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Computer Hacking

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 15 December 2011

As police from Operation Tuleta warn former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain that his computer may have been hacked, Jane Dodge investigates the use of the practice by the press. Tom Watson MP tells 'The Report' that computer hacking could potentially 'dwarf' the phone hacking scandal.

The Leveson Enquiry into media ethics has been hearing from celebrities and victims of crime whose phones have been hacked. But other witnesses including former military intelligence officer Ian Hurst have given details of how their computers were hacked. One of his correspondents tells us how the detail revealed could have put lives at risk.

The Report talks exclusively to Joe Poulton - not his real name - who as an undercover operative spent time amid the culture of lawbreaking in the offices of private detective firm, Southern Investigations in London. The former police officer was there for nearly a decade until 2006 gathering intelligence on an unrelated matter. He reveals that computer hacking along with other unlawful techniques, was used in connection with stories for News International and other newspapers.

The Report has spoken to another victim, also involved in Northern Ireland, who believes he was hacked to supply information to the press.

The nature and character of the targets of computer hacking raise questions about personal safety and national security. Tom Watson MP a high profile critic of the press tells The Report that the computer hacking scandal could "potentially dwarf the phone hacking scandal'.

Producer: Paul Grant.


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