Nullary Sources

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Posts tagged hacking

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Rebekah Brooks arrest: phone-hacking scandal isn't going to fade

Robert Marquand, Christian Science Monitor:

The re-arrest of Rebekah Brooks this morning suggests little official let-up in a British tabloid phone-hacking scandal that captured the world’s attention last July and threatens to drag Prime Minister David Cameron into questions about his ties to Ms. Brooks and other journalists.

Yes, that’s right. Re-arrest. Really good run-down of the whole case from the CSM. (Just too bad it’s on two pages.)

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James Murdoch gives up News International role

Yinka Adegoke and Mark Hosenball on a story we haven’t posted about on NS in a while:

James Murdoch resigned as executive chairman of News International on Wednesday, raising new doubts he can succeed his father Rupert as CEO of parent company News Corp in the wake of a phone hacking scandal at the unit he oversaw.

James will remain deputy chief operating officer of News Corp with a focus on its international TV business, a New York-based post he was promoted to last year.

The Leveson Inquiry on the whole hacking/payouts/miscellaneous fuckery thing is still ongoing. The Reuters article focuses more on the corporate ramifications of James Murdoch’s resignation and wholly uninteresting power struggles.

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Scotland Yard attempts to force The Guardian to disclose sources

The Guardian:

The Metropolitan police are seeking a court order under the Official Secrets Act to make Guardian reporters disclose their confidential sources about the phone-hacking scandal.

In an unprecedented legal attack on journalists’ sources, Scotland Yard officers claim the act, which has special powers usually aimed at espionage, could have been breached in July when reporters Amelia Hill and Nick Davies revealed the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone. They are demanding source information be handed over.


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Phone hacking: News of the World reporter's letter reveals cover-up

Been a few days since we linked something about Rupes McGupes and the whole News of the World thing, so let’s let Nick Davies of The Guardian make you angry all over again:

Rupert MurdochJames Murdoch and their former editor Andy Coulson all face embarrassing new allegations of dishonesty and cover-up after the publication of an explosive letter written by the News of the World’s disgraced royal correspondent, Clive Goodman.

In the letter, which was written four years ago but published only on Tuesday, Goodman claims that phone hacking was “widely discussed” at editorial meetings at the paper until Coulson himself banned further references to it; that Coulson offered to let him keep his job if he agreed not to implicate the paper in hacking when he came to court; and that his own hacking was carried out with “the full knowledge and support” of other senior journalists, whom he named.

The claims are acutely troubling for the prime minister, David Cameron, who hired Coulson as his media adviser on the basis that he knew nothing about phone hacking. And they confront Rupert and James Murdoch with the humiliating prospect of being recalled to parliament to justify the evidence which they gave last month on the aftermath of Goodman’s allegations. In a separate letter, one of the Murdochs’ own law firms claim that parts of that evidence were variously “hard to credit”, “self-serving” and “inaccurate and misleading”.

doop doopity doop

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FBI maybe taking on News Corp with RICO Act

In a great piece for Adweek which draws parallels between News Corp. and the Mob, Michael Wolff reports that the idea of prosecuting News Corp. with the RICO Act is being taken at least somewhat seriously at the FBI:

Well-sourced information coming out of the Department of Justice and the FBI suggests a debate is going on that could result in the recently launched investigations of News Corp. falling under the RICO statutes.

RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, establishes a way to prosecute the leaders of organizations—and strike at the organizations themselves—for crimes company leaders may not have directly committed, but which were otherwise countenanced by the organization. Any two of a series of crimes that can be proven to have occurred within a 10-year period by members of the organization can establish a pattern of racketeering and result in draconian remedies. In 1990, following the indictment of Michael Milken for insider trading, Drexel Burnham Lambert, the firm that employed him, collapsed in the face of a RICO investigation.

How would they do that, you ask? Wolff again:

Here is where the RICO logic comes in. The usual path of a criminal investigation follows the crimes back to the source—that’s what happened to News Corp. in the U.K. when the royal family discovered that its voice mail messages were appearing in the press. But in a RICO investigation, you are really following the ethos and methods of operation of a group or organization to the crime. In other words, criminal activity is not seen as an isolated or particular event—as News Corp. has desperately and unsuccessfully tried to portray the crimes that occurred in the U.K.—but as an established pattern of conduct.

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Rebekah Brooks still on News International payroll

Tim Walker, writing in The Telegraph:

A big song and dance was made of Rebekah Brooks’s belated decision to resign as the chief executive of News International as the phone-hacking scandal engulfed Rupert Murdoch’s empire, but it has not had any great effect upon her standard of living. I am reliably informed that she remains on the company payroll.

“My understanding is that Rupert has told her to travel the world on him for a year and then he will find a job for her when the scandal has died down,” whispers my informant.

Good gravy.

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Police examine bag found in bin near Rebekah Brooks's home

Amelia Hill for The Guardian:

Detectives are examining a computer, paperwork and a phone found in a bin near the riverside London home of Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International.

The Guardian has learned that a bag containing the items was found in an underground car park in the Design Centre at the exclusive Chelsea Harbour development on Monday afternoon.

The car park, under a shopping centre, is yards from the gated apartment block where Brooks lives with her husband, a former racehorse trainer and close friend of the prime minister David Cameron.

It is understood the bag was handed into security at around 3pm and that shortly afterwards, Brooks’s husband, Charlie, arrived and tried to reclaim it. He was unable to prove the bag was his and the security guard refused to release it.

Instead, it is understood that the security guard called the police. In less than half an hour, two marked police cars and an unmarked forensics car are said to have arrived at the scene.

For commentary on this story, I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of Mr. William Gibson, courtesy of The Gibsonian Institute:

@GreatDismal: If hackgate were a screenplay, this would be the point where the writers need a firm guiding hand. Laptop in bin feels phoned in 

@Nadif: @GreatDismal Almost mandatory question then: how would *you* write the next page? 

@GreatDismal: Helium-filled robot penguins

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Rebekah Brooks arrested

Jill Lawless, writing for the AP:

Brooks’ arrest came only 48 hours before she, Rupert Murdoch and his son James were to be grilled by U.K. lawmakers investigating widespread lawbreaking at Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid. It also raises the possibility that Murdoch’s old friend Les Hinton, who resigned Friday as publisher of The Wall Street Journal, or his 38-year-old son and heir apparent, James, could be next.

What about arresting Murdoch himself?