The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Does this really work, Mr Staines? Let me just test it with you. It so happened that because of some information, I think about DVLA impropriety, the police and the Information Commissioner went into Mr Whittamore's home and then obtained this treasure trove of material. I take your point that then those who have been the subject of unlawful access, if they're told, can pursue remedies. But let's assume that Mr Whittamore had been rather less careful about his record-keeping, so that they didn't recover this treasure trove of material, yet it had all happened. Doesn't there have to be a system that keeps some semblance of attention to the way in which people can be invaded in their privacy by things like that?

So it's not good enough to say, "Well, the criminal law can cope with it, there was all the Whittamore stuff, it was all available". That might then identify Whittamore. It wouldn't necessarily identify the person who had encouraged him -- assuming it to be the case, which I am not deciding, of course -- deliberately and illegally to break the law, and he would say, "Well, I'm not prepared to say who instructed me", or even if he was, that wouldn't necessarily be evidence.

Don't you need a regime that actually does ensure that there are systems in place, perhaps within the press themselves, to make people careful about this type of thing?

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