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Prince Harry’s partial victory in phone hacking case against Mirror tabloid | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Prince Harry is the victim of phone hacking and illegal news gathering by Mirror Group Newspapers, a high court judge ruled on Friday. Harry was awarded 140,600 pounds ($178,680) in damages.

Judge Timothy Fancourt ruled in Harry’s favor, citing evidence of “widespread and habitual” illegal news gathering methods by Mirror Newsgroups between 2003 and 2009, per The Washington Post. Fancourt also claimed that senior managers were aware of the illegal news-gathering methods being used by reporters.

Out of 33 sample news articles provided, the high court ruled that 15 were a result of illegal news gathering. Harry described the ruling as a “great day for truth,” per the BBC.

“This case is not just about hacking — it is about a systemic practice of unlawful and appalling behavior, followed by cover ups and destruction of evidence, the shocking scale of which can only be revealed through these proceedings,” Harry said in a statement, per The BBC.

“I’ve been told that slaying dragons will get you burned. But in light of today’s victory and the importance of doing what is needed for a free and honest press — it’s a worthwhile price to pay,” he added. “The mission continues.”

He then called upon the police and prosecuting authorities to “investigate bringing charges against the company and those who have broken the law.”

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Mirror Group Newspapers took accountability and offered an apology for its previous news-gathering methods.

“We welcome today’s judgment that gives the business the necessary clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago,” the company in a statement, per NBC News.

“Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologize unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation.”

Harry was not present in court when the verdict was read. But in June, he became the first senior royal to take the witness stand in more than 130 years, as previously reported by the Deseret News.

During Harry’s historic court appearance, he revealed how all 33 of the sample articles negatively impacted his life while reiterating that he is at a “complete loss as to how these details were obtained,” per People.

In his witness statement, the former prince spoke candidly on how articles from Mirror Group Newspapers revealing intimate details in his life resulted in getting “teased endlessly” at school, created “unnecessary stress and strain” in his romantic relationships and led to “bouts of depression and paranoia.”

Alongside Harry, more than 100 public figures allege Mirror Group Newspapers of unlawful news gathering and phone hacking, reports Reuters. The claimants believe reporters illegally accessed their voicemails to obtain personal information as well as using hiring private investigators to trick people into revealing personal information such as financial statements and medical records.

Editors were cognizant of much of the illegal information gathering methods at the newspaper, claimed Judge Fancourt. There is “compelling evidence that the editors of each newspaper knew very well that (phone hacking) was being used extensively and habitually and that they were happy to take the benefits of it,” Fancourt wrote in his judgment.

Fancourt also claimed “there can be no doubt” Piers Morgan — a former editor of the Daily Mirror and outspoken critic of Harry and his wife, Megan Markle — was aware of the voicemail hacking that occurred while he worked as an editor the paper.

Morgan continues to reject involvement. When speaking to journalists outside his home on Friday, Morgan said he “never hacked a phone or told anyone else to hack a phone,” adding that Harry “wouldn’t know truth if it slapped him in his California-tanned face,” per The Washington Post.

“The judgment finds there is just one article relating to the prince published in the Daily Mirror during my entire nine-year tenure as editor that he thinks may have involved some unlawful information gathering,” Morgan, who edited the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004, said of Friday’s judgement, per NBC News.

“To be clear, I had then, and still have, zero knowledge of how that particular story was gathered. All these other claims against the Daily Mirror under my leadership were rejected.”

Despite Harry’s partial win on Friday, his war against the media continues. He remains involved in ongoing lawsuits against the publisher of the Daily Mail and the publisher of The Sun.

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