phone-hacking investigation.

Police launched Operation Weeting, the inquiry devoted specifically to phone hacking, after receiving "significant new information" from News International on January 26 last year.

Operation Elveden was launched months later after officers were given documents suggesting News International journalists made illegal payments to police officers.

Officers also launched three related operations: the Sasha inquiry into allegations of perverting the course of justice; Kilo, an inquiry into police leaks; and Tuleta, the investigation into computer-related offences, as the inquiry escalated.

Metropolitan Police figures showed there were 829 potential victims of phone hacking, of whom 231 were said to be uncontactable.

The scandal has already led to the closure of the News of the World after 168 years, prompted a major public inquiry, and forced the resignation of Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and his assistant John Yates.


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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:09 AM

News International 'tried to blackmail select committee'

Met told to investigate claim that MPs were targeted to gather dirt for intimidation plot that was ordered from outside the newsroom
Martin Hickman Author Biography

Monday 28 May 2012

Detectives carrying out the multimillion-pound investigation into illegal newsgathering techniques at Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group have been asked to investigate whether it attempted to blackmail politicians.

The alleged plot centres on News International's apparent efforts to warn off MPs on a parliamentary committee from disproving its discredited defence that phone hacking was the work of a single "rogue reporter".

According to the former senior News of the World journalist Neville Thurlbeck, News International ordered the Sunday paper's reporters to scour the private lives of MPs on the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in 2009. At the time, Mr Murdoch's company was mounting what it now admits was a mistakenly "aggressive" response to allegations that the interception of voicemail messages was rife at its headquarters in Wapping, east London. On the advice of the parliamentary authorities, the Labour MP Tom Watson has now asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate the allegation.

According to Mr Thurlbeck, reporters were told by those in "deepcarpetland" to obtain evidence of affairs or gay relationships. The aim, he claimed, was to "to find as much embarrassing sleaze on as many members as possible in order to blackmail them into backing off from its highly forensic inquiry into phone hacking". In a letter – a copy of which has been obtained by The Independent – to the Deputy Assistant Commissioner leading the Met's inquiries into News International, Sue Akers, Mr Watson wrote: "If these allegations are found to be true, it suggests there was a conspiracy to blackmail."

Mr Watson, a member of the committee put under surveillance by News International, said: "I have evidence that I was put under covert surveillance in September 2009 by the private investigator Derek Webb, as well as Mazher Mahmood and an accomplice. Mr Thurlbeck may not be aware of this. I would, therefore, urge you to investigate Mr Thurlbeck's claims in order to establish whether any offence was committed."

The Met launched an inquiry into alleged computer hacking at The Times earlier this year in response to a letter from Mr Watson. Yesterday the Met said it was unable to comment on the MP's latest request. The Leveson Inquiry – where former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair will appear today – has been investigating the power wielded behind the scenes by News International. While blackmail would be a significant deepening of the criminal inquiries enveloping NI, former News of the World reporters have spoken in the past about their use of "leverage" to secure the co-operation of people about whom the paper had embarrassing information.

Mr Thurlbeck, the former chief reporter, disclosed the alleged operation against MPs in comments to Mr Watson that the MP included in his co-authored book, Dial M for Murdoch. Mr Thurlbeck said that an "edict" had been passed to reporters to "find out every single thing you can about every single [committee] member: who was gay, who had affairs, anything we can use."

In the New Statesman this month, he added that the NOTW's journalists had been so concerned about the exercise that they did not carry it out, but went further than he had previously about its intent. He wrote: "At the height of the hacking scandal, News of the World reporters were dispatched round the clock... the objective was to find as much embarrassing sleaze on as many members as possible in order to blackmail them into backing off from its highly forensic inquiry into phone hacking."

In his letter to Ms Akers, dated 9 May, Mr Watson wrote: "I think it is important that I write to make you aware of new information published by Neville Thurlbeck.... The comments concern the blackmail of members of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, and will be of interest to you given Mr Thurlbeck's previous arrests."

Mr Thurlbeck, arrested on suspicion of phone hacking, remains on police bail. News International made no comment on Mr Watson's letter.

