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Leveson to be told Operation Reproof details

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 04, 2012

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Evidence from a Devon and Cornwall Police corruption investigation which collapsed in the courts six years ago is to be presented to the Leveson Inquiry.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Middleton is to appear before the inquiry next Wednesday to give details of Operation Reproof.

It uncovered a web of alleged leaked information, fed from a Devon and Cornwall police officer to a network of private investigators across the country.

In all, Devon and Cornwall detectives investigated 37 people as part of the nationwide operation. The evidential file focused on 100 alleged breaches of data related to 93 individual "victims".

Six men – two serving police officers, two former officers and two private investigators – were charged in 2004 after a two-year investigation.

But after nearly two years in the courts, the case collapsed in 2006 at Gloucester Crown Court with Judge Paul Darlow ruling it was "not a proportionate use of valuable resources to prosecute these matters".

The first part of the Leveson Inquiry is looking at the culture, practices and ethics of the Press and is due to produce a report by October.

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  • nsele  |  May 06 2012, 5:23AM

    That's what this inquiry is about, journalists getting hold of information passing to/from the phones of celebrities. Those celebrities are 'customers' to mobile phone companies. This particular article is saying that some police have also been observing mobile phone activity and passing the information they get to private investigators. Its all about the violation of privacy in mobile telecommunications.

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  • shipmateron  |  May 04 2012, 9:38PM

    But why would what any of these customers were up to be of any interest to any journalist?

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  • nsele  |  May 04 2012, 7:10PM

    It is unlikely that journalists only hacked into voicemails to get the information they used for so many media stories (e.g. police accused of passing other peoples' data around). My phone comms were hacked extensively by a mobile phone service that I worked for after giving me the phone with cheap rates as a perk. They trolled me in their chatroom to show me that they were viewing my browsing (by referring to my new blogspot). Key words from my texts, emails and web were then verbalized for 2 years in the large workplace and outside (I suspect more bullies were recruited on a web gossip site). As for journalists hacking voicemail: at least one mobile phone company does not set the voicemail pin to active state by default. Its customers activate the voicemail pin if, for example, they would like to be able to call their voicemail from a landline while overseas. They call the company's service number beforehand (e.g. 150) and follow instructions to activate the voicemail pin and choose their own pin number during the process. It follows that journalists could not access these mobiles' voicemails simply by knowing that '1111' is the default pin number when the pin is reset by a customer services representative. Discover who they are by googling: "......(insert name of French-UK mobile phone service)_suicide". What seems possible is that mobile phone service companies were eavesdropping their customers' phones and smuggling the information to journalists.

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