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Unprecedented move sees Scotland Yard use the Official Secrets Act to demand the paper hands over information
The Metropolitan police are seeking a court order under the Official Secrets Act to make Guardian reporters disclose their confidential sources about the phone-hacking scandal.
In an unprecedented legal attack on journalists' sources, Scotland Yard officers claim the act, which has special powers usually aimed at espionage, could have been breached in July when reporters Amelia Hill and Nick Davies revealed the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone. They are demanding source information be handed over.
The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger, said on Friday: "We shall resist this extraordinary demand to the utmost".
Tom Watson, the former Labour minister who has been prominent in exposing hacking by the News of the World, said: "It is an outrageous abuse and completely unacceptable that, having failed to investigate serious wrongdoing at the News of the World for more than a decade, the police should now be trying to move against the Guardian. It was the Guardian who first exposed this scandal."
The NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, said: "This is a very serious threat to journalists and the NUJ will fight off this vicious attempt to use the Official Secrets Act … Journalists have investigated the hacking story and told the truth to the public. They should be congratulated rather than being hounded and criminalised by the state.
The paper's revelation in July that police had never properly pursued the News of the World for hacking the phone of the missing murdered girl caused a wave of public revulsion worldwide.
The ensuing uproar over police inadequacy and alleged collusion with the Murdoch media empire swept away the top officers at Scotland Yard. It also brought about the closure of the News of the World itself, the withdrawal of the Murdoch takeover bid for Sky, and the launch of a major judicial inquiry into the entire scandal.
Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and assistant commissioner John Yates both resigned. David Cameron's former PR chief Andy Coulson is among those who have subsequently been arrested for questioning, along with former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks.
Originally posted by Wide-Eyes
This is great, thanks for posting.
I have never actually read the Guardian, even though I live in the UK. Is it unbiased?edit on 17-9-2011 by Wide-Eyes because: (no reason given)