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:37 PM

Leveson inquiry: Met's Sue Akers to kick off final week of witness hearings

Officer in charge of investigations into alleged phone hacking and corruption of public officials to give update to inquiry

Lisa O'Carroll, Friday 20 July 2012 17.57 BST

Sue Akers
Metropolitan police deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

After eight months of witness hearings, the final week of the Leveson inquiry will begin with an update from the senior Scotland Yard officer in charge of the investigations into alleged phone hacking and corruption of public officials by journalists.

Metropolitan police deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers
is expected to tell Lord Justice Leveson on Monday morning whether she believes the investigations have much further to go or are close to winding up.

Akers is in charge of three interlinked investigations set up in the wake of revelations about alleged criminality at the now-defunct News of the World. Operation Weeting is looking into alleged phone hacking, Operation Elveden into allegations of payments to police and other public officials for stories, and Operation Tuleta into alleged computer hacking and other invasions of privacy not covered by Weeting or Elveden.

So far 74 people have been arrested: 26 people in connection with Operation Weeting, 41 in connection with Operation Elveden and seven in connection with Operation Tuleta.

Akers testified before the Leveson inquiry in February and surprised many when she spelled out details of what she called a "culture of illegal payments" at the Sun.

She claimed that one public official received more than £80,000 in total from the paper and regular "retainers" were apparently being paid to police and others, with one Sun journalist drawing more than £150,000 over the years to pay off his sources.

The remainder of the witnesses appearing next week are all core participants delivering closing remarks at the end of the formal witness hearings, which began in November.

On Monday counsel to the inquiry for alleged victims of press intrusion, including the Dowler and McCann families, will make his closing remarks as will counsel for the Met, Telegraph Media Group and Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers.

On Tuesday the inquiry will hear from Northern & Shell, the Guardian and News International.

Although next week marks the end of formal witness hearings, Leveson has said he may recall some witnesses to tie up loose ends in the autumn, before he publishes his report with recommendations for the government on the future of press regulation.

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:41 PM

Police are using phone-hacking scandal to claw back control of information

In aftermath of scandal, power over news is more firmly in hands of upper echelons of Met police than at any time in the past

Sandra Lavelle
Sandra Laville, Sunday 22 July 2012 19.00 BST

Bernard Hogan-Howe
Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe: Scotland Yard Yard routinely turns down requests for interviews with senior officers. Photograph: Metropolitan police/EPA

Seminal research by Steve Chibnall more than 30 years ago on the relationship between the Metropolitan police and crime correspondents concluded that the balance of power was asymmetrically in favour of the police.

The research appeared long before 24-hour news, social media, the growth in corporate communications departments or the police's reaction to the phone-hacking scandal, which exposed overly cosy relationships between officers and News of the World executives.

Two years ago criminologist Rob Mawby revisited Chibnall's work, and warned: "There are reasons to fear for the future ability of crime reporters to provide independent critical reporting on policing and crime … The asymmetric police-media relationship identified by Chibnall therefore endures and has become more pronounced in terms of police dominance of the relationship."

Today, in the aftermath of a scandal which shook Britain's biggest police force to its core, power seems more firmly in the hands of the Met police – or, to be more precise, very senior officers and the management board – than at any time in the past.

There is no doubt that there has been a necessary examination of the framework for conducting police and media relationships as forces react – and sometimes overreact – to the phone-hacking scandal and the Leveson inquiry.

Some within the police service and outside argue that more formalisation and a tightening of control are welcome. Others, including senior police officers, see the benefits of an open and trusting relationship with specialist crime journalists for policing purposes and the public good, and warn against discarding a relationship which has worked to the benefit of the public, the police and the media for decades.

Only a minority of police and journalists are guilty of bad practice, of illegality and corruption. But Scotland Yard is using the scandal to claw back control over the flow of information, to restrict access to detectives and uniformed officers, and to threaten them with criminal and/or disciplinary proceedings if they maintain informal relationships with journalists they have learned to trust.

Officers who talk to crime correspondents to provide context, enhance understanding, guide, give colour and texture or hold an off-the-record conversation to ensure no harm is done by a media report, are under active criminal investigation; a Scotland Yard press officer is facing a disciplinary inquiry for having a coffee with a crime reporter; and officers of middle rank and above describe an authoritarian atmosphere within the Met.

