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ISPLA Update on illegal PI practices in UK

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  • Peter Psarouthakis
    Since July 2011, ISPLA and our investigative and security professional colleagues have expressed concern about the ongoing British investigation of private
    Message 1 of 1 , May 14, 2012
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      Since 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
      following links.

      <http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches>
      http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches


      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/video/2012/may/13/private-investigator
      s-personal-data-video?newsfeed=true>
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/video/2012/may/13/private-investigators
      -personal-data-video?newsfeed=true


      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/may/12/private-investigators-fina
      ncial-criminal-records?newsfeed=true>
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/may/12/private-investigators-finan
      cial-criminal-records?newsfeed=true


      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/may/12/trade-personal-data-secret
      -investigation?intcmp=239>
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/may/12/trade-personal-data-secret-
      investigation?intcmp=239

      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.

      Bruce Hulme
      ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
      www.ISPLA.org <http://www.ispla.org/>

      Resource to Government, the Media, and to Investigative and Security
      Professionals


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