Unauthorised Tapping into or Hacking of Mobile Communications
HC 907, Thirteenth Report of Session 2010-12 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Home Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
In 'Unauthorised Tapping into or Hacking of Mobile Communications (HC 907)' the Commons Home Affairs Committee declares that it 'deplores' News International's attempt to 'deliberately thwart' the original investigation into phone hacking in 2005-06. However it also goes on to state that the police set aside a huge amount of material that could have identified other perpetrators and victims.
The Home Affairs Committee agrees with John Yates's own assessment that his 2009 review of this investigation was 'very poor', that he did not ask the right questions and that he was guilty of a 'serious misjudgement'.
The committee also criticises Andy Hayman's cavalier attitude towards his contacts with those in News International who were under investigation. Even if this was entirely above board, it risked seriously undermining confidence in the impartiality of the police. Hayman is also accused of deliberate prevarication in order to mislead the committee. It urges the swift and thorough investigation of allegations that payments were made to police officers by the media which will help to establish whether or not such payments may have influenced police inquiries into phone hacking.
The committee welcomes Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers's decision to contact all potential victims of phone hacking by the News of the World as part of the current investigation but is alarmed that only 170 have as yet been informed. At this current rate it would take years to inform all of the several thousands of people potentially affected. The committee therefore recommends that extra resources are allocated to her investigation, by the Government directly if necessary.
The committee also expresses concern about both the scope and understanding of current laws on phone hacking, with prosecutors and police still arguing over the meaning of relevant sections of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. However this was no reason for the Metropolitan Police to limit their investigation of these matters.
The report sets out a total of 24 conclusions and recommendations. These recommendatons include:
potential victims of phone hacking should be given a means of seeking formal advice from the Information Commissioner and easier access to redress;
the Information Commissioner should be given additional powers to deal with breaches of data protection, including phone hacking and blagging; and
mobile phone companies should give greater prominence to security advice in the information provided to their customers.
|Format||Paperback||Published||28 Oct 2011|
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