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#hacking | Phone-hacking: Journalists ‘escaped scrutiny’ – BBC News

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

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PA Media

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Dan Evans received a 10-month suspended sentence for phone-hacking

A former News of the World journalist convicted for phone-hacking said others may have been allowed to “escape scrutiny”.

Dan Evans received a 10-month suspended sentence for phone-hacking, making illegal payments to officials and perverting the course of justice.

He believes evidence to the Leveson public inquiry may have been misleading and said police were not investigating.

The UK government said the inquiry and three police probes were comprehensive.

Last week it emerged the Duke of Sussex is suing Mirror Group Newspapers and News Group Newspapers for alleged phone-hacking.

The revelation in 2011 that Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator used by the News of the World, hacked the phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler caused national outrage.

It led to a public inquiry into the behaviour of the press, the police and politicians, chaired by Lord Justice Sir Brian Leveson.

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(L-R) Kevin Keegan, Patsy Kensit, Lord Archer, Michelle Collins, Joe Swash, and Denise Van Outen settled claims with the Mirror group in 2017

The inquiry was split into two parts, with the second part deferred until after criminal prosecutions concluded in 2016.

But the government closed down the second part, meaning many of the claims of the victims were never heard in an open forum.

It also meant the Leveson Inquiry did not hear from many of the individuals, like Mr Evans, who were most directly involved in phone-hacking.

Mr Evans, originally from Denbighshire, said: “There are questions to answer over the evidence that was previously offered at Leveson, the stuff that would have been covered by Leveson Two but just hasn’t been.”

But Mr Evans did give evidence against another of his former employers, Mirror Group Newspapers, in a civil High Court case in 2015 on behalf of claimants.

In his judgement in May 2015, Mr Justice Mann said the evidence of the former editor of the Daily Mirror, Richard Wallace, to the Leveson Inquiry had been inaccurate.

He also described the evidence given to the same inquiry by the former editor of the Sunday Mirror, Tina Weaver, as “wrong”.

Although he acknowledged neither had given evidence before the court, he found: “The practice of phone-hacking was indeed widespread, institutionalised and long standing.

“Editorial staff not only knew about the practice, but are also likely to have conducted it themselves.”

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AFP

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The Duke of Sussex has begun legal action against the owners of the Sun, the defunct News of the World, and the Daily Mirror

However, in December 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced it was concluding its investigations into Mirror Group Newspapers and News Group Newspapers over allegations of phone-hacking and no further action would be taken, citing “insufficient evidence”.

The CPS also decided not to put Mr Evans forward as a prosecution witness, despite using him successfully in a previous trial.

‘No effect’

BBC Wales approached Tina Weaver and tried to make contact with Richard Wallace for a statement, but did not receive a response.

Neither of them were ever accused of any offence in relation to phone-hacking.

Mirror Group Newspapers, owned by Reach plc, declined to comment.

Mr Evans said he and others have referred Mr Justice Mann’s conclusions to the Metropolitan Police, but they “haven’t had any effect”.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, a member of the Westminster culture committee, said he expected the police to investigate.

“I can’t understand why there wouldn’t be a proper investigation,” he said.

“It’s vital that people who give evidence are straightforward and give a full account of themselves.

“If people did not do that then it undermines the strength of the inquiry, it undermines the process and we cannot really accept fully the content of the conclusions of Lord Justice Leveson.”

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Press Association Archive

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Lord Justice Sir Brian Leveson (pictured in 2012) led the inquiry

The Metropolitan Police Service did not respond to Mr Lucas’ comments but confirmed they had received a letter in January 2019, drawing their attention to Mr Justice Mann’s statements but an “error” had meant they had not replied until July 2019.

They would “neither confirm nor deny” whether an investigation had begun.

Mr Evans believes the second part of the Leveson Inquiry should go ahead and in the mean time has started a research project called Alt Lev.

He denies it is just an attempt to point the finger at others.

“It would be so much easier to walk away and get on with one’s life,” he said.

“This is in no way about getting one’s own back or anything like this.

“People really need to bear in mind that for every one celebrity, usually in order to get to their private information, usually a group of five or 10 or 15 people around them will have been affected.

“What price would you place on a press that the public can genuinely trust and have faith in?”

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Dan Evans’ evidence resulted in the conviction of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson

Former News UK employee, Guto Harri, is opposed to the idea of a further publicly funded inquiry along the lines of Leveson.

“I struggle to see why it is that we as taxpayers want to fund a judge and an army of barristers to sit in court for many months, covered by TV as the first Leveson Inquiry was, revisiting something that the court system has proved capable of dealing with, either through the criminal process or civil process.”

In total, nine people were convicted of offences related to phone-hacking following the police’s Operation Weeting investigation. Three people were acquitted.

News UK, previously News Group Newspapers, said they had nothing to add to the government’s statement.

News UK have consistently denied any wrongdoing at The Sun.