The relationship between the police and crime journalists has always been marked by tension, even with the closest of contacts. The police hold the information and the journalist seeks it. Much of that information is not released into the public domain for operational reasons, or to protect the privacy of individuals and to avoid prejudice to the legal process. But a great deal of information can be released in order to enhance the public's understanding of police work, to show that criminals can and will be caught, to prevent harm to individuals, to expose wrongdoing and corruption, to help hunts for suspects and – in a democratic society – to ensure that our police are as open and transparent as possible.

Yet the new draft guidance issued to officers at Scotland Yard seems designed to put the fear of God into any young detective seeking to speak to a journalist for any of those reasons.

"Assume you are being recorded" is one instruction. And under the headline "personal dealings with the media" – "hospitality taken from journalists should be the exception not the rule and alcohol should play no part".

While shutting off informal contact between crime correspondents and their police contacts, the Yard routinely turns down requests for interviews with senior officers – four to date for this journalist – and chooses instead to use social media to speak to the public.

Regular webchats with the commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, however, do not open him up to serious scrutiny and, while many sections of the public continue to distrust the police, there is a need for informed, responsible, independent reporting of crime and policing issues for which journalistic contact with police sources is essential.

Those who do speak out within the police service on bad practice and corruption face a difficult time, and speak of being mistreated and marginalised. Within the Met, the Guardian knows of at least two cases where whistleblowers have been bullied, isolated and investigated for spurious disciplinary offences which have never been proven, after making complaints to superior officers about bad practice, including racism and sexual assault.

"The moment you become a whistleblower the senior management will know about it," said one former Met officer. "They will do everything they can to intimidate and persecute you in order to protect themselves and their career path.

"There is no protection, these people are extremely powerful and the police service is a highly secretive organisation which if it can will choose secrecy over being open."
Even simple factual information is routinely withheld. The list is endless but examples include: the attack on German Gorbuntsov was portrayed as a London gangland killing rather than the attempted assassination of a Russian banker; the Met press bureau refused to reveal where the Tetra Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing was arrested; and it withheld details of the arrest in February of @InspectorWinter, a fraudster posing as a tweeting police officer during the August riots.

Does any of this matter? Two years ago Mawby concluded it did. "This study suggests that we are edging further towards a public sphere dominated by the sectional interests of the powerful and in which crime reporters find it increasingly difficult to make their independent, sometimes dissenting voices heard. If this continues one dimension of the complex framework of police accountability will be further diminished."

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:29 AM

Leveson inquiry: NI staff 'appeared to have data from stolen phones'

Met officer Sue Akers says police are investigating 101 allegations of phone hacking, computer hacking and improper access to records

Lisa O'Carroll, Monday 23 July 2012 11.59 BST

Sue Akers
Deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers said the Met was investigating allegations that News Internationl staff were in possession of information taken from stolen mobile phones. Photograph: Eddie Mulholland/Rex Features

Scotland Yard is investigating evidence that appears to show that staff at News International titles were in possession of information taken from stolen mobile phones, in an effort to find out if the practice of using such information was widespread at the publisher.

Deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers told the Leveson inquiry that Rupert Murdoch's internal inquiry team at the Management and Standards Committee recently handed over material that had been downloaded from, and was in possession of, News International titles which appeared to have come from stolen mobile phones.

Indicating that this amounted to a fresh line of inquiry, Akers – who heads up phone hacking and corrupt payments investigations – said that the police had gone back to the MSC to establish whether in fact it was an isolated incident or just the tip of the iceberg.

The material from the phones in question was dated around late 2010, Akers told Leveson, and one of the mobile phones had been examined with a view to breaking its security code, so that the contents could be downloaded by experts.

One of the mobile phone thefts took place in Manchester and another in south-west London.

The inquiry is being led by officers working on Operation Tuleta, the inquiry into computer hacking and breaches of privacy not covered by the two parallel Met investigations – Operation Weeting, into phone hacking, and Operation Elveden, into corruption of public officials.

