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Crime United Kingdom

Police Charge News of the World Editor Over Voicemail Hacking 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the figuring-out-where-the-line-is-drawn dept.
New submitter HarryatRock writes with news that former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and five others have been charged by police for their involvement in intercepting voicemail messages left for a murdered girl. From the article: "She is charged with conspiring with her 49-year-old husband, personal assistant Cheryl Carter, chauffeur Paul Edwards, security man Daryl Jorsling, and News International head of security Mr Hanna to "conceal material" from police between 6 and 19 July. In a second charge Mrs Brooks and Ms Carter are accused of conspiring to remove seven boxes of material from the News International archive between 6 and 9 July. In a third charge, Mr and Mrs Brooks, Mr Hanna, Mr Edwards and Mr Jorsling are accused of conspiring to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from police officers between 15 and 19 July."
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Police Charge News of the World Editor Over Voicemail Hacking

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  • by ToiletBomber (2269914) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:08PM (#40010081)
    ...to avoid anything related to Fox News like the plague
    • by colfer (619105)

      The WSJ is covering this pretty well, but Fox TV news is not, from what I've read and read about.

  • by sethstorm (512897) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:13PM (#40010131) Homepage

    "She is charged with conspiring with her 49-year-old husband, personal assistant Cheryl Carter, chauffeur Paul Edwards, security man Daryl Jorsling, and News International head of security Mr Hanna to "conceal material" from police between 6 and 19 July. In a second charge Mrs Brooks and Ms Carter are accused of conspiring to remove seven boxes of material from the News International archive between 6 and 9 July. In a third charge, Mr and Mrs Brooks, Mr Hanna, Mr Edwards and Mr Jorsling are accused of conspiring to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from police officers between 15 and 19 July."

    For all the people that are being charged, the Murdochs seem quite absent, but anyone without their surname seems to be fair game.

    Hopefully someone turns on the Murdochs instead of taking the sword for the family.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      Hopefully someone turns on the Murdochs instead of taking the sword for the family.

      Never happen. When you're the 1%, the 99% take the sword.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:30PM (#40010341)

        When you're the 1%, the 99% take the sword.

        And in this case, when you're in the .01%, 99% of the 1% are fair game too.

      • Rebekah Brooks is an interesting case, Only recently she was testifying to the leveson inquiry and some of what she had to say was personally damaging to the prime minister David Cameron and i'm not referring to Camerons use of lol (lots of love he thought it meant) which a lot of reporting seems to be focused on. Rather that the current government seems to have asked certain people at news international how to play the phone hacking scandal.

        Although i'm struggling to find the exact quote now, there should

    • Remember that the Murdochs are several degrees removed from all of these charges. Now they may be evil masterminds and they may eventually be charged with one or more crimes, but for the moment the police are having to work their way up through the ranks.

      I suspect that for anything substantial to stick it's going to take more than one or two NOTW employees pointing at the Murdochs and saying "they made me do it".

      • by Vanders (110092)
        There's still the emails that James Murdoch hilariously claims to have never seen [bbc.co.uk], despite him having been an executive director and a group lawyer having CC'd him. Obviously reading an email from your lawyer is something an executive director would just never do.

        Rupert Murdoch on the other hand is apparently slipping into senility and is therefore exhibiting periods of forgetfulness and general confusion, the poor man.
      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:59PM (#40010701) Journal

        James Murdoch is most certainly not far removed, and I think it's pretty likely he will be charged soon enough.

      • by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @07:30PM (#40011565)
        James Murdoch is a clueless fuckwit, did you not watch him @ Levenson, he is a prime example of MBA crass, pathetic "appearance over substance" uselessness. He struggled to put a coherent sentence together, claimed anything contentious wasn't "front of mind" (WTF? walking or breathing isn't front of mind but you still manage do it) better stop there.

        Unfortunately most large corporations are led by twats like this, does MS, HP or Nokia not spring to mind?
      • by nbauman (624611)

        He is a manager, and he involves himself deeply in his properties (like the Wall Street Journal). He's responsible for knowing what's going on. I expect him (and his editors) to be saying, "We're really getting these great scoops. I wonder how we're doing it?"

        How can a newspaper editor not know that her reporters are illegally hacking phones?

        Editors (and their lawyers) have to know where the information is coming from, for many reasons. They can get sued for libel. Their reporters could be making it up.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      I very much doubt the Murdoch's actually committed any of these crimes themselves. They may or may not have ordered people to do it, although I find that unlikely. Much more likely, they simply ordered people to find the information "any way they can" (or other euphemism). You don't generally get to be as rich and powerful as the Murdoch's by being able to be easily associated with criminal activity, after all.

  • by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:14PM (#40010145)

    This almost seems like justice is being served. What's the catch?

    • Re:I'm Shocked (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:15PM (#40010171) Journal

      No indictment for any Murdoch.

    • This almost seems like justice is being served. What's the catch?

      The Murdoch family gets away with it, scott-free.

    • by Threni (635302)

      She's rich and white and stuff - good laywers, and she's pregnant. Also, she probably has stuff on everyone. She's not going to prison.

      • by mrbester (200927)

        There was a rumour that she knew she'd eventually face charges so she got pregnant in order to help her case, as rich pregnant women with connections to the Prime Minister don't go to jail. She claimed her body clock was "ticking" and such scurrilous accusations denigrated the fine reputation of the UK press.

