Feeds

Tabloid hack scum face jail

Oh no!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Journalists and private investigators who illegally obtain and trade in personal information will face jail sentences under planned changes to the Data Protection Act.

Ministers want to replace the current maximum sentence of an unlimited fine next April with a spell of up to two years inside.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has repeatedly called for tougher penalties for those who blag telephone, medical and other records.

On Thursday justice minister Michael Wills launched a consultation. Alongside harsher punishments, a new public interest defence will aim to protect legitimate journalistic inquiry.

Wills said: "The Government have no intention of curtailing responsible investigative journalism, so we are also consulting on commencing the new defence under section 55 for those who can show that they acted for the purposes of journalism, art and literature with a view to publishing journalistic, literary or artistic material, in the reasonable belief that the obtaining, disclosing or procuring was in the public interest."

The ICO highlighted abuses by journalists and private investigators in its 2006 report What Price Privacy? The unlawful trade in confidential personal information.

It took this summer's high profile tabloid celebrity phone hacking scandal to prompt action, however. As El Reg pointed out, the issue of dodgy gumshoes listening in on unsecured voicemails was relatively insignificant compared to burgeoning trade in data obtained by pretexting and corrupt insiders.

The consultation document is here. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.