Man jailed for snooping on police database
Watching the watchers
A Northern Irish man has been jailed for nine months for using the police database to get information for terrorists.
Aaron Hill, 24, from Randalstown, County Antrim, was a data inputter for the Northern Irish police force. He was found guilty of collecting information likely to be useful to terrorists and misconduct in public office. His original sentence was suspended but yesterday the court of appeal sent him to prison for nine months.
Darren Richardson, 31, was also found guilty of possessing ammunition - he is free after serving a year on remand.
The court heard that Richardson collected car registration numbers of Catholics living in the town and passed them to Hill. Police found documents which included registration numbers with names and addresses in Richardson's possession. The case was sent back to appeal on grounds that the original sentences were too lenient.
The two men played together in the town's flute band, the BBC reports.
Hill said he'd run checks on about 100 people and police advised 67 individuals to step up personal security as a result of the data breach. ®
are definitely required for people who steal personal information and sell it on. Even 9 months is paltry. It should be on a par with robbery. Even though what's being stolen is intangible, information can be extraordinarily valuable, can be used to ruin careers in the wrong hands and even put lives in danger as in this case.
I've been a victim of such stolen information, and indeed false information, and I'm in the process of sorting the matter out. I'll be pressing my MP to raise my case in parliament for a dramatic ramping up of the sentences for this type of crime.
"He was found guilty of collecting information likely to be useful to terrorists and misconduct in public office".
This is quite endearingly ambiguous. So, which is it?
1. He was found guilty of collecting information likely to be useful to terrorists, and he was also found guilty of misconduct in public office.
2. He was found guilty of collecting information likely to be useful to terrorists (and equally useful for misconduct in public office).
It's the second, and somewhat likelier, alternative that many of us have been worried about for years. But as he was being paid by the government to do that, it could hardly be wrong, could it? Could it??
@J 3 and A/C
How do you get car registrations of Catholics?
Sit outside a Catholic church with a pen and paper on a Sunday.