Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Motorman: Daily Mail Tops The Illegal Activities List

What say you to this, moraliser, Queeny's BFF, defender of this England, fiction editor and scumbag extraordinaire, Paul Dacre?

Funny how the last time I watched Dacre perform, was his 'not me Guv', performance at the Leveson circus, who by the way, really would like the story to go away. But for a Dacre performance unlike no other, see the bottom of the page.

News: Operation Motorman, the story that will not go away

Operation Motorman was the 2003 investigation into the illegal trade in personal information by the British Press. In April 2005, Steve Whittamore and John Boyall and two men who had given them access to the police computer, pleaded guilty to procuring confidential police data to sell to newspapers and were given conditional discharges. The Information Commissioner’s report “What Price Privacy Now?” identified 32 different publications which were using the services of private investigators to obtain private information but no further regulatory or political action resulted.

On 12 March 2012 Hacked Off launched a campaign to “Lift the Lid on Motorman“. We published Brian Cathcart’s update on the progress of the campaign on Inforrm on 19 March 2012.

A number of details about the activities of Mr Whittamore and his associates have slowly emerged into the public domain. In September 2011, the “Independent” published details of its own investigations into this. The piece, “Exposed after eight years: a private eye’s dirty work for Fleet Street” contained a number of important new pieces of information concerning Mr Whittamore’s operation.

On that occasion the “Independent” reported that there were 17,000 requests for information by journalists to to Mr Whittamore. A number of these targeted victims of crime. Mr Whittamore’s role in the Dowler story has already been reported (he told a local newspaper “I was just the middle man”). Other victims of crime apparently included

the parents of Soham murder victim Holly Wells.
the parents of murdered schoolgirl Sara Payne
victims of the Dunblane massacre.

According to the “Independent” the Table below – the ICO’s table which recorded 3,757 transactions – substantially understated the number of cases. In fact there are said to have been 17,489 orders from media organisations, including 1,028 from News International (including 90 from arrested News of the World journalist Greg Miskiw), 6,774 from Trinity Mirror titles.

Further information emerged last week after an investigation by ITV News. It published the first detailed look at who was paying Whittamore for what. It calculates that the most requests were from 65 journalists working for the Daily Mail and its Weekend magazine: a total 1,728 transactions, which is almost double previously disclosed by the Information Commissioner.

ITV News calculated that the Daily Mail paid Whittamore £143,150 for this potentially illegal information. The next biggest spenders were said to be the Daily Mirror who spent more than £92,000, followed by the People, which spent more than £76 000.

The spending of other newspapers on possibly illegal searches included:

The Mail on Sunday – £62,025
The Evening Standard – £29,598
The Sunday Mirror - £27,807
The News of the World – £23,306
The Daily Express and the Observer both spent around £13,000

More Informsblog

H/T Joana Morais

A Glorious Day For The Glorious Paul Dacre

This is a glorious day for Neville and Doreen Lawrence who after all the betrayals, injustice and tears have finally, after nearly two decades, secured justice for Stephen.

It's a glorious day for the police, who – after the utter disgrace that was the original investigation – have through sheer bloody perseverance and brilliant detective work wiped out this blot on the Yard's history and shown that British policing at its best is still something to be proud of.

It's a glorious day for British justice which shows that, while mistakes can be made, our judicial system does provide redress for every member of British society whatever their racial background.

It's a glorious day for the politicians – particularly Jack Straw and David Blunkett – who, responding to the Mail's campaign, commissioned the MacPherson Inquiry and reformed the centuries-old double jeopardy law – thus allowing the trial of two of the original suspects after a criminal action, a private prosecution and an inquest had failed to secure justice for Stephen.

And finally, it's a glorious day for British newspapers, proving that the power of journalism, courageous headlines and relentless campaigning can act as a huge force for good in society and make a major difference to countless lives.

Quite simply, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that if it hadn't been for the Mail's headline in 1997 – "Murderers: The Mail accuses these men of killing" – and our years of campaigning, none of this would have happened. More and twelve minute circlejerk of one.

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