Feeds

Former ICO deputy head denies blocking press probe

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

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
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.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?