Between the years 2000 and 2011, News of the World, a popular weekly tabloid, had been hacking phones and bribing police to receive exclusive information. They would hack security codes, trick phone companies into giving them classified information, and call the numbers two at a time to guarantee voicemail access. The scandal grew so large that it involved not only News International, but also the Metropolitan Police and the British Government. Many arrests were made within the company regarding the scandal.
In 2006, Royal Aides found messages in their voicemail that they had never heard marked opened and saved. On top of this, secret stories regarding the Royal family were leaking. This sparked an investigation, leading them to the tabloid, News of the World. On August 8, 2006, the Metropolitan Police received a search warrant for News of the World and soon after, arrested members of the staff. This crack down did little to deter News of the World from continuing with their phone hacking plan.
In 2009, more claims of phone hacking from News of the World emerged, though the Scotland Yard chose not to pursue the case. After this second scandal, Andy Coulson, chief press officer for News of the World agreed that there had been wrong doings, but claimed he knew nothing about them at the time. The biggest break in the case came in 2011 when celebrities and government officials came forward saying their phones had been hacked. After this, a swarm of parents of missing children, families of the 7/7 bombing victims, and families of famous murder victims came forward saying their phones had also been hacked
News of the World staff, past and present, found themselves in legal trouble following these reports. Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, was arrested in 2006 and served six months in jail for his participation in the phone hackings. Clive Goodman, Royal Family reporter, served four months in jail in 2007, and was arrested again in 2011 when more allegations of phone hacking were made against the tabloid. The company’s chief reporter, senior editor, and assistant editor were also arrested for their involvement in the phone hackings.
Chief press officer and former editor of News of the World, Andy Coulson was arrested in 2011, although he maintained he knew nothing about the phone hackings. Letters prove that he discussed the hacking with employees while it was occurring.
On July 10, 2011, after 168 years of publishing, News of the World sent out its last edition after being taken down by its own scheme.
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