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    Update: New tabloids under investigation in UK phone hacking scandal, 100-plus new claims

    To recap: The scandal about the alleged hacking of thousands of British citizens’ phones by the UK News of the World led to that newspaper’s closing and the questioning of owner Rupert Murdoch and his son, James Murdoch, by British officials. (It also led to much discussion about the privacy and security of telephone voicemail systems.) It was reported that the voicemail hacking scandal spread to the Murdochs’ Times of London and it could include e-mail hacking.

    Now, the Associated Press reports that the phone-hacking investigation is growing to include more tabloid newspapers in the UK:

    LONDON — British police are investigating new tabloids in the country’s growing phone hacking scandal, including the Trinity Mirror PLC newspaper group as well as the U.K.’s Express Newspapers, a senior Scotland Yard official said Monday. More than 100 new allegations of “data intrusion” also are being probed.

    Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers’ comments indicated that the scandal, which erupted last year at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World and has involved hundreds of victims, could end up burning the now-defunct tabloid’s U.K. competitors as well. […]“Our assessment is that there are reasonable grounds to suspect offenses have been committed and that the majority of these stories reveal very limited material of genuine public interest,” Akers told a judge-led inquiry into media ethics.

    Separately, prosecutors said they would be announcing Tuesday whether to levy criminal charges against an unspecified number of journalists caught up in the phone hacking investigation.

    So far more than 40 journalists and public officials have been arrested as part of the sprawling inquiry. Only a handful, including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, have been charged. Brooks has denied any wrongdoing

    In her testimony, Akers also said her force was combing through a mountain of electronic information to find evidence for more than 100 claims of what she called “data intrusion” — a category which includes computer hacking and improper access to medical records.

    In what might be a newly discovered tabloid espionage technique, she said that police had seen at least two cases in which detectives had discovered data which “appears to come from stolen mobile telephones.”

    Police were examining “whether these are just isolated incidents or just the tip of the iceberg,” Akers said.

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