Blog publishes 1028 Murdoch data buy cases
LONDON A BRITISH blog on Tuesday published the contents of a notebook seized from a private detective who sold personal data to journalists working for Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper wing.
The Guido Fawkes blog published details of 1,028 cases in which staff from News International titles, including the now-defunct News of the World, asked Steve Whittamore to provide data such as addresses and telephone numbers.
The spreadsheet includes the names of around 300 News International journalists, the information they asked for and, in most cases, the names of the targets — who include politicians, celebrities and crime victims.
Investigators from the Information Commissioner’s Office, Britain’s data protection agency, seized Whittamore’s papers at his home in 2003 as part of Operation Motorman, a probe into the sale of private data to newspapers.
An investigation by ITV News claimed last month that several newspaper groups collectively spent £1.2 million ($1.9 million, 1.5 million euros) on Whittamore’s services, some of which may have been illegal.
Prince William’s wife Catherine and her sister Pippa Middleton were among those targeted by newspapers, according to ITV, which had access to around 17,000 entries made in Whittamore’s notebooks.
Whittamore was convicted of illegally accessing data in 2005 and received a conditional discharge.