        Lest it be forgot, she was editor of the News of the World, a paper that even fish balked at being wrapped in.

    • by Spad (470073)

      There isn't really one.

      Now matter how much certain people in and around the government might want to try and protect the Murdochs and their business interests, it's basically impossible for them to do so at the moment without committing political suicide; even the slightest suspicion of support is probably enough to stop you getting re-elected.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    if she were an upper class twit like Piers Paul Hugh Montefiore O'Brien Morgan she could be working with the excellent CNN.

  • Print media is shrinking fast as newspaper readers instead search the www and advertising moves to Google.

    Are we witnessing a suicidal counterattack by non Murdoch media in an attempt to divert attention away from their own transgressions.

    I get the feeling that Rebecca's real crime was to promote the David Cameron brand.

    • Re:Mainstream media (Score:5, Interesting)

      by colfer (619105) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @06:23PM (#40010959)

      The Guardian took the lead, quite alone, and has nothing like the "transgressions" of the tabloid press to answer. Obviously this is not where you're going with your comment, but what is more interesting to me is the difference in press freedom between the US and the UK. The Leveson hearings I could not imagine happening in the US Congress. A whole line of questions to Brooks were about the political influence of newspapers. The transgressions of the print media in the UK are worse than in the US, but so is the threat of regulation. I'm sure the Guardian and it supporters are indeed worried about suicidal danger. The Independent does not sound to happy about all this, from what little I have read. But the Murdoch press in the UK is a lot more powerful and vindictive than Fox/WSJ in the US. They really did meet and threaten top party leaders.

  • by DeathToBill (601486) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:46PM (#40010553) Journal

    "Involvement in intercepting voicemail messages."

    Accuracy has never been very important to /., has it?

    They were charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by withholding evidence from police. There is no charge that they were involved in voicemail hacking (though of course there are plenty of allegations that they were).

  • by colfer (619105) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @06:07PM (#40010781)

    Non-UK sources provide additional details not allowed in the UK media, due to pre-trial laws. The Guardian broke this story, but now scrupulously points out it is limited in what it can report. Comparing to the NYT, the omitted facts seem to be the strange episode of the discarded briefcase in the parking garage. Brooks's husband was caught red-handed when he tried to reclaim it after someone found it in a dumpster.

    Anyone know what else the UK press must omit?

  • It's the coverup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by residents_parking (1026556) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @06:23PM (#40010961)

    It is the attempted coverup they are being charged for, not the crime of phone hacking. That's what "perverting the course of justice" means here in the UK. It's a common law offence that usually carries a prison sentence, which can be up to life.

    • by kiite (1700846)

      It is the attempted coverup they are being charged for, not the crime of phone hacking.

      Right, because all they did, AFAIK, is spoof caller-ID information to gain access to the voicemail without a password, and IT WAS NOT ILLEGAL at the time. So the police are charging whomever they can with whatever they can to make the public happy.

      All Murdoch had to do was say, "Yeah, we did what we could, within the confines of the law, to get the story," and the whole thing would have blown over in a couple of days. Instead, companies crumble and lives are ruined for something that was in poor taste, bu

      • by iainr (43602)

        Right, because all they did, AFAIK, is spoof caller-ID information to gain access to the voicemail without a password, and IT WAS NOT ILLEGAL at the time. .

        The "This wasn't illegal at the time" comment has been made a number of times but surely gaining access to voicemail, whether by caller-ID spoofing or guessing passwords is going to be illegal under the computer misuse act which predates RIPA by a decade.

      • by Inda (580031)
        From what I read at the time, it went far beyond spoofing caller-IDs and guessing default PINs. I remember thinking that it was up there with cracking servers and needed more knowledge than my own general understanding of phone hacking.
      • Yes, it WAS illegal at the time - CMA 1991, a decade older than these crimes. They gained access to a computer system they were not authorised to use, and did so KNOWING they were not authorised to use it.

        Its just that that usually only carries a 6 month sentence, whereas Perverting the Course of Justice can be a MUCH bigger stick.

    • by gmhowell (26755)

      As Nixon pointed out, "it's not the crime, it's the coverup". Ironic that he gave Roger Ailes one of his first jobs in DC. Roger Ailes of NewsCorp...

  • "I wasn't aware of anyone doing anything wrong."

    Then, when given proof that you should have been: "I didn't read it."

    Worked for James Murdoch.

  • She had to be charged to avoid an outcry. Kind of like the Zimmerman/Martin case on this side of the pond, everyone knows they'll be acquitted but we have to go through the formalities to assuage the blogosphere
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Shes whinning she cant get a fair trial due to all the media attention.

  • by lucm (889690)

    Not getting caught for a long time does not mean you got away. Ask Kadhafi.

  • A personal assistant and a chauffeur? How much does anyone want to be the personal assistant and chauffeur spend more time in jail?

  • If you are going to do anything even remotely illegal, or you even suspect it might be illegal someplace on this planet, then make SURE you have an iron-clad butt-cover.

    Because at the end of the day, male criminals will ALWAYS toss you an anchor, will ALWAYS shove you out of the lifeboat, and will ALWAYS stab you in the side to make sure you limp along and bleed for the sharks.

  • Whatever may be the story, Rebekah Brooks is attractive woman.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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