Feeds

Tabloid hack scum face jail

Oh no!

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?