The Phone Hacking Scandal

An American PI is supposedly saying he was approached to find phone details of 9/11 victims. He refused, but it shows there may have been an interest.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/2011/07/11/p...

If it turns out news of the world people did hack 9/11 phones, how would this play in America?

1Dgaf wrote:

An American PI is supposedly saying he was approached to find phone details of 9/11 victims. He refused, but it shows there may have been an interest.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/2011/07/11/p...

If it turns out news of the world people did hack 9/11 phones, how would this play in America?

Patriotic Fox News investigators used every means necessary to root out unAmerican pro terrorist socialist so-called '9-11 victims'

I always thought that BSkyB buyout was, depressingly, pretty much a done-deal but now it seems like everyone is doing everything possible to delay or stop it outright (apart from Cameron, naturally). I think I saw something about analysts putting the chance of the deal going through now at something like 10%. On top of Labour's requests, The Deputy Prime Minister has just now politely suggested Murdoch "reconsiders" the idea completely and drop his bid. Hell, even Jeremy "rhymes with" Hunt is asking offcom to re-examine the deal.

You have to wonder just how many people, in or out of government, were just waiting patiently for a chink in News Corp's armour, that little weakness they could wedge open and get that miserable old fart out of their lives for good.

Everyone wants to be sure the beast is at least severely wounded before running in to stick the knife in, don't forget the Sun is still (unfortunately) being published, and has a devoted readership made up of the sort of people who attack a doctor's home because they were described as a 'pediatrician'.

1Dgaf wrote:

If it turns out news of the world people did hack 9/11 phones, how would this play in America?

As a liberal plot to put a muslim in the White House. Reality stopped mattering here a while back.

stevenmack wrote:

I always thought that BSkyB buyout was, depressingly, pretty much a done-deal but now it seems like everyone is doing everything possible to delay or stop it outright (apart from Cameron, naturally). I think I saw something about analysts putting the chance of the deal going through now at something like 10%. On top of Labour's requests, The Deputy Prime Minister has just now politely suggested Murdoch "reconsiders" the idea completely and drop his bid. Hell, even Jeremy "rhymes with" Hunt is asking offcom to re-examine the deal.

You have to wonder just how many people, in or out of government, were just waiting patiently for a chink in News Corp's armour, that little weakness they could wedge open and get that miserable old fart out of their lives for good.

I think of three things when reading that:
-How much of it is politics for show, right at this moment everyone wants to be seen to do the right thing
-If not Murdoch, who else would step in to fill his shoes in the UK (as if Murdoch was gone).
-Where is 'NotW journalism' going to land? It's not as though the journalists just disappear from existence or don't have bills to pay, or that there wasn't a market to sell NotW to. What's the next thing, because it won't be phones.

dejanzie wrote:

:lol:

I second that

Also - Charlie Brooker's blog regarding the last issue of NoW.

and an intriguing update on the guardian blog...

1.53pm: Another potentially fascinating update via Twitter. Michael Crick, BBC Newsnight's political editor, sends this missive:

I hear that Gordon Brown going to make statement re activities of Sunday Times this afternoon.

Wuoh-oh...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011...

Oh SNAP. It's going to kick off now.

OK, so I'm trying to come up with a satirical Tabloid Journalism / Phone Hacking card game. Actually being a decent game would be a bonus.

The restrictions:
1) Cards only, no minis, tokens or boards
2) Symmetrical sides. I don't want someone playing "The Public" or "The Filth"

My basic idea is this:

The cards:
==========

1) Scoop cards. These are the "points" you're trying to maximise. These are sorted into two piles: One pile contains normal scoops (evenly distributed) and the other contains Megascoop cards (biased very high).
2) Editorial Action cards. These include
(a) "PI" cards that allow you to pick up one of the megascoop cards, but also nets you a skeleton
(b) "Scapegoat" cards. Each one of these protects you from one
(c) "No Honour Amongst Thieves" cards. You play these against another player. They have to discard either a scapegoat card or a number of scoops (rounding up)
3) "Skeleton In The Closet" cards. Every time you spend a PI card you get a Megascoop card
4) A "Phone Hacking Scandal" card that lies in wait in the normal scoops pile. Someone picking this up triggers the end of the game. At this point anyone who has more Skeleton than Scapegoat cards is disqualified. The person with the most scoop points wins.

Order of play
=============

1) Pick up a scoop card.
2) Choose to buy an Editoral Action card
3) Choose to play an Editorial Action card.