Updating Leveson on Operation Tuleta, Akers revealed that the police were investigating 101 separate allegations of phone hacking, computer hacking, and improper access to medical, banking and other personal records.

Akers said the Met was in possession of between 8TB and 12TB of information in relation to Tuleta. She said 1TB was the equivalent of three-and-a-half times the height of Mount Everest – indicating that the investigation was far from closed.

She said: "We've collated relevant documentation from previous inquiries and looked at electronic storage devices which had been previously seized in other inquiries and we've gathered between eight and 12 terabytes of data across 70 storage devices, which we're searching for evidence to either support or contradict the allegations that have been made."

Last week a reporter on the Sun was arrested and bailed by Tuleta officers in connection with suspicions of handling stolen goods.

It is thought the allegation related to a call from a reader who had found on a train a phone that was said to belong to an MP. It is understood that the paper did not run a story relating to the lost phone.

Staff were reportedly furious about the arrest, claiming they might as well "pack up and go home" if they could no longer check out calls from the public.

Akers also updated Leveson on Weeting and told the inquiry that the Met had now notified 2,615 people over allegations that their voicemail might have been hacked.

She said that of those, 702 were likely to have been victims. There may have been more in the "likely to have been victims" list, but for one reason or another, the Met had been unable to contact those people.

The figure is higher than first believed. News International lawyers have been working on the basis that around 500 civil claims for damages in relation to hacking.

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#55 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:35 AM

Click on the link to read the full article

greenslade blog

Astonishing story of a photographic agency's surveillance exploits

In his written evidence to the Leveson inquiry, he said:

"I seek to ensure that my team and I act in accordance with the editors' code of practice...

I owe an ethical responsibility to the readers of the newspaper. Our staff are expected to behave with respect, common sense and common decency. When dealing with members of the public our staff should identify themselves as reporters and the newspaper for which they work - unless they are dealing with criminals or putting themselves at risk in an undercover investigation."

It was noticeable in his oral evidence, that Embley said that the editorial department with "the biggest single budget" was pictures.

Though he was questioned about whether the pictures he published were "taken in intrusive circumstances" he gave no specific reply.

So here's the situation. The photographic agency says the ethics are the responsibility of the newspaper and the newspaper expects the journalist it hires to take responsibility for obeying an ethical code.

Don't we call that passing the buck? Clearly,
Embley has questions to answer. Even at this late stage, Leveson should recall him.

Sources: Leveson: written and oral/Exaro News/The People Hat tip: Hacked Off

#56 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:47 AM

Phone hacking: Met wins access to Glenn Mulcaire statement

Police win high court order to see statement naming those Mulcaire says ordered him to hack phones at News of the World

Lisa O'Carroll, Monday 30 July 2012 17.33 BST

Glenn Mulcaire: handed the statement to Phillips’s lawyers on 20 July. Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

The Metropolitan police has won a high court order giving detectives access to a statement in which the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire names those who he says ordered him to hack phones at the News of the World.

Justice Vos said at a high court hearing on Monday that it would be wrong if Met officers investigating alleged crime at the now-defunct Sunday paper were "kept in the dark" while investigating "serious allegations" of wrongdoing.

Vos added that there was "plainly a public interest" in the investigation of potential crime and although Mulcaire was "one brick in a very large wall", the statement should be handed over.

After a supreme court ruling earlier this month, Mulcaire was compelled to answer questions posed by lawyers for a phone-hacking claimant, PR consultant Nicola Phillips, about who instructed him to hack her phone.

Ordering disclosure of the statement to the Met, Vos said: "It would be most unfair if the police investigating these serious activities should be held in the dark."

The court was told that Mulcaire "names names" in his witness statement handed over to Phillips's lawyers on 20 July. Lawyers for phone-hacking claimants feared that Mulcaire would say he could not remember who at the News of the World ordered him to hack phones and this is the first time it has been revealed that he identified individuals.

"He answered the questions naming names, rather than saying I don't remember," said Vos. "The Mulcaire statement does contain positive information which may be of some benefit to the police investigation."

However, in a second order Vos banned phone-hacking victims from knowing the contents of this witness statement in a bid to stop it leaking out. He said he was concerned that if it went to a potential 400 claimants, it would come out accidentally.

