Feeds

Former ICO deputy head denies blocking press probe

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

Reducing security risks from open source software

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. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.