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News Corp. Hacking Scandal Spreads To Government 105

wiredmikey writes "The scandal revolving around the News Corporation's now defunct British tabloid, News of the World, has entered a new phase with news that the hacking extended into areas of national security, as detectives working for the Murdoch media empire may have hacked into the computer of a government minister responsible for Northern Ireland. Scary stuff, yet the enterprise security community seems strangely quiet on the topic, aside from showing other journalists how easy it is to do. Potentially, if you know the correct mobile number and you can guess four digits, you too can be listening to your elected leaders' personal messages. The chances are pretty good that it could be their birthday."
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News Corp. Hacking Scandal Spreads To Government

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  • Well, well.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @02:58PM (#38217276) Homepage Journal

    Will a contrite Rupert Murdoch make a tearful visit to No. 10? MI5?

    Really not surprised, when the people in News International (NI) were going for a story they let nothing get in their way. And the juicier the story, the more Big White Letters on the cover of NotW or Sun. Drunk with it, they were, the idea of digging where they should not and getting away with it.

    Another round of review for suitability of the Murdoch Clan by stock holders? Might just be enough to dislodge the old goat and his son.

  • by newcastlejon ( 1483695 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @03:48PM (#38217888)

    The government hacks people all the time, but I rarely see outrage about it.

    Cite or STFU. That is all.

    Actually, no it isn't. The government - or more correctly the police - are quite capable of getting their hands on your data easily, without resorting to "hacking" if they get a court order. They don't need to hack anything.

    Besides that, Britain isn't some tin pot dictatorship (yet) where the police are basically there to do what politicians say: ministers have been tried, convicted and sentenced for a number of crimes, so they patently aren't above the law. I've no doubt, however, that they still get away with the same kinds of financial shenanigans that any rich banker or company executive does.

  • Re:Well, well.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:14PM (#38218190) Homepage Journal

    I'm not convinced that Britain has anything to do with it, besides merely being where the story was first exposed. Do you suppose the Italian press (mostly owned by their soon-to-be-ex-leader) has never hacked into the phones of people Berscolini wanted discredited? Perhaps you imagine Fox News and TMZ are wholly innocent of any kind of malpractice in the United States? Clear Channel Radio is, of course, wholly innocent of any wrongdoing, right?

    It seems to me that most nations have press scandals that they've either successfully suppressed or don't need to suppress because they own all the media that matters.

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:16PM (#38218208) Journal

    Look, it's bad enough that Fox News is owned by a man who allegedly changed his nationality to get around foreign ownership laws of media outlets (how come the Aussies and Brits don't have those laws? That way he'd only influence ONE country's media).

    But aren't there laws in the U.S. against the blatant use of the public airwaves to push a particular viewpoint or even "hatemongering" (just as one example: look at the number of times Fox accidentally spelled "Obama", "Osama" and mentioned his middle name "Hussein")? For a detailed look at this bias watch the documentary "Outfoxed".

    Even if you were to claim that this is protected free speech (yes but not using public spectrum! Use a satellite like Howard Stern!) couldn't there be a case made for shutting the network down for the public interest? Several recent studies have shown that Fox viewers are not only less informed than viewers of other network/media, but they are less informed than people who WATCHED NOTHING AT ALL (don't know exactly the comparisons, google it).

    Until then I didn't know that ignorance could be a negative value. Wow.

    Of course, if there is any proof to the allegations that his company spied on Americans, perhaps some form of justice will be done.

  • Re:Well, well.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:25PM (#38218264)

    Yes; those damn brits who insist on making their police actually investigate corporate crimes. If this was a proper civilised country the corporations would be allowed control the media for political benefit and nobody would lift a finger. Look at how the FBI have managed to make accusations of hacking 9/11 victims completely disappear for example*. That's a proper example of a police system that knows that it's job is controlling the people.

    * we'll leave Australians for a while; there has been some uncivilised muttering about news international corruption, but it's quite possible that nothing will be done..

  • Re:Well, well.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:26PM (#38218280) Homepage Journal

    " (incorrectly stated as News Corp in the article above) "

    There is a lot of that. The Murdoch Empire (probably the most correct name possible) moved quickly to attach the stigma of "hacking" to those few select managers at one specific newspaper, then closed that one newspaper. The naive are supposed to conclude that those few select managers were rogues, and that they were punished by the Murdoch Empire. And, the naive have mostly come to that conclusion. Amazing, that Rupert is so good at manipulating the gullible masses.

    One thing that can't be dismissed, is that Rupert personally paid multiple settlements, out of pocket, long before the scandal really broke. Many people overlook it, but no one can dismiss that fact. Rupert Murdoch was intimately familiar with the details of this hacking operation. Rupert Murdoch personally approved of the operations, or they would have been shut down to prevent the necessity of paying out more settlements.

    I can't fault you for naming names in the manner you used. But, I insist that "Murdoch Empire" is most appropriate, and that the Emperor is entirely responsible for all misconduct. This particular emperor seems to hate delegating any authority, to anyone.

  • by Don_dumb ( 927108 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @05:11PM (#38218852)
    But yet, he researched his statement and provided several references for each assertion, exactly what is missing from journalism. Like I said, I wouldn't usually take his word for much. But I did read the entire statement and have to say that there is many a good point.

    Bear in mind, he knows more than almost everyone about the relationship between the press and the government. For better or worse.
    He didn't call for regulation by government but concluded that self paid regulation was pointless and self serving. Which I think is fair.

    If I am honest I think it has given me a small amount of new found respect for the man who sold the world a terrible war.
  • by The Askylist ( 2488908 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @07:14PM (#38220662)
    He circulated his statement around various friends and ex-colleagues before publication, so I doubt whether all of the references were his. One copy found its way to the Guido Fawkes website on Sunday, which caused Leveson to issue instructions on Monday that evidence to the inquiry was not to be circulated beforehand. Leveson was threatening to force the owner of the site to give evidence tomorrow on how he came to be in possession of Campbell's statement, but backed down this afternoon when it became clear that Campbell had circulated it widely.


    Be very careful how much respect you gain for both Campbell and Leveson - the inquiry has one aim and one aim only, and that is to come up with a framework for press and internet reporting restrictions. Campbell is only one of the chosen witnesses whose statements will be used to this end.

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