Hackgate: Blue Chips And The New SOCA Dossier – What The Media Missed

7 09 2013

Blaggers BBCYes, it is quite clear that getting information from SOCA is like pulling teeth. So many questions and loose ends. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know more about what offences are in dispute? Have SOCA really been liaising with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) or not? Who’s been sitting on what information, for how long, and why?  Wouldn’t some more clarity on Project Riverside (here) be informative? Read the rest of this entry »





Hackgate: A Quiet Word In Your Northern and Shell-Like …

1 09 2013

Northern and ShellJanuary 12th 2012 was Northern and Shell day at the Leveson inquiry. Northern and Shell is the parent company of Express Newspapers comprising the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and the Daily Star Sunday. Amongst questions asked were some about the use of private investigators, ‘search agencies’, payments, protocols and audit trails. Read the rest of this entry »





Hackgate: Met And Murdoch – Covert Deals And Registered Concerns

23 08 2013
murdoch-yardAt the Home Affairs Select Committee on 19 July 2011 the following question was asked of Sir Paul Stephenson, Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis: – Read the rest of this entry »




Hackgate: The Daily Mail Needs To Re-Think Reproof

13 08 2013

Devon and Cornwall Police“Police gave Leveson a dossier on hacking by big firms and lawyers… but he dismissed it in 18 minutes… Evidence about the three-year inquiry was given by Russell Middleton, who was then an acting assistant chief constable for Devon and Cornwall Police.” Daily Mail (here) It seems the Mail have finally discovered some evidence given to Leveson over a year ago about a provincial police investigation more than ten years old. And about time too. Read the rest of this entry »





Hackgate: Gloxinia And Flandria – Digging Over The Dirt

6 08 2013

08-SOCAchief1-PAMaybe someone at SOCA grabbed a gardening book. Police investigations are usually given approved names in sequence – sometimes themed, often alphabetical. In fact, each name is first and foremost a cost code. So when you see Operation Plymouth, Operation Two Bridges, for example – someone has delved into their Ordnance Survey Guide to Devon. Weeting, Elveden – East Anglia villages. Flandria, Gloxinia – botanical terms, alphabetically consecutive. ‘F’ and ‘G’ – simultaneously allocated. Read the rest of this entry »





Hackgate: Witness Protection, Anyone?

17 07 2013

imagesThe Rogue Element of the Private Investigation Industry and Others Unlawfully Trading in Personal Data“.  The first version Serious Organised Crime Agency report (2008) was made public in July 2012. It said (p.5) there was evidence that private investigators were Read the rest of this entry »





Hackgate: Mayor Boris And The Met Payoffs

8 07 2013

Sir Paul StephensonThere was an interesting short exchange at the Public Accounts Select Committee on 3rd July. The subject under discussion was ‘Confidentiality Clauses and Special Severance Payments’ – primarily NHS executives’ compromise agreements – a.k.a. unpopular large payoffs at public expense. Read the rest of this entry »





Hackgate – Project Riverside and The SOCA Report

2 07 2013

What price privacy now?On 22 June 2013 the Independent published a genuine scoop – ‘The Other Hacking Scandal‘ (here).  Tom Harper obtained and reported on the full and unredacted version of the 2008 Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) report on ‘Project Riverside’. It collated and detailed five investigations uncovering serious illegalities by ‘rogue element’ private investigators. The Indy’s scoop triggered a chain reaction amongst some of Harper’s fellow journalists seeking to blame Leveson for keeping them in the dark. Read the rest of this entry »





Hackgate: All Rise – Mr Justice Saunders At Southwark

9 06 2013

Mr Justice SaundersWith the Mail speculating an alleged affair said to be political dynamite to No 10 and multiple News International appearances to answer charges at Southwark Crown Court, reporting (and non-reporting) of Hackgate was busy last week.  Defendants have understandably been the main focus of attention, whilst one person in the courtroom has largely escaped notice – the judge. The Honourable Mr. Justice Saunders, a.k.a. Sir John Henry Boulton Saunders, is handling pre-trial case management and may be the anticipated Hackgate replacement for newly-promoted Lord Justice Fulford. Read the rest of this entry »





Hackgate – The Met – Red Flags And Red Tops

25 05 2013

15142490_BG1Looking back at the early ‘red flags’ of corruption and the tabloids is instructive. This post will look at warning signs at the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS or MET) in the period, roughly 2000-2005. It’s a convenient timespan as it coincides with three top level rank constants – Read the rest of this entry »