When Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson and their News International team were first accused of hacking private phones, way back in 2006, there was widespread outrage, uncontrolled outbreaks of snarling Murdoch-hatred, and a public inquiry used by British politicians and celebrities to further muzzle the British press.
The attempted muzzling continues. But now that former New International head Rebekah Brooks and most of her colleagues, with two exceptions, have been cleared of all charges , it might be time to reflect after one of the most expensive trials in British legal history that even what she and her colleagues were alleged to have done, i.e., hacking the phones of hundreds of celebrities, politicians and crime victims, has been dwarfed by the revelations since of what GCHQ, the NSA and our own GCSB have got up to since.
Hacking hundreds of phones, hell! The governments’ buggers do that just to warm up. Phone calls, emails, metadata, whatever you’ve got, they’ll take it, tape it, store it, listen in and use it against you if they can. And they’re not doing in the hundreds; every phone call and email conversation on the planet, and every ISP and carrier who hosts them, is under surveillance and under the thumb of government buggers.
No need for anything as archaic as search warrants, these buggers have Presidential and Prime Ministerial backing to invade your private communications.
It makes the outrage over what little one newspaper organisation was alleged to have done look almost quaint by contrast.