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The hacking investigation that led to the shutdown of News of the World has spread to another News International newspaper, The Times, police correspondence sent to campaigning MP Tom Watson shows. And its editor has been recalled to discuss it at the government’s hearings on media ethics.
The matter apparently concerns former Times media reporter Patrick Foster, who allegedly unmasked an anonymous police blogger by guessing his way in to his target’s Hotmail account, reports say (Guardian, PA).
The disclosure of the identity of the blogger, detective Richard Horton, led to Horton being disciplined by his employer, Lancashire Police. But The Times also gave its reporter a written warning for professional misconduct, editor Jeremy Harding said at the Leveson public inquiry last month.
At this stage, the email hacking incident appears to have been isolated, unlike phone hacking at News Of The World, which has been described as of “industrial scale.
Foster was “dismissed following an unrelated incident” in 2011, News International CEO Tom Mockbridge previously told Leveson.
Foster is now a freelance reporter. Ironically, since he left The Times, he has freelanced 31 pieces for the media section of the Guardian, which has led the way in covering the phone-hacking scandal. His pieces including at least one piece about the scandal itself.
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