Phone Hacking 89


I think we are all truly shocked by the revelations about the Murdoch press hacking Milly Dowler’s telephone. Probably I was like most people, in that the hacking of celeb phones looking for scandal seemed to me criminal, but less of a worry than other aspects of the Murdoch press. The most interesting aspect of the story until now had been the collusion within Scotland Yard in covering up the criminal activities of the Murdoch empire. The part played by Andy Hayman looks particularly interesting in this respect, particularly given his role as chief retailer of lies to the Murdoch media about the War of Terror, notably but by no means only over the murder of Jean Charles De Menezes.

But both in terms of sheer sickening behaviour, and in terms of endangering an urgent search, the Milly Dowler business is worse. Ed Miliband is quoted by the Guardian as saying that Rebekah Brooks “should consider her conscience and consider her position”.

No. Anyone working for Murdoch sold their conscience long ago, and she should have no choice about her position, which should be behind bars, alongside Coulson and sundry Murdochs. News International must be stripped of all its media outlets, as being demonstrably unfit to own any media in this country.


89 thoughts on “Phone Hacking

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  • mark_golding

    ” Families of 7/7 bombing victims may have had their phone hacked by News of the World” –
    .
    an interesting widening of the ‘hacking’ window.
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    Is this a conjuring act done in a heart-beat by an ultra-perceptive clique within the darker back rooms of secret services? Certainly it is an attempt to partition public sympathy towards terrorist victims. To invoke ghosts of past atrocities in this way is a rendering of guilt I feel by persons known and unknown while at the same time cruelly abducting public compassion away from the family of Milly Dowler; their beautiful daughter taken from this world prematurely by a fiend, a hellion of lust. It is to that family my tears and sorrow are delivered.

  • evgueni

    Anno,
    the English are for the most part politely ignoring you, but I am not English and I am blunt so I will say it – you are deranged. Your awful experience perhaps explains why, and I am sure you have many people’s sympathies including my own. However from your singular experience you extrapolate to the whole of ‘English’ society (btw do you mean British) and this is offensive and ignorant. Leave my English wife and my English friends out of your nonsensical rants, please.
    .
    That aside, I am also somewhat surprised at the shock that so many have expressed, including Craig, following the revelations about phone hacking. Someone else on another thread quoted G.B. Shaw’s words on the “power of accurate observation” often being mistaken for cynicism, I think this is apt. It should not be surprising that news media capable of cheer-leading for one criminal war of aggression after another, are morally bankrupt in general.
    .
    I also do not think it material that one despicable man could own BskyB instead of several lesser known but undoubtedly like-minded (read profit-motivated) individuals. The point is – our media are owned and controlled by a minority. The interests of a minority are not the interests of the majority. It is infinitely stupid to award power to a minority, as the result is guaranteed to be corruption, including moral corruption. I sign the petitions anyway, in the spirit of ‘small incremental steps’..

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Evgueni, it is because the British in general – not, in the main, the people who comment here, though – have been brought up to trust authority and their personal experience of most authority at ground level is that it is relatively less corrupt than is the case in many other countries. An Italian friend of mine put it this way (I paraphrase): If countries are like forests, in Italy, everything is corrupt, from top-to-bottom and everyone knows it, they live with it and have to negotiate it on a daily basis. Same with many other countries. In Britain, for the most part, the bottom is straightforward, in most everyday dealings, most people are honest and are not out to screw you. In Britain, it is the top that is systemically rotten. But because we all live at the bottom, we tend not to be able to see or quite bring ourselves to believe that the top is utterly rotten. Of course, rot tends to percolate…

    On the other note, we – I mean those who’ve been commenting here for a while – have had these arguments with anno in the past, btw – no harm re-stating it, though. I think if one deals with people, one comes to realise that (as the truism/cliche goes) there are all kinds, everywhere. One also realises that one way or another, hypocrisy is part of the human condition, everywhere.

  • anno

    No. Evgeni, I am not deranged, and I do not have to cry on your or anybody else’s shoulder, but I mention something that happened to me in my life purely to illustrate the fundamentalist vindictiveness of liberalism, i.e. non-value-non-judgementalism.
    I am happily married to a lovely Muslim wife, but the liberalism by which we are surrounded is not compassionate to those with Muslim views. Liberalism pretends to cry crocodile tears about the violence launched by this country against the Muslims of the world, while it is in fact the very cause for which these wars have been waged.

  • Jon

    Cup of tea, yes please. Earl Grey would quite simply be super. Just a dash of milk in mine, thanks awfully!

  • Jon

    @Anno, I hope you are alright. Nevertheless, liberalism is not the reason that bad things have happened to you – sounds like someone has been quite cruel to you. Liberalism is also not the reason why the West is hooked on war – there is nothing liberal about occupation or invasion! The English people as a whole have not wronged you. You are persistently attacking the wrong people and the wrong things.

  • mark_golding

    Anno is Anno – and life has given him the hard won and therapeutic ability to ‘see’ trough the dense canopy of Suhayl’s forest to the the habitat zone of the ‘minority above that knowingly steals warmth and light from a majority living below. Of course trees are rooted in the ground and without that nourishment one by one, they fall – in the spirit of ‘small incremental steps’ politely or otherwise.
    .
    Thank-you Suhayl white with two please!

  • angrysoba

    “I mention something that happened to me in my life purely to illustrate the fundamentalist vindictiveness of liberalism, i.e. non-value-non-judgementalism.”
    .
    There is no contradiction between being liberal and judgmental. I am, for example, liberal and highly judgmental. I hate non-judgmentalism.

