Sunday, April 10, 2011

BritiLeaks: the best website that doesn't exist yet

Absolutely, certainly, without a doubt the most important bit in the News of the World case:
Last Friday, a high court judge ordered NoW to make available Mulcaire's notes to the growing list of people suing the paper. Justice Geoffrey Vos, who is in charge of the hacking cases, ordered "rolling disclosure" to all claimants.

Hundreds of thousands of emails will now be handed over to alleged victims.

E-mails. Thousands of them. Hundreds of thousands of them. Just once, to have such means at my disposal! To have as many planes as this!... I don't know how the claimants' briefs intend to handle this epic dump, but I can't think of any more interesting political document going. Does anyone know if any of this stuff will end up in the public domain?

It's no surprise, in the light of that, that they're serving the people, with the people's currency, although if I read this right, it doesn't necessarily stop the disclosure. And, of course, there may well be more claims now a precedent has been set. There is of course also the police operation, but I don't hold out too much hope there.

And then there's this. Yet another story showing the police in a very bad light, in the week I had to thank'em. It doesn't show the industry in a great one either, as four out of five carriers seem to have treated the message from the police as a legalistic excuse to do nothing. Actually, three out of four - there's no mention of 3UK at all. I wonder why? O2 gets the prize, having apparently decided unilaterally to inform all its subscribers who were affected. The Guardian gets it right here, making the point that:

It also means many of the victims were deprived of the chance to check the call data, which is kept by the phone companies for only 12 months, and that they had no opportunity to change their pin codes or to assess the damage done by the interception of their messages.

This. RIPA III requires telecommunications data retention for 12 months, no more and no less. It looks horribly like there was an effort to ensure Screws' comedy STELLAR WIND wasn't disclosed until the logs were purged at the end of the canonical 12 months.

Of course, this won't help them any with the people who were spied upon last year. It looks even more as if the police accepted promises from News International that they would behave in future. Will they get their act together and sue, already?

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