Tabloid Phone Hacking

Scores of celebrities are claiming damages from Mirror Group Newspapers resulting from phone and voice mail hacking incidents.  Address books, messages, and voice mails were stolen, and stories were published using the information.  Four Sunday Mirror journalists have been arrested, and in November of 2014, former Sunday Mirror investigations editor Graham Johnson pleaded guilty to intercepting voicemail messages.  He was the second Mirror Group Newspapers journalist to admit to phone hacking.

In September of 2014 the owner and publisher of the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror, Trinity Mirror admitted that some of its “journalists” had been involved in phone hacking, and apologized for the unlawful activity.  MGM also printed the following apology:

“It was unlawful and should never have happened, and fell far below the standards our readers expect and deserve.  We are taking this opportunity to give every victim a sincere apology for what happened.”

MGN has informed its shareholders that it would set aside funds to pay for the cost of settling phone hacking claims as costs have exceeded initial estimates.  Both criminal and civil penalties are expected.

As I dug into this story I found that this was more widespread.  It would appear that journalists began to rely on phone hacking to make news throughout the 2000s.  Several resources were used including black hat hackers and private investigators.  One journalist admitted to hacking one hundred celebrities every day for eighteen months.

Bill Edwards