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Britain's Hacking Probe Extends To 'Times Of London'

by Eyder Peralta
Feb 2, 2012

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Eyder Peralta

The hacking scandal that has engulfed Britain for months, has now turned its gaze on the country's oldest national newspaper.

The AP reports that a parliamentarian released a letter today that confirmed police had extended their investigation to include the Times of London, Rupert Murdoch's flagship newspaper.

The AP reports:

"The letter from Detective Supt. John Levett, head of the force's computer hacking investigation, is dated Jan. 25 and tells [Labour Party legislator Tom Watson] that 'the concerns raised within your letters are under investigation and officers ... are dealing directly with the victim.'

"The 226-year-old Times has acknowledged that a former reporter tried to intercept emails in 2009 to unmask an anonymous policeman who blogged as NightJack.

"Editor James Harding told the media ethics inquiry last month that the reporter had acted on his own and had been reprimanded. The paper later published the blogger's name, but Harding insisted it had been obtained by legal means."

As The New York Times reports, this is significant because The Times of London is a respected paper in England and because it shifts the focus of the investigation. Until now, the scandal has focused on reporters from Murdoch's tabloids hacking into voice mail inboxes of celebrities and high-profile victims of crime. This focuses on the hacking of email accounts.

"In his letter to Scotland Yard on Jan. 23, Mr. Watson said it was 'almost certain that a judge was misled' in that court case and it was 'clear that a crime has been committed — illicit hacking of personal e-mails,'" the Times reports.

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