The Bellinghman (bellinghman) wrote,
The Bellinghman

On the Met/NotW link

Reading this BBC article, it does sound as though senior Scotland Yard ossifer John Yates is looking at the end of his career. He's thus far denying covering up the worst of the news International privacy hacking allegations, but in doing so, he has come directly into conflict with the Crown Prosecution Service as to what advice they gave him at the time.

The advice basically was whether it was an offence at all to hack into a voice-mail box if there were no unheard messages within. Yates rather astonishingly says he was told that the hacking per se was not illegal unless the hacker listened to messages that the owner themself hadn't yet heard.

So, the prosecution would have to prove that there were unheard messages, and since that could be difficult, a prosecution could not be guaranteed.

Now, I'm not a lawyer, but I rather feel that this is one of those cases where the court would rather assume that the hacker had, in getting access, had the opportunity to listen to messages, and that it would then be for the hacker to prove that he did not hear any fresh messages, rather than for the prosecution to prove that he did.

In other words, if Yates had been doing his best to avoid having to prosecute, this is the sort of argument he might have used to justify such avoidance.

I do rather think that someone, somewhere, should have written something down.

Oh dearie me, I think I need more popcorn.
Tags: hacking, politics, popcorn

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