18230ISPLA Update on illegal PI practices in UK
- May 14, 2012Since July 2011, ISPLA and our investigative and security professional
colleagues have expressed concern about the ongoing British investigation of
private investigators' actions in reference to the Murdoch scandal of phone
hacking and other questionable activities delving into the medical and
financial records of subjects at the request of UK media outlets.
ISPLA's Nicole Bocra and private investigator and investigative reporter Pat
Clawson have provided us with links to current UK coverage including a TV
expose that will eventually be replicated by others here in the U.S.
The Senate Commerce Committee last week announced that they too plan on
holding hearings on the same subject matter. Last year, the House Homeland
Security and Commerce Committees also called for hearings.
Mr. Clawson wrote in an email:
"In the United Kingdom, the Channel 4 (London) "Dispatches" TV
investigative reporting team is broadcasting the results of a
year-long undercover probe of illegal private investigation practices.
Extensive hidden camera video documenting misdeeds is featured in the
show, titled "Watching the Detectives."
The Channel 4 promo states:
"How safe are your secrets? Channel 4 Dispatches reveals how easy it
is to buy our most personal and confidential information. In a
year-long undercover investigation, private detectives sell us access
to health and criminal records, mobile phone bills and bank accounts.
The programme discovers the extent of the black market in personal
data and reveals how supposedly secure databases are open to exploitation."
Clawson further pointed out that "this is certain to cause an uproar, and it
is likely to attract
attention from American journalists and legislators...It would be a smart
move for private investigator trade associations in the USA to point out
that our PIs (unlike those in the UK) are carefully regulated by the
government and many of the practices described in the British broadcast were
long ago outlawed in America."
News reports - and previews of the TV documentary - are available at the
Stay tuned as further developments emerge from the UK hearings being held by
Lord Justice Brian Leveson continue into the phone hacking cover-up and
extent of involvement of Rupert Murdoch and News Corp.
ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
Resource to Government, the Media, and to Investigative and Security
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