HACKGATE DAY 396: More plancton arrested, killer whales still at large.

Miss Piggy….to big to fall?

Today’s news about the Elveden Enquiry:

‘Five top journalists, including Geoff Webster, the newspaper’s deputy editor, were detained earlier today on suspicion of making illegal payments to police officers and other officials before being released on bail. On January 28, four current and former senior executives at The Sun who were closely associated with former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks were held as part of the same inquiry….’

Daily Telegraph website

Sorry to keep banging on about this, but arrests not including Rebekah Brooks as such, who is still swanning about the world on her globetrotting mission to spend all the humungous numbers of Pounds Sterling given to her by Roop as an aid to forgetting everything she knows about the involvement of him and his perjurous son James.

Up to but not including Andy Coulson as such, a man even closer to the Prime Minister than Rebekah Brooks and thus not to be tried or banged up under any circumstances, just in case he spills any beans untidily about the place.

Up to but not including Piers Morgan as such, he who never hacked a phone in his life but did – according to Heather Mills – lie about having her permission to access her voice-mails. And did somewhat muddle up a story involving Paul McCartney’s phone being hacked, about which Paul was going to “talk to the police as soon as I finish my US tour” – but hasn’t done so as yet.

Up to but not including James Murdoch as such, whose ‘evidence’ to the CM&S enquiry has been contradicted by the three other key people involved, ridiculed by the media, and shown to be false by several Leveson witnesses.

Up to but not including senior management at Trinity Mirror as such, whose denials continue to go uninvestigated by anyone in the police or the Labour Party, despite the obvious involvement of some of its journalists, and the testimony of those close to Amanda Holden.

Question: What do Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson, Piers Morgan, James Murdoch and the Mirror Management Muppets have in common?

Answer: their testimony could, when put together, damn the senior echelons of the Labour and Tory Parties to a life of ease in Britain’s low security prisons.

The CM&S, Leveson, Elvedon and Weeting are all going about their business concurrently. They are accusing – and/or arresting – bag carriers, sacrificial lambs, one or two largely innocent hacks, a few minor-league cops, and the odd fantasist. This represents an interesting distraction from time to time, but it isn’t the ultimate justice produced by equality before the Law.

There isn’t much point in reporting about it any more until somebody responsible gets nicked.

The full tawdry tale of Hackgate is here.

35 thoughts on “HACKGATE DAY 396: More plancton arrested, killer whales still at large.

  1. No mention of Paul Dacre in your list. I know that in the past you have inferred that Daily Mail journalists may have been involved in the ‘Dark Arts’ prior to 2006. Was this accusation based purely on Paul McMullen’s rather dubious comments to Hugh Grant or do you have any other basis for this.


  2. Arresting the ‘small fry’ is a tactic to get them to open up, and start spilling the beans on those higher up the food chain…

    After when I do an investigation, it’s often the subordinates, secretaries, and staff, who know alot more about what is going on, than the senior management give them credit for…

    Any investigation takes time, especially if the legal weasels representing Newscorps et al, will do anything they can to undermine it, so any case made, will have to be airtight.

    So I would not rush to judgement just yet JW, all of this will take as long as it takes, there are no shortcuts..


  3. Nicked? Somebody responsible? This is Great Britain. For older Sloggers,remember Emile Savundra,Fire Auto and Marine who transferred his stolen millions to his wife,did his porridge and went on as normal.


  4. Looking back 12 months ago and the start of Operation Weeting, it’s very hard to believe so much has come out into the open. All of the arrests, News of the World closing, the possibility of another red top, The Sun, going down the pan, further Inquiries into other types of e-hacking, more arrests, a Public Inquiry in Press reform unearthing things that we thought would never be unearthed. Rupert Murdoch Tweeting, BSYKB bid retracted, Custard Pie flinging at the DCMS, Editors and formers editors squirming under questioning and the Phone Hacking court cases haven’t even begun or module 2 of Leveson which looks at the press and Police relationship. Tom watson calling Rupert the Mafia. That’s a lot of info in a very short space of time. And there’s even a chance there may be a little bit of perjury thrown into the mix as well. I think Stuart is right. Let’s not rush things, a lot can happen in another 12 months !


