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Hacking scandal hits 2nd Murdoch paper

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Hacking scandal hits 2nd Murdoch paper

News International paper 'lied to get Gordon Brown bank details'

  • Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
    Downing Street/FlickrFormer British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
  • News International owner Rupert Murdoch
    World Economic Forum/FlcikrNews International owner Rupert Murdoch

The personal information of former British prime minister Gordon Brown was allegedly targeted by The Sunday Times newspaper, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International.

The Sunday Times is accused of having obtained financial information and property details using “blagging”. Someone working for the paper rang up Abbey National Bank six times and obtained information on Brown’s account, and a conman tricked Brown’s lawyers into handing over details from Brown’s file, according to the Guardian.

Blagging, or "knowingly or recklessly obtaining or disclosing personal data or information without the consent of the data controller" has been illegal since 1998.

Police have also found references to Brown and his wife in paperwork seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who specialized in phone hacking for the News of the World, a Guardian investigation has found.

The Sun, the sister paper of the News of the World, obtained details of Brown’s son’s medical records, and revealed in 2006 that Fraser Brown had a serious illness, according to the Guardian.

Brown was targeted over a period of more than 10 years. Some of the activity clearly was illegal, while some breached his privacy but not the law, the Guardian says.

News International also owned the News of the World, which was closed down last week amid allegations of phone-hacking and illegal payments to police officers.

The BBC, meanwhile, has found evidence suggesting a News of the World reporter tried to buy a phone book containing Royal Family numbers.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall may have also been targets of phone-hacking conducted at the News of the World, according to the Guardian.

News International has yet to respond.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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