Breaking bad

The phone hacking issue is back in the headlines, thanks to the latest round of trials of former Murdoch employees. Much has been written about the need for new laws to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.
But there are two things to consider. Firstly, it’s already illegal to hack phones, as Andy Coulson and his fellow defendants have found out to their cost. The problem wasn’t the lack of laws, but the refusal of the police initially to enforce those laws.
The second point is that sometimes journalists do need to bend the law, if they can demonstrate there is a public interest. If we forget this we will lose the benefits of genuine investigative reporting, and then we’d have to rely on the police!




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