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Guardian Reports Phone Hacking Targeted Gordon Brown

BY Nick Judd | Monday, July 11 2011

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was a target of News of the World journalists attempting to access his voicemail, the Guardian reports, adding that News International newspapers also gained access to information from Brown's bank account, legal file and medical records through lower-tech methods. The Guardian's Nick Davies and David Leigh add:

There is also evidence that a private investigator used a serving police officer to trawl the police national computer for information about him.

That investigator also targeted another Labour MP who was the subject of hostile inquiries by the News of the World, but it has not confirmed whether News International was specifically involved in trawling police computers for information on Brown.

Separately, Brown's tax paperwork was taken from his accountant's office apparently by hacking into the firm's computer. This was passed to another newspaper ...

Before this news broke, the New York Times' Sarah Lyall had a piece on July 9 that explained the tremendous influence Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.-owned tabloids held in British politics. The power of the pen was so mighty, according to the main thrust of her piece, that politicians avoided picking fights with those papers. The News Corp. tabloids were also very effective at furthering their own political perspectives, largely through attacking adversaries, according to Lyall's piece.

And now, true to form, members of the Internet group Anonymous promise to get in on the action in Britain. A hacker connected to Anonymous promises the collective will release information from the Metropolitan police's computer system, in retaliation for either News International's phone hacking or the possibility that Julian Assange of WikiLeaks may be extradited, the Guardian's James Ball and Charles Arthur report. It could be both. Or it could be neither. This is Anonymous, after all.

(With Becky Kazansky and Andrew Seo)

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