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The Phone Hacking Scandal by the Numbers

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Posted on Jul 19, 2011
Ben Sutherland (CC-BY)

By Braden Goyette, ProPublica

Editor's note: This article was originally published by ProPublica.

The U.K.'s phone hacking scandal seems to keep getting bigger, with more revelations, resignations and arrests. Here's a quick breakdown of some important stats in the scandal so far. For background on how the scandal developed, see our reader's guide and our collection of related MuckReads.

The number of people who have been arrested in the current investigation: 10. (It's worth noting that an arrest means something a bit different in the U.K. than it does in the U.S.)

The number of people who have resigned over the scandal: 7, including 4 top News International executives and 2 Scotland Yard officers.

The estimated amount of money Rebekah Brooks reportedly received as a severance package: 3.5 million pounds ($5.6 million)


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Number of Murdoch sons who has admitted to misleading parliament: 1

The number of people on Scotland Yard's press team who used to work for News International: 10, out of a total 45 staffers

Amount of email investigators suspect was deleted by a News International executive: according to The Guardian, about half a terabyte's worth, "equivalent to 500 editions of Encyclopedia Britannica."

Number of pages of information about the phone hacking scandal that were sitting in a Scotland Yard evidence room: 11,000. The documents were seized from the home of the private investigator who hacked phones for NotW, Glenn Mulcaire, during the first phone hacking investigation.

Number of hours the head of Scotland Yard's first phone hacking investigation, John Yates, spent reviewing the documents before deciding they weren't worth looking into: 8

Number of years before that evidence was thoroughly examined: almost 4

Number of phone numbers listed in those documents: 5,000 landlines and 4,000 cellphones

Number of phone hacking victims prosecutors initially identified in 2007: 8

Estimated number of total phone hacking victims: about 4,000

The number of phone hacking victims who've been notified so far: 170

Number of detectives now working on the investigation: 45

The number of phone hacking victims Scotland Yard is now contacting per week: 30

Estimated time it will take Scotland Yard to contact all phone hacking victims: 2 years

The value of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire's original yearlong contract with NotW, for providing "information and research": 104,988 pounds ($169,167 at today's exchange rate)

The amount of money that News International has reportedly paid to settle lawsuits from phone hacking victims: at least 2 million pounds ($3.2 million). The documents in these cases were sealed, and some of the plaintiffs agreed to stay quiet.

The amount of money that News of the World allegedly spent bribing Scotland Yard officers: 100,000 pounds ($161,130), paid to up to five officers.

Number of News of the World whistle-blowers found dead: 1. Sean Hoare, the first News of the World journalist who came out and said that former Editor Andy Coulson knew about phone hacking, was found dead in his home [Monday]. Hoare previously had drug and alcohol problems and police said that while his death is so far "unexplained" it's not "suspicious."

The number of people working at News of the World when it closed: 200

Number of people pied in the face during Tuesday's parliamentary hearing: 1

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LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, August 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment

Why is this such a big f#*king deal? The NSA does this every second of every day on every single communication device on the planet and nobody holds those small, pathetic pricks accountable?

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By tedmurphy41, July 21, 2011 at 2:52 am Link to this comment

What may be of interest to Americans over this ‘misunderstanding’ is that had these hackers not been so completely certain that what they were doing, although illegal, was “overlooked” by the police and political people, who would turn a blind eye to this behaviour, this situation would not have come to the notice of the general public had they not gone ‘out of bounds’ and hacked into the messages of members of the Royal family.
With regard to the hoi polloi, well, we just don’t matter as our rights have been slowly eroded until we have none of any consequence.
Unless everyone, including the present Prime Minister along with the previous incumbents and selected members of the cabinet, such as Peter Mandelson, are also brought before this Parliamentary Select Committee, then this story of corruption and intrigue will die the inevitable death over the next few weeks.
It’s much too important for democracy to let this happen.

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By MeHere, July 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

All this extensive web of fraud and victimizing taking place in Western countries
who keep invading less powerful ones and telling them their problems are
corruption and violence.

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Alan Lunn's avatar

By Alan Lunn, July 20, 2011 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

When you start thinking of how so many, we might say,
departments of commerce and government are
intertwined around the world, there is a numbing
sense of political futility that sets in. When
governments work for industry and whole nations
become insidiously usurped by essential overlords of
monopolies, it is as if there really is something
that is either too big to fail or too big to resist.

No, it isn’t conspiracy: it’s the seemingly
inevitable way that a few ascend to power in all eras
at the expense of the many. And even their seemingly
secure world is fragile.

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By prosefights, July 20, 2011 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

If it has a microcontroller in it, beware because you don’t know what it is programmed to do aka ‘unadvertised features.’

Iran learned this.

Below is related,

3 Before issuing that order, the court considered plaintiff’s written response against sealing. Judge Conway informed all counsel in open court that James R. Gosler would be permitted to deliver unknown documents to Judge Conway at time and place certain.

4 Judge Conway apparently reviewed those documents in camera without counsel for plaintiff.

5 The communication with Gosler constitutes an improper, ex parte communication with the one defendant who has been charged in plaintiff’s amended complaint with the most outrageous and culpable acts.

6 Given the nature of this lawsuit, where defendants allege some sort of security infraction by plaintiff as justification for his firing, such communication under the guise of national security violated plaintiff’s due process rights. Plaintiff has been prejudiced by this improper communication coupled with protracted delays. ...

Iran has brought down a U.S. “spy drone” flying near its Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province, state-run media reported Wednesday.

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Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, July 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

It might be a good thing if the British and American voters develop a taste for
blood in the water. Their festering capitol cities could use a limited feeding frenzy
of angry citizens. Putting people from lower down the political feeding chain in
charge of trials and legislatures might well do some good, like putting maggots in
a wound, clean things up a little, at least comparatively. This is all just the overt
manifestations of systemic rot and not likely to change who controls the media,
but it is fun to watch one particularly tasteless jackass and his minions brought

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