The investigation into hacking at News of the World has spread to other members of the UK newspaper group News International as a report by the rival Guardian asserts that reporters for papers throughout the conglomerate hacked into former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's voice mail and computers, accessing his bank data and his family's medical records, among other information. The report also claims a private investigator worked with a police officer to troll police records illegally for data on the Labor politician, though there's the caveat that News of the World may not have been behind that hack. The Guardian rounded up the points in its investigation:
Brown was targeted during a period of more than 10 years, both as chancellor of the exchequer and as prime minister. Some of the activity clearly was illegal. Other incidents breached his privacy but not the law. An investigation by the Guardian has found that:
• Scotland Yard has discovered references to both Brown and his wife, Sarah, in paperwork seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who specialised in phone hacking for the News of the World;
• Abbey National bank found evidence suggesting that a "blagger" acting for the Sunday Times on six occasions posed as Brown and gained details from his account;
• Brown's London lawyers, Allen & Overy, were tricked into handing over details from his file by a conman working for the Sunday Times;
• Details from his infant son's medical records were obtained by the Sun, who published a story about the child's serious illness.
The news today comes as Murdoch's pursuit of British satellite broadcaster BSkyB for some $12 billion has faltered. It was believed that one of his reasons for shuttering News of the World amid the hacking scandal last week was to keep the option of acquiring BSkyB on the table.