Monday, July 18, 2011

Phone Hacking Is A Crime? Who Knew?

Honestly - What is all the fuss about with Murdoch's crew allegedly hacking telephone conversations?
The US government does this to the American people everyday!

So here is what the Wall Street Journal is reporting:
The News That Shook the World

July 4: A lawyer for murdered teen Milly Dowler's family says he learned from police that her voice-mail messages had been hacked, possibly by a News of the World investigator.

July 6: U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron says he is 'revolted' by allegations that private investigators from the paper eavesdropped on the voice mails of victims of crime.

July 7: News Corp. announces it will close down the News of the World. The July 10 edition of the weekly paper was the last.

July 8: Mr. Cameron announces two inquiries, one on the hacking scandal, another focusing on press regulations. Former News of the World editor and ex-Cameron aide Andy Coulson is arrested in connection with the scandal.

July 10: Mr. Murdoch flies into London to handle the crisis.

July 12: Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown accuses News International of employing criminals to obtain confidential information about his family. News International defends its journalism.

July 13: Under U.K. political pressure, News Corp. withdraws its bid to buy the 60.9% of British Sky Broadcasting that it doesn't already own.

July 14: Rupert Murdoch and son James Murdoch agree to testify at a parliamentary hearing to answer questions about the company's phone-hacking scandal. In the U.S., the FBI said it would open a probe into whether News of the World might have hacked into phones of 9/11 victims.

It is laughable that anyone in government really cares - especially the FBI - or the US Justice department - that 9/11 victims' phones were allegedly hacked into.. especially since the US government is probably also listening on their phone conversations too! Perhaps the US government just doesn't want competition in the phone hacking business.

I guess when Murdoch and his crew are accused of doing it, then it's a crime... but when Big Sis does it "in the name of homeland security" it's just peachy. The Feds not only listen in on phone conversations (without a warrant) - but they read your phone bill - your credit card bill - and your library records (among other things).

Can we take the government to court, and put government officials in jail too, for the same crime Murdoch's people allegedly committed?
I doubt it.

(For the record - I do not condone the alleged actions of either Murdoch's people or the Federal Government with regard to privacy and 4th amendment issues)


Anonymous said...

Two different issues. The government is prohibited from taping your phone without the courts OK. That is the 4th amendment. Simple as that.
Citizens are not prohibited by the 4th amendment. In fact the law that prevents me from using my scanner to listen to your cell phone conversation has never been tested for constitutionality. I suspect that with a constitution based Supreme Court the law would be thrown out. It probably is constitutional for me to "listen" to what you say and the fact that you are talking on a phone doesn't make it unconstitutional. It would be illegal of course for me to trespass to do it or to tap into the phone companies lines but the rest is a big grey area.
Additionally (and I don't agree with this necessarily) the courts have given the press extra rights because of the way they have interpreted the 1st amendment such that they can do some things we mere citizens cannot. My belief is that all citizens are equal under the constitution.

Anonymous said...

One other point. Was the media acting lawfully when they published the Pentagon Papers? Either it was legal or it was not. If you or I had done that we would still be in jail.