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Chinese Hackers Used Dropbox To Monitor Hong Kong Activists, Journalists: FireEye

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Chinese Hackers Used Dropbox To Monitor Hong Kong Activists, Journalists: FireEye

Chinese hackers used malicious software to monitor journalists and activist groups involved in the Hong Kong protests this year, according to new research from the cybersecurity company FireEye. Attackers used Dropbox and other cloud storage providers to communicate malware after targeting users with a phishing message. The hackers launched a spearphishing campaign, which involves targeting a specific person with an email that appears to be from a known source, against Hong Kong-based media organizations and protest leaders in August 2015. There is evidence of Beijing’s concern with Hong Kong, where 79 days of pro-democracy demonstrations brought the semi-autonomous city to a halt in 2014. FireEye stopped short of directly linking the Chinese government to the hack but stipulated the attack had the sophistication level of a nation state. “The media organizations targeted with the threat group’s well-crafted Chinese-language lure documents are precisely those whose networks Beijing would seek to monitor,” FireEye said in a blog post published Tuesday. “Cyberthreat groups’ access to the media organization’s networks could potentially provide the government advance warning on upcoming protests, information on pro-democracy group leaders, and insights needed to disrupt activity on the Internet, such as what occurred in mid-2014 when several websites were brought down in […]

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Vodafone Australia admits to hacking journalist’s phone in public statement

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) is being implicated in a fairly stunning scandal, in which it has admitted to having improperly accessed a reporter’s phone in search of the identity of a whistleblower. An individual had leaked confidential security information to her, regarding a story about vulnerabilities in the company’s customer identity systems. The reporter had been writing an article detailing how the personal information of millions of Vodafone customers was easily accessible online, including home addresses, driver’s license information, and credit card details. A day after Natalie O’Brien published that story, her call and message data was apparently accessed in search of her source. Vodafone denies any wrongdoing, issuing the following statement in a public release on its Australian website: VHA strongly denies any allegations of improper behaviour. VHA takes its legal and corporate responsibilities very seriously. Over the past four years, VHA has invested heavily in the security of its IT systems. The company has very strict controls and processes around the privacy of customer information, and has appointed a dedicated privacy officer. The privacy of our customers and protection of their information is our highest priority and we take this responsibility very seriously. However, later in the same […]

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Vodafone’s ‘unforgivable’ hacking of journalist’s phone must be investigated, says union

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Australia’s Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance has called on the privacy commissioner to investigate the circumstances of the “unforgivable” hacking of a journalist’s phone data. On Saturday the Australian published leaked emails that detailed how a day after Fairfax journalist Natalie O’Brien revealed a serious data breach by Vodafone in 2011, there were discussions at Vodafone about unauthorised access to her call charge records and text messages. The company admitted on Sunday that O’Brien’s phone was accessed by an employee. The company claimed this was done for “privacy reasons” and to determine if criminal behaviour had occurred. It denied engaging in any “improper behaviour”. The company said in a statement it had commissioned a top accounting firm to investigate the incident, which found there was “no evidence” Vodafonemanagement had instructed an employee to access O’Brien’s phone records. On Monday MEAA chief executive officer Paul Murphy said the breach was shocking and called on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to investigate the circumstances. He also called on Vodafone to release the details of the internal investigation into the breach. “I was shocked that such a flagrant breach would occur, and then apparently be covered up,” he said. “It’s […]

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Vodafone Australia admits hacking Fairfax journalist’s phone

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Vodafone Australia has admitted an employee hacked a journalist’s phone records in an attempt to uncover her sources for stories, but the telecommunications company denies any “improper behaviour”, despite internal emails suggesting it deliberately misled authorities about systemic privacy breaches. In 2011, after a series of stories by Fairfax journalist Natalie O’Brien detailing grave security lapses in Vodafone’s Siebel data system, a Vodafone employee accessed her phone call and text message records in an attempt to uncover company whistleblowers. O’Brien – herself a Vodafone customer – reported that Vodafone’s Siebel data system was vulnerable to hacking, and that the data of millions of customers was available online and easily accessible through generic passwords that were being shared around the company and publicly. Customers’ home addresses, driver’s licences and credit card details were all available online, O’Brien wrote, and criminal groups were paying for customers’ private information. The day after the story broke, a Vodafone employee accessed O’Brien phone records and trawled through the data in order to find out who might have been leaking her information. Writing in the Sun-Herald, O’Brien said she had been devastated by the invasion of privacy. “It’s a creepy nauseating experience to know that someone […]

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Journalists Bribed Police for Royals’ phone numbers? Andy Coulson, Clive Goodman to be retried – National Cyber Security

nationalcybersecurity.com – Andy Coulson, the former editor of News of the World, will go on trial yet again this summer. Coulson’s retrial for accusations of paying police officers for a phone directory for the royal family …

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Journalist’s father dies following harassment by Franco-Israeli hacker National Cyber Security

nationalcybersecurity.com – On Wednesday Rue89’s founder, Pierre Haski, published an article reporting the death of Le Corre’s father, who had been in an artifical coma since suffering a heart attack following prank calls fro…

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Journalist’s father dies following harassment by Franco-Israeli hacker

Journalist’s father dies following harassment by Franco-Israeli hacker

A Franco-Israeli hacker has threatened to sue a website over articles linking him to the death of the father of one of its journalists. Grégory Chelli, alias Ulcan, phoned Rue89 reporter Benoît Le Corre to mock him after hearing the […]

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DW Akademie open online workshop: Digital Safety for Journalists

  The free of charge workshop runs from December 2 to 6, 2013, and is open to journalists and others interested in the Internet safety and surveillance issues that have been much discussed in the wake of the NSA scandal. Journalists can find answers to questions they are increasingly asking themselves: How careful do they have to […] View full post on Gregory d. evans