I have touched on this subject a few times as it’s a story I have followed with incredulity. A quick re-cap, a newspaper, News of the World, belonging to Rupert Murdoch’s empire News International had people employed who hack, break into, people’s mobile/cell phones and look at what messages etc are there.
Celebrities have been complaining their phones have been hacked and to be honest no one took any notice, celebrities being exactly that, celebrities. Then it all changed as stories leaked out that this hacking was more widespread than at first known and now it was MP’s and other civic dignitaries who felt their privacy had been impinged.
But the tipping point came when someone, I’ve not been able to establish exactly who as yet, hacked into the phone of a 13 year old schoolgirl called Milly Dowler. She had been reported missing, and devastatingly, was found murdered some weeks later, and yet this as yet unknown person, working for the News of the World hacked into her phone to read, and then delete her personal messages even as she lay dead or dying.
Not only that but the phones of relatives of serving military personnel who had died in action had also been hacked by the very same newspaper, and victims of the 7/7 terrorist attack also suffered the same fate, and after those three incidences the sh*t really hit the fan. The repercussions went right to the top in the UK, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks the two highest ranking directors, but didn’t stop there. As the situation worsened THE boss flew to London to sort things out, Rupert Murdoch.
From then on things went in a tailspin, arrests were made, many top people resigned their posts, including Sir Paul Stephenson, the police commissioner, and the News of the World was shut down after over 100 years in circulation and being one of the biggest selling Sunday papers in the UK. And now another twist in this story and one that shows how affected Rupert Murdoch must be at all of this going on in his organisation.
He had personally visited the family of the Milly Dowler and spent an afternoon with them, and now it has been announced that without any apparent prompting Rupert Murdoch has authorised the payment of £2,000,000 to the Dowler family and another £1,000,000 to a charity. This will no doubt be followed by legal claims from other people who have had their phones hacked and feel they are entitled to an enhanced level of compensation. Where or when this story will come to a close is any ones guess, but I just wonder if the person who actually hacked the phones will be brought to justice for these heinous acts.