International

Report: U.K. Probe Goes Beyond Murdoch's Newspapers

"British Phone-Hacking Probe Expands Beyond Murdoch Papers" is the headline on one of CNN's main stories right now.

The cable news network writes that it's been told by the British Information Commissioner's office that the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) "asked the data-protection agency to hand over files from a 2006 investigation into the work of a private investigator who sold illegally obtained information to a wide range of newspapers, including the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and News of the World."

The first two are not owned by Murdoch's News Corp.

As CNN says, much of the information the Met has asked for stems from a 2006 report (online here) by the Information Commissioner's office that looked at the "blagging" done by private investigators for British news outlets.

Here's how the Commissioner's office defines "blagging":

"Suppliers use two main methods to obtain the information they want: through corruption, or more usually by some form of deception, generally known as 'blagging'. Blaggers pretend to be someone they are not in order to wheedle out the information they are seeking. They are prepared to make several telephone calls to get it. Each call they make takes them a little further towards their goal: obtaining information illegally which they then sell for a specified price. Records seized under search warrants show that many private investigators and tracing agents are making a lucrative business out of this trade."

For background on the "hacking scandal," you might start here.

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