[ISN] Duo jailed over Royal phone tap scandal

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Mon Jan 29 2007 - 23:38:11 PST


By John Leyden
29th January 2007

A senior journalist at UK Sunday paper News of the World has been jailed 
for four months after being convicted of a plot to intercept voicemail 
messages of the Royal family.

Clive Goodman, 49, of Putney, London, the royal editor of the paper, 
conspired with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, 36, of Sutton, 
Surrey, to illegally access hundreds of messages. Mulcaire, who also 
pleaded guilty to hacking into the messages of sport and fashion 
figures, was sent to jail for six months. Mulcaire hacked into the phone 
messages of publicist Max Clifford, MP Simon Hughes, football agent 
Skylet Andrew, the Professional Footballers' Association's boss Gordon 
Taylor, and supermodel Elle Macpherson.

Both defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to intercept telephone 
calls "without lawful authority" at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing Goodman, Judge Mr Justice Gross told him: "This was low 
conduct, reprehensible in the extreme." The case was nothing to with 
freedom of the press but about "grave, inexcusable and illegal invasion 
of privacy".

"Neither journalist or private security consultant are above the law," 
Judge Gross added.

News of the World editor Andy Coulson resigned hours after the duo were 
sentenced, saying the responsibility for the scandal ultimately rested 
with him.

Goodman and Mulcaire used PIN codes associated with mobile phone numbers 
of Royal aides and celebrities to access their voicemail messages, 
essentially trawling for information of interest. After a story about 
his knee injury was published by the News of the World in November 2005, 
Prince William grew suspicious.

In December 2005, Prince Charles's communication secretary Paddy 
Harverson, his aide Helen Asprey, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, private 
secretary to Princes William and Harry realised something was untoward 
after new voicemail messages were reported as old. A subsequent police 
investigation led to the arrest of Goodman and Mulcaire in August 2006.

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