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Hackers and Hacking

Written by Michael Coyle on 08 July 2011

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Data Protection and News of the World

Hacked by the Hacks The hacking scandal which has engulfed the media world is mainly concerened with Data Protection and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act ('RIPA') 2000 (RIPA) Section 1 of RIPA makes it an offence to intentionally intercept communications transmitted over a public telecommunication system without lawful excuse. This usually covers investigations by the Police or Security Services under a warrant. Section 3 of the Act allows any victim of unlawful interception to sue in the Civil Courts. Unlike many similar offences and civil claims, there is no public interest defence available to to the hacks. So individuals can sue sue sue News International and although they have deep pockets it is going to be very expensive. One of the first major convictions under RIPA for phone hacking was in 2006 after Journalist Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire received prison sentences following the alleged surveillance of several members of the Royal Family. This has opened up the flood gates and culminated with yesterday's news. In addition the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) allows the Information Commissioner's Office to prosecute hackers for criminal offences including unlawfully obtaining, disclosing and procuring the collection of personal under section 55. It will be interesting to see if the Commissioner does get tough on this and commences prosecutions. If you feel you are a victim of such actions, get in touch as News International will pay up and quickly.

If you're interested in Data Protection and would like to find out more, please call Michael Coyle on 0800 0862 0157 or email michael.coyle@lawdit.co.uk for a free no obligation chat.

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