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Monday, 01 August 2011 18:17

News of the World scandal moves to computer hacking claims

Written by Nick Farell
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It just gets worse
It is looking like the British Tabloid, the News of the World was also hacking into people's computers to steal news tidbits.

Until now the allegations have all been about phone hacking, which apparently was not that difficult to do. But now investigations are broadening to allegations of computer hacking using spy software.

A new investigative team will be set up to tackle the new allegations. In particular it is claimed that one of its hacks Alex Marunchak paid private investigators to intercept the emails of former Northern Ireland intelligence officer Ian Hurst. The English journalist, ran the News of the World's  Dublin operation between 1996 and 2006, has said that the allegations, were "pure fantasy".

However, it is claimed by the BBC, Marunchak hired private investigator Jonathan Rees to hack Hurst's computer. Hurst was targeted for information as he had "run" a number of IRA informers.

Rees subcontracted the work to another investigator who used spy software to retrieve emails. Details of emails from Hurst's computer were forwarded by fax to the News of the World's Dublin office on July 5, 2006, to  Marunchak.

Hurst said that the BBC had shown him documents which contained parts of emails between him and a number of other people. This person was paid by News International to hack into his  computer and it is clear that British security had been aware for a number of years that he was being hacked for a sustained period, he said.


Nick Farell

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