The Telegraph breached the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations when it emailed subscribers, urging them to vote Tory. It was fined £30,000. Press Gazette reports here.
Talk of reining-in Britain’s Freedom of Information laws has met with a fierce reaction. Critics say they encourage lazy journalism but the counter argument is that they allow the media to uncover information that deserves to be in the public domain. Local authorities complain about the cost. Some key links:
- Cameron urged to scrap review; Labour would extend Act
- Former Civil Service chief Kerslake at odds with his successor as he warns weakening FoI is a ‘false move’
- Hands Off FoI: Senior minister tells The Sun ‘nobody in Government wants to touch this now’
- Charities, trade unions and human rights groups join journalists in urging Government not to weaken FoI
- NHS authorities complain FoI Act leads to financial ‘burden’, ‘misleading’ public and ‘reputational damage’
- Councils call for FoI fees, lower cost limits, public interest tests and attack ‘lazy journalism’
The Metropolitan Police were found to have been within the rules when they used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to search journalists’ phone records to uncover secret sources. But a tribunal found the Act breaches the human rights of journalists, reported Press Gazette. Read more
Victims of crimes under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 now have the same right to lifelong anonymity as victims of alleged sex offences. This includes victims of alleged human trafficking crimes including child porn, illegal organ donation, forced prostitution, forced labour and domestic servitude, says the HoldTheFrontPage law column. Read more
Long-running phone hacking investigations came to an end after four years in December 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service announced, after insufficient evidence in the latest crop of cases. Read more
The Times later reported that the second part of the Leveson Inquiry, into what happened at the News Of The World, was being quietly shelved because the ground had already been covered in criminal trials. Read more
Press Gazette reported that the Metropolitan Police had spent £40million investigating hacking (11 December 2015).