  • anno

    So much sexual abuse and mass murder has by now been swept under the carpet of English gentility, that even you polite tea-drinking folk must be finding it difficult to deny the pong and the inconvenience of walking round the edge of the room. Sorry if you felt I was being racist. I will try not to mention the awkward pile another time.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    My pleasure, Jon, Mark, coming right up. Pouring… Mmn, that’s very satisfying. 3:25 and seven seconds (at the third stroke) is the most deeply English time of day, don’t you think? I see the clouds are rising from the low horizon, might rain today, might not, wonder what the post will bring. Now I shall put on ‘The Village Green Preservation Society’. Now, who might prefer the second stroke (as Frankie Howerd, glancing at his watch, might have said to the dominatrix)?

  • dreoilin

    A spokesperson from [Bulmer]’s Irish office said that it won’t be advertising “pending the outcome of all investigations” but has decided not to take any adverts with NOTW with immediate affect.
    .
    Aldi has also announced that it will not be advertising with the newspaper, according to the Guardian.
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    The company said it is “reviewing its advertising in the Irish edition” and is not planning any future adverts in the newspaper pending the outcomes of the external investigations.
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    RTE reports that Aer Lingus is “actively considering” whether to place any more ads in the newspaper.
    http://www.thejournal.ie/bulmers-to-pull-ads-from-news-of-the-world-171443-Jul2011/

  • dreoilin

    Suhayl
    Could I have mine very strong and very sweet please? I have a wonky tummy. I was eating fava beans the night before last, and there was definitely something wrong with them.

  • Clark

    With all this talk of “hacking”, and further to Jon’s explanation of how voicemail was accessed, I feel I should write something about the term, as its original use was very different.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_%28term%29
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    There are many people that describe themselves as “hackers”, and use the term to mean the modification of software. This +is+ related to circumventing computer security systems, but not the way most people tend to think – indeed, I would say, the way we are being encouraged to think.
    .
    Computers were developed to be completely general in their application. The idea is that instead of requiring multiple information processing devices – a TV, a video recorder, a filing and storage system, a correcting typewriter, etc – a single type of programmable machine could be put to all such diverse uses by using appropriate software, limited only by the ingenuity of the programmers, and which tasks can be completely defined by a list of completely unambiguous instructions.
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    When such versatility proved inconvenient or threatening to authority, said authorities used that versatility of computers against this very ideal. They installed software that denied access to some of the software, including itself. And thus did the games begin.
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    As you can imagine, some programmers, committed as they were to learning how to make the machine do +anything+, resented being prevented from doing certain things. Indeed, they felt that their ingenuity exceeded that of the authorities, and started using their skills and the versatility of the machines to circumvent the barriers that the authorities had erected. It became a game, and the connotation of “hacking” was one of playfulness, not criminality. The motivation was “I bet I can get around that”, rather than “I wish to expose Joe Blog’s private details and raid his bank account”.
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    We are now surrounded by software, and most of it is constricted for commercial reasons. Hackers like to remove those constrictions. That is fun, but can also be a serious issue of liberty:
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    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html
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    These NotW “hackers” haven’t hacked anything, they probably couldn’t hack their way out of a paper bag. It is an unwarranted glorification to call them “hackers”, and an insult to the original spirit of hacking.

  • Jon

    I haven’t had a cup of tea all day. Your post Suhayl, reminded me of a July Skies’ record, The Weather Clock, which opens with an old recording of the British Telecom speaking clock, possibly from the 1950s, in a lovely BBC accent you could cut glass on. It is a very English record, and if you’re still supping, you could do worse than enter “Girl on the Hill” into YouTube, and have a listen.
    .
    Mmm, cuppa tea. What a great idea.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Of course, Dreoilin! With great pleasure, madam! Don’t mention it! Tea… a tea-party (but not the Tea Party!) and war on News International (to draw from the previous carnate manifestation of Saint Vincent II of the Liberal Democratic Order of the Coalition before they got to him; did they hack into his life as well, one wonders?) and the now near-monopoly capitalist distortion of the mainstream public space.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86jnj8TgWS4

  • Jon

    @Clark, agreed, although I regard the media’s misuse of the term as a reflection of their ignorance, rather than a deliberate ploy to discourage the public from thinking they can modify their own computer devices. “Technology journalists” at the newspapers are often woefully out of touch with tech culture, sadly.

  • dreoilin

    Indeed, Clark. I think some of the cleverest hackers often went on to be employed in major companies.
    .
    Thank you, Suhayl. You’re most kind!

  • glenn

    May I recommend peppermint tea for that dodgy stomach, Dreoilin? Works a charm. Peppermint teabags from just about anywhere, or liquid peppermint extract from a health food shop, will sort it right out.
    .
    With regard to out of touch techno-slugs using terminology they don’t understand in the Meeja, my personal pet hate is being invited to “log on” to some open-access site (such as the BBC’s news site), for which no userid/pass is actually required.

  • Clark

    Glenn, quite. British Telecom have even managed to convince many of their broadband customers that they need to “log on” in order to use the public Internet. The default setting if you use the BT Broadband set-up disc is to set the BT log-on page as the default homepage. BT are basically just tricking their customers into giving consent to BT tracking and recording their Internet usage.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Dreoilin: “I might even have some of those in the cupboard …”
    What? Light aircraft? Oh sorry, that was a different thread – I’m getting my threads mixed-up again, this, you know, is why I could never knit properly. My scarves ended-up shaped like the multiverse.

  • Azra

    right from BBC website.. Well done Avaaz… each time they want to go ahead we should send emails after emails…

    Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is set to delay his decision on whether to allow News Corp’s bid for BSkyB after receiving 100,000 submissions on the issue

  • sjb

    @Mark (5 July 2011)

    If it had been a counter-terrorism exercise then surely Khan would have been a bit suspicious when ‘asked’ to make the video? Wouldn’t he at least have talked about it with his wife?

    Do you think the four men involved in the 21/7 failed reprise were also patsies?

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