Feeds

NotW reporter accused of hacking over 100 mobiles

Guardian gnaws at old bones

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Disgraced former News of World royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, and a private eye accomplice, Glenn Mulcaire, allegedly tapped into the voice-mail records of far more celebrities and public figures than previously admitted according to mobile phone records.

The pair were jailed in 2007 after both pleaded guilty to hacking into the voice mail messages of royal aides. Mulcaire also admitted to five counts of unlawful interception of communications offences over hacks into voice mail messages involving Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes, supermodel Elle Macpherson, publicist Max Clifford, football agent Andrew Skylet, and Gordon Taylor, boss of the PFA (football players' union).

Police and News International maintained afterwords that there were "only a handful" of victims in the scandal. However after reporting last July that the NotW paid out more than £1m to settle privacy lawsuits Taylor and two others, The Guardian decided to keep digging into the affair.

The left-leaning paper is seeking evidence to support a theory that phone tapping of celebrities was endemic and ongoing at the News of the World at a time when Andy Coulson, current Tory communications director, edited the paper.

Rather than accepting the official line that only a handful of celebs were bugged by a rogue reporter, The Guardian says it has discovered from mobile operators that "more than 100 customers" had mobile phone voice-mail messages accessed by phone numbers used by Goodman and Mulcaire.

Orange, O2 and Vodafone identified the numbers three years ago after Scotland Yard passed them phone numbers linked to the NotW three years ago, but the number of people affected has only just come out.

The Guardian reports that only O2 notified its customers directly. Vodafone and Orange left matters in the hands of the police and in at least some cases unnamed victims knew nothing of any breach until The Guardian got in touch.

A freedom of information request from The Guardian also revealed that police found PIN codes reportedly linked to 91 different people when they arrested Goodman and Mulcaire.

The twin revelations are further grist to The Guardian's mill but are unlikely to re-ignite the scandal for a second time. Prosecutors long-ago decided to proceed only with sample charges against Goodman and Mulcaire in order to keep proceedings manageable.

Furthermore, the Met Police dismissed the possibility of reopening the phone-tapping investigation shortly after The Guardian re-opened the pay-off scandal back in July. A Press Complaints Commission inquiry concluded last November that there was "no evidence that it was materially misled by the News of the World, and no evidence that phone message hacking is ongoing".

However another inquiry, from the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, is yet to report. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.