But he ordered that the Mulcaire statement could be seen by lawyers acting for phone-hacking victims.

He reminded all present in court that a contempt of court offence was in place if the contents of the Mulcaire statement was leaked by anyone including press, claimants and lawyers.

"In many more normal cases the cat may be, as one might say, out of the bag," he said, noting that an informal arrangement not to mention anything in relation to the contents of the Mulcaire statement in open court had created an effective wall of confidentiality.

The hearing was the seventh case management conference on hacking in relation to at least 50 new claims being made against News International.

Earlier on Monday the court heard that claimants had made new allegations against News of the World publisher News International, which the company said it believed were "unsustainable". These allegations were related to "exemplary damages" claims but were not identified in court.

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:52 AM

Sun journalist arrested in Operation Tuleta investigation into stolen phones

A 37-year-old man arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods during probe into alleged criminal breaches of privacy

Josh Halliday, Tuesday 31 July 2012 13.18 BST

The Sun: a News International spokeswoman confirmed the arrested journalist worked for the paper. Photograph: David Levene

A 37-year-old Sun journalist has been arrested by Metropolitan police detectives investigating alleged criminal breaches of privacy.

The man was arrested on Tuesday morning on suspicion of handling stolen goods. A News International spokeswoman confirmed that he was a Sun journalist.

He becomes the ninth person held by Scotland Yard's Operation Tuleta investigation and the third journalist held on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

The Metropolitan police said in a statement: "The arrest relates to a suspected conspiracy involving the gathering of data from stolen mobile phones and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately."

The man was arrested by appointment at an east London police station, Scotland Yard said.

Yesterday the Sun's chief foreign correspondent, Nick Parker, was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods, and the paper's news reporter Rhodri Phillips was held earlier this month on the same grounds.

Operation Tuleta
is the Met investigation into alleged computer hacking and other criminal breaches of privacy not covered by the two other parallel probes, Operation Weeting, into phone hacking, and Operation Elveden, into illegal payments to public officials.

#58 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 01:24 AM

Ex-NoW Scotland news editor charged with perjury over Sheridan trial

Douglas Wight is also charged with conspiracy to hack telephones and breaching the Data Protection Act

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Josh Halliday, Friday 17 August 2012 10.54 BST

A former news editor of the News of the World Scotland has been arrested and charged with committing perjury and conspiracy to hack telephones.

Douglas Wight
was arrested by Scottish police late on Thursday over evidence he gave in the trial of former MSP Tommy Sheridan in 2010.

Strathclyde police
said Wight was also charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to obtain personal data of members of the public, in breach of the Data Protection Act.

The force, working with senior prosecutors at the Crown Office, Scotland's prosecution authority, said a report on Wight's charges would be submitted to Scotland's procurator fiscal.

He is the second person arrested by Strathclyde police under Operation Rubicon, the Glasgow force's inquiry into phone hacking in Scotland and alleged perjury during Sheridan's trial.

Andy Coulson, the prime minister's former communications director, was detained in May for suspected perjury in the trial.

Coulson faced two days of questioning at the trial in December 2010 over his knowledge of phone hacking at the News of the World. He repeatedly denied Sheridan's allegations that the practice was widespread at the paper.

The former News of the World editor, who appeared at Westminster magistrates court on Thursday to face separate charges of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages, has said he will vigorously contest the perjury allegations.

Wight left the News of the World in July 2011, when it was closed down by News International in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

From 2007 to July 2011, he was the News of the World's books editor based in London and before that was the paper's features editor.

Wight was questioned at the trial about his dealings with Fiona McGuire, whose claims that she had an affair with Sheridan were published in a News of the World story in 2004.

Sheridan was convicted of perjury at the trial in December 2010. The MSP was on trial for lying in court when he won a £200,000 defamation action against the News of the World in August 2006. He was freed a year into his three-year sentence.

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#59 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:44 PM

This is a very misleading newspaper heading.

In fact the whole situation is misleading.

One only has to look at the World Association of Detectives to see these people are Private Investigators and not Police Officials.

Any Joe Bloggs/ Jane Doe can become a Private Investigator/ Investigator.

