Feeds

Former ICO deputy head denies blocking press probe

'I never said the press was too big to take on'

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

The ICO’s deputy commissioner has denied ever saying that the press was “too big” for the commission to take on.

A former senior investigator for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) told the Leveson Inquiry last Friday that he was asked not to pursue a case that pointed to private investigators getting confidential information for journalists.

According to Alexander Owens, when he approached his superiors, the deputy commissioner at the time, Francis Aldhouse, said, “We can’t take them on, they’re too big for us”.

He claimed the ICO was too afraid of the wealth and influence of the media to continue with the case.

Today, Aldhouse was called by the Leveson Inquiry to respond to the statement from Owens.

He said in his written statement (PDF) that he had “no recollection” of the meeting between with Owens and the former commissioner Richard Thomas where they discussed the investigation, but it was “possible there was such a meeting”.

However, he strongly denied the claim that he had said the press was too big to take on.

“I certainly have no recollection of the colourful intervention attributed to me, namely that I said that, 'We can’t take the press on they are too big for us'. I do not believe I ever said anything remotely corresponding to this quotation. It does not represent my view then or now,” his statement said.

Owens had said that he had been told not to make contact with any newspapers or journalists that he had identified in the investigation, but Aldhouse said that would have been the decision of the commissioner.

“I am not aware of such a decision. I took no part in the decisions on this prosecution,” he said.

Former commissioner Richard Thomas is due to give evidence to the inquiry on Friday. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.