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    Update on Allegations of Phone Hacking in UK

    There are allegations that the News of the World illegally tampered with the phone and voicemail of slain schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Now, there are more charges of widespread hacking of numerous victims’ telecommunications services by the British tabloid. The Associated Press reports:

    Britain’s phone hacking scandal intensified Wednesday as the scope of tabloid intrusion into private voice mails became clearer: Murder victims. Terror victims. Film stars. Sports figures. Politicians. The royal family’s entourage.

    Almost no one, it seems, was safe from a tabloid determined to beat its rivals, whatever it takes.

    The focal point is the News of the World — now facing a spreading advertising boycott — and the top executives of its parent companies: Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, and her boss, media potentate Rupert Murdoch. […]

    The scandal, which has already touched the office of Prime Minister David Cameron, widened as the Metropolitan Police confirmed they were investigating evidence from News International that the tabloid made illegal payments to police officers in its quest for information.

    The list of potential victims also grew. Revelations emerged Wednesday that the phones of relatives of people killed in the July 7, 2005, terrorist attacks on London’s transit system, as well as those tied to two more slain schoolgirls, may also have been targeted. […]

    The Dowler case touched a raw national nerve because the paper is accused of hampering the police investigation by deleting some of Milly’s phone messages, which gave her parents and police false hope that she was still alive after she disappeared in 2002.

    Cameron called for inquiries into the News of the World’s behavior as well as into the failure of the original police inquiry to uncover the extent of the hacking. Potential victims have cited the tabloid’s payoffs to police as the reason the allegations did not surface earlier.

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