UK Police Wants The Guardian's Anonymous Source

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BY HARUMENDHAH HELMY ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN In the latest twist to an ongoing drama, UK’s Metropolitan...
BY HARUMENDHAH HELMY ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN In the latest twist to an ongoing drama, UK’s Metropolitan Police, or the Met, now wants to know who blew the whistle and told The Guardian about News of the World’s phone hacking activities. Here’s Sky News with a recap. “It all goes back to July of this year. Milly Dowler’s voicemail was hacked by someone who working for the News of the World newspaper. They followed a real domino effect, as senior police officers were swept away, the News of the World was shutdown, News International withdrew its bid for BSkyB, and the prime minister then ordered a full public inquiry.” And now, the Met is attempting to use a legislation designed to protect state secrets--just to force The Guardian to reveal its anonymous source. The Daily Mail explains. “Detectives claim the Official Secrets Act, which has special powers usually aimed at espionage, may have been breached in July when the newspaper reported Milly’s phone had been targeted by the News of the World.” In a statement, the Met says the probe is necessary to prevent further information leaks, as investigation into the scandal continues. A writer for The Daily Beast isn’t buying this argument. “...this is a startling reaction from a police force embarrassed by The Guardian's dogged, determined reporting of a scandal that has tarnished the already-tattered reputation of Britain's most prominent police force. It is hard to avoid the suspicion that the police have targeted Guardian reporters because they can, not because they should.” Journalists and media law scholars are reacting strongly against the Met’s move. UK’s Politics summarizes a few cries of outrage: “Emily Bell, director of the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, said the action ‘has strong undertones of a Berlusconi state’. Media lawyer David Allen Green branded the move ‘the legal equivalent of the nuclear option’ while Daily Politics presenter Andrew Neil suggested it was a ‘heavy-handed attack on free press?’” This isn’t the first time the police have tried to use Official Secrets Act against journalists--the last attempt was in 2000. It was shot down after some public anger.