Thursday, December 14, 2006

''Shocking: Hacks illegal info rap''

Amidst all the chuntering about codes of conduct for bloggers, and the ongoing sneering by certain columnists at the blogosphere, it is illuminating to note this ( via Iain Dale).

Iain reveals...

''a report to be submitted to Parliament tomorrow by the Information Commissioner, which outlines the extent to which our national newspapers - and their journalists - are breaking the law to obtain confidential information illegally.
1. Daily Mail - 952 incidents by 58 different journalists
2. Sunday People - 802 incidents by 50 different journalists
3. Daily Mirror - 681 incidents by 45 different journalists
4. Mail on Sunday - 266 incidents by 33 different journalists
5. News of the World - 182 different incidents by 19 different journalists

There are several questions arising from this. If the authorities know the details of which newspapers use these agencies to break the law on their behalf, and if the agencies know which journalists have engaged their services, why are they not all joining News of the World reporter Clive Goodman in the dock this week? Goodman was caught out (and has pleaded guilty) intercepting mobile phone calls of the rich and famous, in particular the Royal Family. So far as I am aware no charges have been laid against any newspaper or journalist...''

Actually I have no interest in getting into a willy-waving competition with the MSM ( main stream media) since I see blogland and dead tree land as happily symbiotic and complementary. Hey, we're all writers, and writers like to be read and to write. But I will note in passing that pro journalists and media commentaters, spinmeisters and politicians and communications experts who jump into pulpits and admonish bloggers, who publish unpaid and alone without benefit of legal departments, sub editors, fact-checkers et al for passing 'dodgy' information on, having a cynical attitude and generally needing to pull their socks up might like to take a teensey weensy look at how they get their exclusives and the ethics of the practice of sub-contracting out the dirty work...

And while we are at it, all this personal info leaking all over the place - have a look at where it is coming from. The Hampshire detective agency acquired a lot of its information from government sources (DVLA, health facilities, Police National Computer...)

And they still think centralised databases and ID cards won't be open to abuse?
Like, dur.

Blogging on legalising drugs will have to wait as I have a chapter to finish.

UPDATE: The Telegraph is on it


Blogger Ms Melancholy said...

I remain bemused on this 'code of conduct for bloggers' thing. Who is feeling threatened here? And why? Good point well made, Rachel.

December 14, 2006 11:35 am  
Blogger Leighton Cooke said...

The hacks are scared because so many of them have sold out their ethical principles long ago. Good bloggers have filled the gap caused by people's mistrust of the mainstream media.

December 14, 2006 7:42 pm  

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