It would need playtesting to tune the various parameters (starting cards, cost of an EA card, scoop value distribution, Megascoop values, No Honour Amongst Thieves penalty, action card distributions).

Any other ideas?

Value of a scoop should be divided between all players at the table who play that scoop - Exclusivity is the key to a true "scoop". The blackmail mechanic of skeletons could be used to prevent people trading in on scoops.

You could ensure each scoop is actually like a suit in a deck of cards - You need 3 cards from the Profumo Affair scoop set to be able to publish for example. Bigger sets score more points as well as the exclusivity angle above. This would encourage a trading element to augment the blackmail side.

[edit]

Perhaps there's a drawing and trading phase, followed by one player "breaking" a story onto which all other players scramble to play their cards and get a slice. Introduce a backlash mechanic whereby another player starts exposing skeletons and you have a decent risk/reward mechanic: "Let me play my 3 cards onto your Cheating Footballer scoop or I'll launch an investigation" etc.

Need pub/cafe and a brainstorming session. I love creating cardgames like this.

With so much dirt being dug up, I wonder how long before gutter journalists discover encryption, and then run up against the RIP act, and run some campaign against that, or just bite the bullet if the punishment for keeping their encryption key is smaller than what they're concealing.

In October 2006, the then editor of the Sun, Rebekah Brooks, contacted the Browns to tell them that they had obtained details from the medical file of their four-month-old son, Fraser, which revealed that the boy was suffering from cystic fibrosis. This appears to have been a clear breach of the Data Protection Act, which would allow such a disclosure only if it was in the public interest. Friends of the Browns say the call caused them immense distress, since they were only coming to terms with the diagnosis, which had not been confirmed.
Five years earlier, when their first child, Jennifer, was born on 28 December 2001, a small group of specialist doctors and nurses was aware that she had suffered a brain haemorrhage and was dying. By some means which has not been discovered, this highly sensitive information was obtained by news organisations, who published it over the weekend before Jennifer died, on Monday 6 January 2002.

I mean....seriously. These people are absolute filth.

The only positive i can see coming out of this is that the political elite are now having to worry about the same sorts of privacy issues that the general populace has been for a while (at the hands of government initiatives and private companies). If they can start having some sense put into their future decisions from these events then that's a good thing....

A lot of the dirt digging (that wasn't voicemail hacking) seemed to be good old fashioned social engineering, fooling someone or getting someone with access to information of low moral standard to leak it. The other factor is what a publication does with that information.

Somehow I just know Murdoch's cronies in the US are doing the exact same things over here, but they're never going to get caught.

Scratched wrote:

A lot of the dirt digging (that wasn't voicemail hacking) seemed to be good old fashioned social engineering, fooling someone or getting someone with access to information of low moral standard to leak it. The other factor is what a publication does with that information.

Straight up fraud and bribery. At least there's no legal grey area there.

Its pretty effing sick that Rebekah Brooks personally called the Browns to let them know that her "newspaper" had unconfirmed medical details of a 4 month old. In what way is a child's illness newsworthy?

mindset.threat wrote:

Its pretty effing sick that Rebekah Brooks personally called the Browns to let them know that her "newspaper" had unconfirmed medical details of a 4 month old. In what way is a child's illness newsworthy?

Its also mindbogglingly illegal for her to have that information. The fact the Prime Minister of Britain felt powerless to act in the face of a criminal act really is frightening.

Maq wrote:
Scratched wrote:

A lot of the dirt digging (that wasn't voicemail hacking) seemed to be good old fashioned social engineering, fooling someone or getting someone with access to information of low moral standard to leak it. The other factor is what a publication does with that information.

Straight up fraud and bribery. At least there's no legal grey area there.

It doesn't even need to go that far. the Data Protection Act of 1998 makes this an offense and can impose jail time. Of course fraud and bribery go on top of that but its legality is not in question.

Having grown up in a house where the NOTW was delivered every week (to my father, a medical doctor and holder of 2 non-medical degrees, no less; I never figured that one out), all that I could ever say to recommend it was that it had a lot of pictures of boobies in it in a pre-Internet age. Now, I will also tip my hat to the crossword writers.

Some bit of good news for us gamers is the one politician who actually stood up to the NOTW and was instrumental the whole affair, is a committed nerd and gamer. So next to someone bangs on about the moral fibre of gamers, cite them Tom Waston and what he went through;

Article[/url]]Nobody has done more to bring the truth about phone hacking at the News of the World into the open than West Midlands MP Tom Watson.

