|Seems to be hitting the papers over there now. What's the general reaction?
Brief summary: the tabloid press in Britain is notorious for digging out dirt on celebrities - with our libel laws they need to make sure what's printed is true. The News Of The World found the best way to do this was to hack into mobile phones and listen to messages. Easy enough to do if people hadn't enhanced their security settings.
Whilst it was celebrities that had been affected by this, nobody really cared. Then it emerged that they had hacked into the phone of Milly Dowler, a 13 year old girl who had gone missing, listening to messages from her family pleading with her to return.
Bad enough, but when her message box was filled, NOTW then started deleting the messages, so that someone else could leave one. Letting Dowler's family think their daughter was still alive. She was not - her decomposed body was found a few weeks later.
Thing is, a couple of years ago, the NOTW claimed that the whole thing was down to one bad apple. The Metropolitan Police investigated it and backed up the NOTW's claims. Andy Hayman, in charge of the investigation, said "we will leave no stone unturned". Turned out he couldn't even find the quarry.
It has since emerged that half the Met was seemingly on NOTW's payroll. And the number of phones hacked runs into the thousands. Consumers and advertisers boycotted NOTW to such an extent that owner Rupert Murdoch was forced to wind up the paper. After 168 years, the best-selling newspaper in Britain was no more.
It's got so bad that Parliament has launched an enquiry, which yesterday featured some former writer with Murdoch's broadsheet - The Times - who was none other than Andy Hayman, and who came up with comedy defending - there was nothing wrong in having dinner with a chief suspect, for example...
Today, it's emerged that NOTW might have been trying to hack into the phones of 9/11 victims, and the serjeant-at-arms had to be sent to summons Murdoch pere et fils to attend the Parliamentary inquiry after they had said that they were going to come, but were a bit busy...
It might yet have deeper consequences. Murdoch might face gaol; the existence of the Times, the oldest, proudest newspaper in Britain is being questioned. Murdoch tried to take over the 70% of shares in Sky TV that he didn't own - he's had to withdraw that bid as Parliament might question whether he's a fit and proper person to own a newspaper. And now the American journos seem to be getting interested.
So, has it made any impact Stateside? Or is it just another random story?
Last edited on Thu Jul 14th, 2011 08:12 pm by kargol