  5. Andrew
    The word under Gallagher’s reign at the Mail was “How can we hide this from Dacre?”
    It was something of a standing joke at the time.


  6. Indeed a lot more may happen in another 12 months, on the other hand it may not. JW is only reflecting the same thoughts that most thinking people have. The British Establishment is well known for looking after its own, protecting those on the inside even when they are criminal whenever possible, hypocritically pointing a finger at those not on the inside whilst doing exactly the same illegal or immoral things. Spin, cover-up, divert, stonewall, that is the Establishment and political reaction to anything that smacks of criticism or investigation. Even large businesses train their managers in how to deflect official and media inquiries as SOP.

    The police also find it difficult to bring pressure on political, Establishment or high profile figures, they are also disinclined to investigate in those areas as the first investigation showed. Half of MPs ‘flipped’ their houses on expenses which would have returned a guilty verdict from any jury had they been charged with fraud but only 5 scapegoats were actually rounded up, the political embarrassment level would just have been too high otherwise.


  7. Not a proficient carpenter by any means here, but may have enough money on hand (and willingness) to finance building at least a few sturdy and reliable sets of gallows.


  8. Well that is very decent to hear this from you (or anyone), and I confess on reading your comment to feeling not only chastised, but perhaps (but perhaps not) rightly so. And sheepishly add that though I wouldn’t mind seeing the sturdy and reliable gallows built, as above, I at least take solace in not as yet being guilty of saying (as yet) that I’d like to see them used for hanging anyone.


  9. Quite. One does have to accept that expressions of doubt are inevitable when so many high profile individuals, of various descriptions, all well within living memory, have successfully avoided any kind of effective prosecution before the law where it has been clearly demonstrated that a crime had been committed.


  10. What is your British infatuation with tabloids? Do you realize that they are not worth mentioning at all? Or are you all THAT PRIMITIVE? Shame on you!


  11. Fraser Nelson tells an anecdote from his college days, upon the demise of the Screws:

    ‘When I was an aspiring journalist, I was in a class where we were addressed by  the (then) editor of the Glasgow Herald. “Please tell me I’ll never have to write tabloid” one of the students said. “No you won’t, son, because you’ll probably never be good enough,” came the reply.’



  12. As the Arab Spring revolution rolls on,the electronic battle is still running,only this time in central London.My Russian geeks,on return from a sabbatical,have picked up that they are not alone in cyber world any more.They have been joined by a sizeable group using techniques gleaned in Tunisa et al.Surely others out there in the world of life are also coming across this group,the numbers admittedly are about fifty,but their penetrative skills are on par with those of Chinese hackers?Yet our security forces are blithely unaware .


  13. @Peter C:
    I agree with your comments but as far as I know, the MPs who flipped were not breaking any law. And as far as I know, the flipping was approved by HMR&C at the time.

    “Half of MPs ‘flipped’ their houses on expenses which would have returned a guilty verdict from any jury had they been charged with fraud…”

    To get them in front of a jury, they first have to be charged with a crime.
    The court of public opinion is a whole different matter.


  14. i thought that Rebekah and Andy had been arrested but like all the others had been bailed and not charged with anything yet?
    Given all the publicity that has eventually been forced out into the open I would hope that The Met have got their act together at last and are making a comprehensive attempt to accumulate as much evidence as possible to make all eventual charges stick.


  15. There is far more to this phone hacking caper than simply accessing voice-mail with passwords.

    Cell phones can be activated remotely, loaded with software that takes control of the phone, records text messages, records calls, uses the inbuilt microphones as a listening device/bug, takes all GPS location data, address-book data, call logs, web-history, everything – current and historic – and transmits all, as and when required, to the hijacker when it can then also receive new instructions.

    The cellular network transmitter/station local to a target phone can be replaced with a decoy transmitter that relays the signal on to the real network. The phone must give the transmitter a code to prove who it is to the network but the network does not have to give the phone any code to prove it is the real network. The phone can be told to transmit without encryption and the false cell transmitter can gain control of the phone in such a way, to download hijack software to take permanent covert control of the phone.