His battle against media mogul Rupert Murdoch's empire began in 2006 - when he helped to force Tony Blair out of office.

Mr Watson (Lab West Bromwich East) quit his job as a Government Minister and signed a letter demanding that Mr Blair leave Downing Street.

He feared that the former Prime Minister was determined to cling on to power, despite his growing unpopularity. And working with Labour colleagues such as Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) and Sion Simon, the former MP for Erdington, he succeeded in forcing Mr Blair to promise to quit within 12 months.

But Mr Watson had created a powerful enemy. Rebekah Brooks, the Chief Executive of News International, was editor of The Sun at the time - and she was a supporter of Tony Blair.

In a speech to the annual conference of the GMB last month, Mr Watson explained what happened next.

"I was told then that Rebekah Brooks, then the editor of the Sun, now the Chief Executive of News International, would never forgive me for what I did to her Tony.

"They said she would pursue me for the rest of my life.

"She did, they have, I can tell you from personal experience it's not very nice.

"And when you're faced with that daily fear, you really only have two choices.

"Give in and get out, or give as good as you get."

Mr Watson found himself targeted, with strangers going through his bins and harassing his family.

"When the neighbours complained that this time their bins had also been gone through, my family was at breaking point.

"And when our three-year-old hid behind the sofa because there was another nasty man at the door, I snapped."

By this time, he had rejoined the Government as a Minister under the new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

But he quit his post - and decided to fight back against the Murdoch empire.

"I stood up in Parliament and for the first time I told the truth that dare not speak its name - that we were scared. that the whole of British politics had been terrified into silence. Become complicit in a cover up of the illegal methods of a corporate beast that was out of control."

I think I'd be in jail now if I faced that harassment.

Why aren't Anonymous right now hacking into the News International email system?

I deeply want Brooks taken down. She deserves a significantly ignominious downfall followed by some jail time. Can you imagine how much money she's pulling in as CEO of NI?

DudleySmith wrote:

Why aren't Anonymous right now hacking into the News International email system?

I deeply want Brooks taken down. She deserves a significantly ignominious downfall followed by some jail time. Can you imagine how much money she's pulling in as CEO of NI?

Who's to say they aren't?

I REALLY want this to crumble Murdoch's power structure.

I guess my question is, why? This is News of the World. I'm kind of amazed to find they actually do research at all, and they aren't exactly a paragon of journalistic integrity to begin with.

Ok, I'm NO fan of Keith Vaz (given his jack-thompson esq anti-game retoric in the past). But i have to say, he handled that comittee session yesterday pretty well...

...whilst interviewing Andy Hayman, (the "dodgy geezer" in charge of the first tapped phone call investigation that found absolutely nothing):

Stephen McCabe, Labour, wanted to know why Hayman had ridiculed John Prescott when he said his phone had been hacked. Vaz: "You said he was ranting and there was no evidence. You said that if he was right, you would eat your words."

Mr Vaz asked if he should pass him a piece of paper, and for a moment we thought he was going to force Hayman, physically, to eat his words.

WELL, I call it an interview, it was more the modern equivalent of being tarred and feathered

Keith Vaz concluded: "Normally I would sum up the evidence, but on this occasion, it speaks for itself." And he didn't mean it in a kind way.
LobsterMobster wrote:

I guess my question is, why? This is News of the World. I'm kind of amazed to find they actually do research at all, and they aren't exactly a paragon of journalistic integrity to begin with.

I think you're mistaking them for a supermarket tabloid. They were one of the biggest selling English-language newspapers in the world. Fox News isn't a paragon of journalistic integrity either but their influence is pervasive and undeniable.

BAM!

Sky is saying that News Corporation has withdrawn its bid for BSkyB.
News Corporation are keeping their 39% shareholding in BSkyB, according to the BBC.

According to the reports on Sky and BBC News, they don't seem to saying that they will never bid for the whole of the company again, at some point in the future. But Robert Peston thinks that, with the inquiries into phone hacking likely to go on for several years, the bid is off "for the foreseeable future".

News Corp wrote:

News Corporation ("News Corp") announces that it no longer intends to make an offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC ("BSkyB") not already owned by it.

Chase Carey, Deputy Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation, commented: "We believed that the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation would benefit both companies but it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate. News Corporation remains a committed long-term shareholder in BSkyB. We are proud of the success it has achieved and our contribution to it."

The worry of course is he pops his head up again in a year or so and tries again when all the fuss has died down, but for now that's quite the victory I think, considering his buyout was pretty much guaranteed just a few days ago.