Why are these Private Investigators allowed to call themselves "Detectives", when a Detective is in fact someone whom is employed by the Police?

What do those involved in the Phone/ Computer hacking investigations think of this "Association" been called what it is?

How many of those whom are members of the World Association of Detectives are in fact employed offically as "Detectives" in the world-wide Police force in their countries of origin?

It is something for a very good Investigative journalist to investigate and disclose to the general public.

Incidently we doubt very much if those in the UK would want such a conference in there backyard with what has gone on in relation to phone/computer-hacking by these lowlifes of society.

World's top detectives due in Auckland
Last updated 10:54 10/09/2012

October 2014 will be the worst time to commit crime in Auckland as detectives from across the globe descend for an international conference.

Auckland has won the rights to host the World Association of Detectives 89th Annual Conference and around 400 investigators are expected to attend.

Daniel Torenson, a member of the World Association of Detectives for more than 10 years, said the win was exciting news for New Zealand private investigators.

Auckland secured the conference, for the first time, over New Delhi.

"This is a great example of the opportunities available on the global stage for New Zealand as an international conference destination," Tourism New Zealand's general manager of marketing communications Justin Watson said.

Anna Hayward, manager at the Auckland Convention Bureausaid the win was great for Auckland.

"As always with a conference of this size the benefits will extend to many of our operators which is fantastic. It also highlights the importance to Auckland of attending and continuing to invest in international tradeshows such as IMEX Frankfurt."

Auckland's bid was won with the support of the Conference Assistance Programme - managed by Tourism New Zealand on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Since July, nine international bid applications have been accepted by Tourism New Zealand for CAP funding, with an estimated economic value of $17 million.

CAP is available to any association or organisation that is in a position to formally bid for an international conference of over 200 delegates to be held here in New Zealand.

- © Fairfax NZ News

World Association of Detectives

Directory of World's Best Investigators and Security Specialists
Whatever the reason you looking for an Investigator or Security Professional, W.A.D. members are the World's Best

private detective/investigator noun
(informal private eye)
a person whose job is discovering information about people. A private detective is not a government employee or a police officer
She hired a private detective to find out if her husband was having an affair.

(Definition of private detective/investigator noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

Private Investigator - Wikipedia


Private Security Personnel & Private Investigators Regulations 2011

#60 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:51 PM

This has been admitted by an Ex Scotland yard officer now Private Investigator residing in New Zealand

ACC saga highlights email tracking practice

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 6:16p.m.
Email tracking software is commonly used by private investigators

By Simon Shepherd

The ACC scandal involving National MP Nick Smith and claimant Bronwyn Pullar has been largely characterised by email leaks.

Trying to get answers - who leaked what to whom - can be difficult, but when it comes to emails it is not impossible.

The ACC saga has already claimed Mr Smith for writing a reference for Ms Pullar - a reference she sent to her ACC case manager, who later re-read it several times just before it was leaked to a newspaper.

Ms Pullar knows this because she used email tracking software to find out who has been looking at her emails.

It is unknown what Ms Pullar used, but regular email programs give you the option of being notified when someone opens your email - but it has to be agreed to.

Other programs like ReadNotify let you track emails without the recipients knowing.

Private investigators use it all the time.

“We would use it to track where people are, who is opening emails, who they are forwarding it to, and it gives us the intelligence we need when we are doing an investigation,” says Ron McQuilter, from Paragon Investigations.

Mr McQuilter sent a tracking email to 3 News and reported back that it was read once, what time, and how soon after it was sent.

It also detailed the IP address, that an iPhone was used and that it was in Auckland.

Mr McQuilter says the program works under “stealth mode” and people do not know they are being tracked.

But is it legal to secretly trace who is reading your emails?

One lawyer says it is not a privacy breach but could break other laws.

“Arguably it could be seen as an unlawful access of a computer system under the Crimes Act, but you would need to show that the person was accessing information they knew they were not entitled to,” says privacy lawyer John Edwards.

The only way to avoid ReadNotify is to use a Gmail account, but it is likely there is another program that can.

No matter how careful you are you will always leave a digital footprint.

The best advice for passing on a secret: don’t do it online.

3 News

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