    A ‘virus’ can be sent to the phone to similarly take control of it or the phone can be infected if it is in the possession of the hacker for a very short time. It is possible to hack a phone via it’s wireless connection, blue-tooth or even via a text message attachment.

    This may be the reason why the ‘authorities’ do not want phone intercept intelligence used as evidence in court; because they do not want to plainly admit what can be done and what is being done. Perhaps this is why the police have been reluctant to further investigations into this matter or perhaps there is another layer between the journalists, the cash, the police and who is doing the actual covert spying on mobile phones.

    See reference links:


  16. so why so careless to let themselves be found out then and even more why let the whole farce (that’s what it’s desended to with all the payments) continue?


  17. I agree that some or all of the things you list are possible nowadays with cell phones, albeit only those with accessible operating systems and lots of juicy features methinks.

    I have said on The Slog before that the scope of police investigations (is being/will be) carefully managed and ring-fenced due to some of the shadowy people involved in it or beneficiaries of it. People like the Security Services come to mind. This is the real scandal, not the sad fact that a few celebs have had their messages hacked into by story-seeking journos. Many Brits simply do not realise how Big their government has become.


  18. In case anyone thinks I was protecting MPs. Absolutely not. I have often said that a lot more MPs who cheated taxpayers should have been charged with a variety of criminal offences. One that comes to mind is Gordon Brown who falsely reclaimed the cost of cleaning his own brother’s home. When questioned, he claimed it was an error and the Met Police/CPS didn’t proceed with a prosecution. That was wrong IMHO. His honesty (or not) should have been a matter for a jury to decide.


  19. Why so careless? Maybe, when the time is good and right, this fragility of privacy will be used to let us all know we have no privacy and so intimidate the public into keep their opinions utterly hushed. Most people are already 99/100th’s stupefied allowing our governments to march off to war after war, fail to meaningfully investigate so called terrorist actions (7/7 911), take more and more money from our pockets and our children’s future and throw it up in the air, burn it, give it away, enact ever more draconian laws – putting in place everything necessary for a police state, support torture and imprisonment without trial. Maybe.

    Maybe, in some way, the police and/or NI/Murdock overstepped their mandate granted. They needed slapping down. Perhaps James is not chosen for the role his father conducted so well. As with MP’s expenses, the temptation was placed in their path, the understanding was it would never be revealed, accepted, never pressed upon. Then when the time is right the switch is flicked. The house of cards tipped to the ground. Their authority is cut away. And all other onlookers learn a lessons; tow the line and no one is so all-powerful and grand that they can not just ‘wind-up dead in the woods’.


  20. Or worse what they choose to do and not what we would like them to do. The what we’d like is, what they sometimes, (election hustings) crow mightily to every media source who’ll listen that they’ll will introduce whilst the others didn’t

    Ad Infinitum


  21. Latest joke doing the rounds today…

    “Rupert Murdoch is gratified, and humbled by all the messages, of love and support left on Whitney Houston’s phone….”


  22. Bank Tax – It is clear a phone with, for example, no internet facility will not reveal a history of websites visited. But all digital mobiles can be hacked – the only variation is the amount of ease by which this can be done, that is how readily available the hacking software and technical knowledge is. Some are apparently harder than others. Nothing is imposable. The old analogue phones transmitted without any encryption – they only needed a receiver to listen in.

    The hardware manufacturers are the ones who really understand how their phones work and they may not let any seedy private investigator know how this can be done to their products but they will let the police and the security services know. I am sure of that.

    In the old days a GPO van parked in the street, opposite an embassy say, was likely to be nothing to do with a genuine telephone service crew.

    These days it can all be filtered by operations such as that known as ECHELON. They do not even need to ‘hack’.


  23. The only people who know for sure whether Iran is dangerous or not are its leaders, but it is not easy to understand what they believe, know and intend.

    Does Iran mean nuclear peace of nuclear war?
    You decide.
    Iranuclear.wordpress.com, #nuclearpeace or #nuclearwar.


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