Saturday, 29 January 2011

Phone Hacking: An Aid To Outing?

Nick Brown MP, former Labour chief whip, is quoted in The Independent today as saying he feels certain his telephone landline was being crudely tapped around the time he was outed by The News Of The World in 1998.
"I picked up a landline telephone very quickly… to make another call straight away.
“And the line clicked and then I heard my last conversation played back to me, which was quite eerie. I got on to British Telecom straight away… They said the line showed every signs of having been intercepted manually, not through scanners. It was an amateurish attempt involving the physical intervention of the line with a recording device.”
Interesting - did illegal phone taps and hacking play a part in the outing of other public figures by the tabloids, such as Stephen Gately's in The Sun back when Andy Coulson was editor in 1999?
Of course, the Murdoch press don't need to tap gay mens' phones.
As Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes found out in 2006, they can just go through your bins, dig out an old phone bill and blackmail you by saying they have proof you phoned a gay chat line.

1 comment:

  1. Is that how they outed Simon Hughes? Jesus!
    Can't say I'm that surprised anymore, though.

    I was "reading" one of those blogs that mainly just has a succession of hot blokes in various states of undress t'other week (sad, I know), and there was a piece about Mark Feehily coming out and the blogger wrote something like "The Sun, where gay celebs traditionally come out" and I thought "Eh!? Do people actually think they choose to come out in The Sun!??"
    And then I went and had some toast and forgot all about it.
    I had a little peanut butter on it too, if anyone's wondering.