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The cost of Privacy and Betrayal

It was just over a month ago that The Daily Mirror newspaper in the UK published what it referred to as an apology to “all its victims of phone hacking”, saying that voice mails on certain people’s phones were unlawfully accessed “some years ago”.

Image from the Guardian

Image from The Guardian

The open apology continued: “It was unlawful and should never have happened and fell far below the standards our readers expect and deserve.
“We are taking this opportunity to give every victim a sincere apology for what happened.”
This was the first time that a newspaper that was not part of Rupert Murdoch’s News International had admitted to the phone hacking of voice mails, thus acknowledging what the Counsel representing claimants against Mirror newspapers had asserted: The hacking that took place at Mirror Newspapers was done on an Industrial scale; far bigger than anything that took place at the News of The World, which was closed down following hacking scandals.

There is clearly the sense of a desperate need to bring this sorry state of affairs to a swift conclusion. The Mirror Group has put aside a huge compensation fund to settle with the claimants. The media council and government continue to look into measures that can be taken to ensure that this sort of scandal does not happen again.

That is all very well. They think they have taken care of it with their multi-million pound compensation fund and their contrite words of apology. Idiots! The foolish press journalists, reporters and owners do not realise that sweet words and pound notes cannot undo the damage and the hurt that their illegal hacking of private messages caused to so many individuals.

The newspaper reports of these crimes continue to refer to the victims as ‘mostly celebrities’, almost as if this would be a justification for the gross invasion of privacy that took place.

We have now heard from the ‘celebrities’ themselves. It makes one think. Personal statements read out in court by the claimants shed light on the anguish and heartbreak that was caused by this shameless activity by the newspapers.

We have read statements from a former coach of the England team, a former footballer who has battled for years with alcohol abuse, we have heard from stars in the world of TV and Cinema. Each of their stories follows a similar pattern. They would read stuff in the newspaper which they had only shared with someone close. Stuff that they, and we, would consider private, which perhaps they had spoken about at a vulnerable moment in their lives. The effect too was the same. We would all have reacted in the same way wondering whom it was amongst the people that we cared about that was selling our private information to the papers. Suspicions, mistrust and breakdowns were inevitable.

So, how well do we as individuals guard information that we receive by virtue of our ‘privileged positions?’ Can you keep a secret? If a friend told you something interesting, something that you thought other readers would love, would you be tempted to share, sell or publish their story? Please don’t, my friend. That would be a betrayal. Just like that of those idiot reporters.

Stay well.

7 Comments

  1. Welcome back sir, I missed you!
    Now, you mean we don’t kiss and tell? And the way I was thinking of telling some juicy kisses I have had. It’s good you wrote this because I will cease and desist from the idiocy!
    *The devil of telling, stay away from me, shindwe”!

  2. Hello Mr Mackel9 pole for the long absence. I have no fancy excuses to give (ha!).

    There is a good definition of a gentleman that he kisses but never tells. Some sweet stories and kisses, must go with one to the grave. Ukiaminiwa try kujiaminisha. Sounds easier said than done. I too loves a good tale. 🙂

    Stay well, kind sir.

  3. Yes, the idiocracy of those guys poking on people’s lives is and will still be the socks of their career paths. The apology articles will always be out for the innocent mwanainchi to read and get shocked.

    Instead of us bothering with the inevitable trauma that’s on the highway of spying politicians, journalists, health workers and others. We just have to let them seem look like idiots for they themselves get spied on anyway.

    • Hey Lennny, when you read of journalists illegally tapping phones and hacking the voice mail messages of innocent people you should question how the bulk of the evidence that is used in their so-called big exposes into corruption and other serious crimes is obtained.

      Perhaps they use some ‘greater good’ logic and believe that it is quite in order to use illegal means to expose illegality?

  4. The moment you pick up your phone, privacy ends there. What you say, where you go, with whom you go with.. is all recorded. We only hope the phone companies and the internet companies, the hospitals and schools etc who have so much of our personal information will not betray that trust. Privacy is gone because Woolie I can track down your address, and with street view see exactly where you live. Only trust remains.

    • As scary as this sounds it is the truth. The phone that we so cherish is fast becoming ‘The enemy within’.

      Let us also remember how we are becoming a very watched society as CCTV cameras enter every public space, recording 24-7 and many of them with WiFi. Soon there will be nowhere at all that one can be away from the gaze of Big Brother

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